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UWF assistant professor wins Best Presentation award at conference in Thailand

A professor in the University of West Florida College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities was recently awarded “Best Presentation” at the 2018 World Conference on Media and Mass Communication in Bangkok, Thailand on March 29, 2018.

Dr. Chris Fenner, assistant professor in communications, along with his colleague Iqra Iqbal of Government College University in Faisalabad, Pakistan, were recognized for their paper, “From the Nation to the New York Times: An Analysis of Media Framing in Pakistan and United States Coverage of the Coleman – Boyle Rescue.”

The conference was sponsored by The International Institute of Knowledge Management, a Sri Lanka-based educational foundation dedicated to “revolutionizing the Asian Research Culture.” Scholars, graduate students and professionals from more than 25 countries presented over 100 papers at the conference held in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Participating in this conference has given me so many opportunities to network and interact with faculty and graduate students abroad,” said Dr. Chris Fenner. “It’s been really helpful to learn about media and social issues from such diverse perspectives and then be able to share that research with my students.”

Dr. Chris Fenner and Iqbals’ paper focuses on the ways in which U.S. and Pakistani media presented the geo-political relationship between the two nations in coverage of the rescue of Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman from the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in October 2017. The rescue was based on U.S. intelligence and carried out by the Pakistani military, offering a unique opportunity to analyze a positive news story between allied nations with a strained relationship.

Dr. Chris Fenner and Iqbal first met at the 2017 MEDCOM conference in Malaysia and discussed collaborating on a research project. Dr. Chris Fenner is currently serving as an outside advisor for Iqbal’s master’s program thesis in the communication department at Government College University.

In addition to presenting, Dr. Chris Fenner also co-hosted a workshop, “Strategies for Dynamic Presentations,” with his wife and UWF adjunct instructor, Stephanie Fenner. The workshop walked participants through exercises and tactics for communicating research to international audiences.

“Apprehension about speaking in public seems to be universal,” said Stephanie Fenner. “Being able to help scholars and students from around the world better communicate their research was such a positive experience. The workshop had a lot of participants and we received a lot of great feedback and questions.”

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