2023 BEA Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship Presented to Jannette L. Dates, Ph.D.
Washington, D.C. – Jannette L. Dates, Dean Emerita at Howard University, has been awarded the 2023 Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship Award.
Dates has been a leader in the cable industry as well as academics. She held various leadership position in the Baltimore Cable Association, served as a speaker during the 50th Anniversary Emmy Awards, served as a speaker on National Public Radio’s famed show “All Things Considered” and still serves as a member on the Federal Communications Commission advisory board and as a member of the board of Baltimore’s local NPR affiliated WYPR.
She rose through the ranks to be a full professor at Howard University in the department of Radio, Television and Film before becoming an associate dean and dean of the School of Communication in 1996.
As Dean, Dates had responsibility for managing a team of 55-60 faculty members and 20-30 staff members who shepherded the academic growth and development of between 900 – 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, she ensured that the school’s academic programs had a demanding and updated curriculum to meet the accreditation standards of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Middle States Accreditation Association, and she raised funds to support the academic and extracurricular activities of the student body.
One of Dates’ proudest accomplishments was her work as editor and primary contributor to the critically acclaimed, national award-winning book (1990 and 1993) ”Split Image: African Americans in the Mass Media.” She authored six of the 10 chapters, the introduction, the conclusion and a bibliographical essay. In 2014, Dates partnered with Mia Moody Ramirez, Ph.D., on the book “The Obamas and Mass Media: Race, Gender, Religion and Politics.” The new book updated and expanded upon many issues raised in “Split Image.”. Dates and Ramirez then co-authored the book “From Blackface to Black Twitter: Reflections on Humor, Race, Politics & Gender” in 2018. This book helps readers understand how perceptions of race and the hierarchy for how different racial groups were to be treated in the U.S. were established during slavery and then steadily continued afterwards in U.S. entertainment venues and then communications systems. It focuses on how black comedians “moved the needle” on helping break down racial barriers and, over time, were able to wrestle some measures of control of their images from unrelenting white domination. Dates and Ramirez sought to help readers understand the impact of comedians as skilled communicators who influence society in remarkably effective ways.
She has published more than a dozen book chapters and more than a dozen other creative and scholarly works. She was president of BEA from 2001-2002 and held various other leadership positions in the organization from 1990-2002.
BEA’s Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship recognizes significant contributions to research and scholarship involving broadcast and electronic media. Recipients are evidenced by related extensive publication in books and leading journals, for at least twenty years. The LAS will be awarded to Dr. Dates at BEA’s annual convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center during a ceremony and reception on the evening of Saturday, April 15. She will give a formal presentation, preceding the awards ceremony, focused on an exploration of the roles of African Americans in the growth and development of mass communications and media systems.