Donna Lampkin Stephens

Donna Lampkin Stephens, interim director of the School of Communication at the University of Central Arkansas, has assumed the presidency of the American Journalism Historians Association.

Stephens first joined the AJHA as a doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2008, when a paper she wrote for Dave Davies’ history class was accepted for the Seattle conference. Her paper won the Robert Lance award that year for outstanding graduate student paper.

She became involved with various AJHA committees, and her dissertation, “‘If It Ain’t Broke, Break It’: How Corporate Journalism Killed the Arkansas Gazette” was an honorable mention for the Blanchard Award in New Orleans in 2013.

Stephens will serve as AJHA president through the 2020 national convention, held Oct. 1-3 in Memphis. She plans to approach her term with a new sense of urgency about the organization’s mission.

“I hope each of us will take advantage of our opportunities to address charges of fake news and bias in the industry,” she said. “We can no longer afford to be above the fray—we must answer those critics, praise good journalism and call out the bad. Both journalism and journalism history need each of us.”

About the American Journalism Historians Association
Founded in 1981, the American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Members work to raise historical standards and ensure that all scholars and students recognize the vast importance of media history and apply this knowledge to the advancement of society. For more information on AJHA, visit