Byland Publishes Interactive Media Journal

Dr. David Byland, Oklahoma Baptist University associate professor of communication arts, recently published the first issue of the Journal of Media Education, the first interactive academic journal to be published online. Byland was selected as founding editor of the publication by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) board of directors.

Byland has served the BEA in several administrative capacities, most recently as president of the association. The new journal (JoME) is focused on pedagogical issues in all areas of media education and is the only interactive academic journal available for media educators.

As the editor of the journal, he receives manuscripts from authors all over the country. Most of the manuscripts are submitted by professors, but some articles come from media professionals. Since JoME is an editor-reviewed publication, Byland reads each submission, decides if it fits with the mission and purpose of the Journal, and then notifies the authors if their article has been accepted or rejected. Byland receives about 45 submissions for each issue and selects about 12 for publication.

Once the author has been notified of acceptance, Byland makes editorial comments regarding content and focus then sends it to the copy editor, Sarah (Byland) Williams, a 2007 OBU alumnae who is a graduate student in English at the University of New Mexico. Once she has completed copy editing, it is returned to the author, corrections are made, and it is returned to Byland, who works on the design and layout of the publication with creative editor Scott Davis, an instructor at Ball State University.

Byland and Davis work together to select the photographs, video and other media elements that will be included in each article. They ensure the embedded hyperlinks are active and any downloadable appendices are linked to the document. They design the page headers, graphics and layout of the articles.

"Once the publication is complete and all interactive elements embedded, we beta-test the publication with selected colleagues around the country," Byland said. "When all the ‘bugs' have been worked out we publish the journal online through Calameo and also provide a downloadable PDF version at the BEA Web site. It's quite a challenge to produce a quarterly journal with only three people."

Byland said the publication of the inaugural issue brought to close nearly eight months of planning, writing, creating and editing. He said the first issue was the hardest because there were many details to be determined such as what software to use; the publication stylebook detailing fonts and colors; defining the mission and purpose of the journal; and selecting the best articles to launch the new publication. It also meant the creative team had made history.

"The Journal of Media Education is the first interactive academic journal to be published online," Byland said. "Articles have been written about the possibilities of interactive academic publishing, and some articles included bits and pieces of interactivity when published on blogs, but the Broadcast Education Association is the first academic organization to take that step."

When he was selected as founding editor in April 2009, Byland said he was committed to ensuring BEA stayed on the cutting edge of both pedagogical practices in media education and the technological applications to enhance pedagogical practices.

"I think JoME does both, and does them well," he said. "The feedback has been incredibly positive, and our online readership numbers are very positive.

"We are getting more media-rich articles submitted, too, which means we are effectively demonstrating the importance of these interactive elements in academic publishing. Ultimately, I would like to believe that JoME is a publication that helps make us better at what we've chosen to do with our lives ... that we become better teachers, better mentors to our students, through the exchanges in which we participate in the pages of the Journal of Media Education."

The inaugural issue can be viewed online here.