A University of Southern Mississippi School of Communication faculty member’s research on how a popular New Orleans community radio station expanded its “earprint” by bringing the city’s musical culture to a global audience was recently published in Journalism History and featured in Episode 48 of its podcast “The Wonderful Wizard of Community Radio.”
Dr. Vanessa Murphree’s article, “Universal Localism: WWOZ Community Radio, 1980–2006,” examines one of the nation’s best-known community radio stations, New Orleans-based WWOZ-FM and how the station for the last 40 years has almost exclusively, among other area radio stations, played the music of the city’s musicians.
Beginning in 1995 and since with the help of technology through online streaming, it has shared that local sound while also establishing its cultural relevance with a worldwide audience, gaining an expanded, global fan base that has also resulted in the growth of listener financial support from as far away as China, New Zealand and Great Britain, among other countries.
A member of the USM faculty since 2012, Murphree's areas of expertise include media history and public relations.
Her research primarily focuses on the relationship between public relations and social change.
She is the author of “The Selling of Civil Rights: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the use of Public Relations” (2006).
The American Journalism Historians Association awarded her with a 2003 honorable mention for her dissertation and a 2005 award for “best American Journalism article.”
Murphree holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama. She earned her Ph.D. at USM. Prior to teaching, she pursued a career in public relations and advertising.