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Dr. Victoria LaPoe and Dr. Ben LaPoe, faculty members in WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting, will be discussing their new book and presenting research next month at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s national conference.

Indian Country: Telling a Story in a Digital Age by Victoria and Ben LaPoe will be published in February 2017 by Michigan State University Press.

Indian Country: Telling a Story in a Digital Age by Victoria and Ben LaPoe will be published in February 2017.

Indian Country: Telling a Story in a Digital Age will be published in February 2017 by Michigan State University Press. The LaPoes interviewed more than 40 Native journalists around the country and examined how digital media are changing the rich cultural act of storytelling within Native communities. (More: Read more about the book on Facebook.)

“The goal of this book explores how digital media impact First Nations by capturing how Native people talk about Native communities’ dialogue in ways beyond the stereotypes and assumptions frequently disseminated in mainstream media,” Victoria LaPoe said.

The LaPoes are donating all authors’ proceeds to help fund the Native American Journalists Association Fellowship, which provides training for young Native journalists.

Victoria LaPoe, assistant professor and broadcast and film sequence coordinator, is the adviser of WKU’s Native Student Association. Ben LaPoe, assistant professor of interactive storytelling, is adviser of the School of Journalism and Broadcasting’s Multicultural Student Journalists Organization. They both serve on the School’s diversity committee.

In addition to their book, the LaPoes will be presenting additional research and participating in other discussions at the AEJMC conference Aug. 4-7 in Minneapolis.

Victoria LaPoe

Victoria LaPoe

Victoria LaPoe will be presenting research on social media and how it impacts academics as they pursue tenure. Do academics use social media for mentorship, time saving techniques and or to promote their work? Or, is it just a time eater. LaPoe, along with two co-authors from two other universities, conducted a national survey and interviews with academics around the world.

Ben LaPoe

Ben LaPoe

Ben LaPoe will be presenting research on Black Lives Matter that he co-authored with WKU students Jocelyn Porter of Louisville and Hope Bradford of Elsmere. The study examined three independent variables (online newspaper type, photo demographics and language) priming support for Black Lives Matter protests and perceptions of story credibility. The inclusion of language characteristic of black press stories and a photo of black protestors primed support for Black Lives Matter protests. Being a black newspaper did not prime perceived credibility of the story and did not prime an increase or decrease in support for Black Lives Matter.

“While being a story from a black newspaper didn’t impact readers’ perceptions, the inclusion of a photo of African American protestors coupled with language consistently found in the black press, historical context and advocacy, encourage cultural understanding,” Ben LaPoe said. “Given the amount of cultural friction we see today in our societies, it is our hope our research can help transition toward a more informed, aware and understanding public.”

The LaPoes also will be participating in a panel discussion on the best practices of teaching diversity online. Both are officers in AEJMC’s Minorities and Communication Division and serve on several other committees.

In September, Victoria LaPoe will be attending the Excellence in Journalism Conference in New Orleans and helping lead the first collaborative newsroom between the Society of Professional Journalists and Native American Journalists Association.

Two WKU students were selected out of dozens of candidates to receive fellowships to participate in the newsroom at the Sept. 18-20 conference.

Keiti Rueter of Bowling Green, WKU’s Native Student Association president, and Kaylie Connors of Louisville, a broadcasting student, will work with student journalists across the country to cover news events as well as learn how to provide total community coverage through emerging media.

For more infomration, contact Victoria LaPoe at (270) 745-2063 or

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 Last Modified 5/2/17