International Relations Lecture Series

Dr. Yong Volz, University of Missouri School of Journalism, Faculty Group Chair – Journalism Studies

12 January, 2021

Freedom of the Press

About Yong Volz, PhD

Her University page.

Dr. Volz is Roger Gafke Faculty Fellow and an associate professor and chair of Journalism Studies at the School of Journalism, University of Missouri. Her research centers on journalists and their place in society and history. Working primarily in the tradition of historical and comparative sociology, her research explores the formation of journalists as a distinctive occupational group, especially concerning gender and social stratification, accumulation of symbolic capital, career path and professional mobility, social movements, and the construction of collective identity. She has examined empirical cases spanning three centuries from both the United States and China. She has earned top paper awards from Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and won the Asian Journal of Communication Best Paper Award for International Communication Research.

Dr. Volz currently serves as Vice-President/President-Elect of the Chinese Communication Association.  She is also a former head of AEJMC’s History Division.  Her teaching and service has been widely recognized: She was one of two recipients for the 2017 University of Missouri Alumnae Anniversary Faculty Award for her contributions to the education of women; she received a 2017 Outstanding Service Award from the Chinese Communication Association; she was the 2018 winner of Adviser of the Year from Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society for Journalism and Communication; and she received the 2020 Jordan Hoyt Tribute to Women Award for “contributing to an environment of equity, fairness and justice for women on campus.” She was also selected as the 2018-19 fellow of AEJMC Institute for Diverse Leadership.

Born in Beijing and raised in Shanghai, Volz received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Renmin University of China. She also received a master’s degree in communication from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a doctoral degree in mass communication with a minor in history from the University of Minnesota.

Presentation Overview

Freedom of the press is the guardian of public opinion. It is widely considered as the cornerstone of any healthy and vibrant democracy. In recent years, however, freedom of the press has been declining around the world, which is further complicated by the rise of populist governments, an increasingly polarized public, and the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. This deterioration of press freedom has accelerated not only under authoritarian regimes, but increasingly also under established democracies. Online harassment against journalists is also intensifying, constituting another serious threat to press freedom. This talk will present both the traditional and emerging forms of threats to an independent press in global and comparative contexts. It will also discuss the different ways that citizens and civic groups can support, promote and ensure freedom of the press.

More About The Topic

Want to learn more? Read about the press freedom issue in this Wikipedia article.