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Cronkite professor honored for diversity and media research

Sharon Bramlett-Solomon has devoted more than 3 decades to researching issues including the workplace environment and experiences of journalists of color

Portrait of ASU Cronkite Associate Professor Sharon Bramlett-Solomon.

Sharon Bramlett-Solomon

June 28, 2022

Sharon Bramlett-Solomon has devoted more than three decades to researching diversity and media issues, including the workplace environment and experiences of journalists of color in the news industry.

An associate professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, Bramlett-Solomon was recently recognized for her decades of work as the 2022 recipient of the Lionel C. Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education. 

The award is presented annually by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and supported by the AEJMC Minorities and Communication (MAC) division and Commission on the Status of Minorities.

Bramlett-Solomon will be honored at the MAC Awards and Social on Aug. 4 during the 2022 AEJMC Conference in Detroit.

“We are extremely proud to have Dr. Bramlett-Solomon on our faculty. This recognition is a reflection of her hard work, reputation and significant contributions,” Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. said.

The award is named after Lionel C. Barrow Jr., a former advertising executive who transitioned to academics in the 1970s and was foundational and integral in diversifying AEJMC. The Barrow Award recognizes outstanding individual accomplishment and leadership in diversity efforts in journalism and mass communication. 

“I am humbled,” she said. “This is a coveted award where the distinction is for achievement in diversity research, which I’ve done for a long time. This award reflects that I have a sustained record of diversity scholarship.”

Bramlett-Solomon said the award carries special significance because she had an opportunity to work with Barrow in AEJMC when she was MAC chair in the 1990s. 

Bramlett-Solomon has focused on representation in journalism since the outset of her academic career and has produced scholarship that has helped set a precedent for teaching diversity and inclusion in journalism education. 

In the 1990s, she created a Race, Gender and Media course at ASU that served as a model for journalism and communication teachers across the country. She also is author of the textbook “Race, Gender, Class & Media: Studying Mass Communication and Multiculturalism,” now in its third edition.

Bramlett-Solomon in the 1990s started surveying Black journalists at the National Association of Black Journalists conferences, focusing her research on their workplace perceptions and job satisfaction, work she continues today through online logistics. 

She has presented and published more than 100 papers on media and diversity issues. Her recent work focuses on the working experiences and conditions of Black journalists in the digital age.

Bramlett-Solomon has worked throughout the years to connect her research in the academic realm with journalists working in the industry. 

“My scholarly work has robustly promoted collaboration with the news media industry,” she said. “I’ve worked to build ties between academics and working journalists. My research aims to provide new information to assist news media world professionals.”

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