The UO School of Journalism and Communication’s Jonathan Marshall First Amendment Chair Kyu Ho Youm recently received the Guido H. Stempel III Award. Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and Communication established the award in 2013 to recognize professors and researchers who are as passionate about mass communication research as Stempel was about his own work.
Stempel, the award’s namesake, was the first to receive a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He joined the Ohio University faculty in 1965 and served as director of its School of Journalism for eight years. He was also editor of “Journalism Quarterly” for 17 years and published numerous communication research studies over his long career, including “Sampling Size for Classifying Subject Matter in Dailies.” Stempel, who eventually became a distinguished professor emeritus, contributed greatly to the school’s selection for the Ohio Board of Regents’ Outstanding Programs Award.
Youm, who is only the third winner of the Stempel award, boasts a body of research focused on media law in the U.S. and abroad. Many journalists and free-speech advocates have turned to Youm’s work as they re-conceptualize freedom of expression for the global 21st century.
“My scholarly and nonscholarly research has had a notable impact on the judicial recognition of freedom of speech and the press globally,” Youm said. “It has influenced the supreme courts in England, Canada, Australia and the Philippines in their court rulings over the years.”
Stempel, who once worked with Youm at “Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly,” was overjoyed when Youm won the award. During the late 1980s and 1990s, when Stempel was editor of JMCQ, he read much of Youm’s research on freedom of expression and referred to him as “one of the top international experts in his field.” Early on, Stempel — at the time a preeminent JMCQ scholar — encouraged Youm, a junior faculty member, to “keep up the good work” as a media law scholar.
Shortly after Youm visited Ohio University to accept the award, Stempel passed away at the age of 87.
According to Youm, however, his legacy lives on. “He was truly a giant in journalism and mass communication and a never-ending source of inspiration for all of us for many years,” Youm said.
Story by Nikki Kesaris
Photo by Johnny Hammond