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PRism Issue 1 - Editorial

Welcome to PRism, Australias first refereed, online journal of public relations and communication research.

PRism aims to provide an on-line research meeting place for scholars in public relations and communication. At the same time it furnishes new writers with a refereed outlet to encourage them to develop high quality scholarly work. Im very proud that issue one has successfully balanced these disparate aims. The refereed articles have met a stringent double blind refereeing process that ensures academic currency and rigour. The standard of refereeing was exacting, with a rejection rate of more than 70%. Yet referees were also concerned to be constructive, working extensively with authors to produce articles that were highly theorised, yet readable.

The resulting issue blends refreshingly new faces and ideas with established names in PR scholarship, with three previously unpublished authors among the six achieving refereed success. The articles reflect the efforts of authors and referees to produce resources that are accessible not only to specialised academics but to practitioners, students, and all those with an interest in the future of public relations theory and practice.

Themed around ?change, Issue 1 presents five full-length articles on current topics in public relations. There are also three commentary pieces designed to stimulate thinking and fuel discussion on new research directions. The issue opens with Steve Mackeys assessment of changing vistas in public relations theory. This pivotal article deftly and incisively summarises the main thrusts of PR philosophy and makes some bold predictions for future directions in theory development. Anne Lane then takes PR theory to the coalface, assessing the relevance of Grunig and Hunts ubiquitous two-way symmetric model to PR as it is actually practised in Queensland schools. Kristin Demetrious takes an interdisciplinary approach, blending postmodern social theory with first-hand knowledge of community activism to shed new light on changing community relations in Australia. Petter Gustavsen and Elspeth Tilley provide practical guidelines for public relations practitioners engaging with the changing definition of interactivity on the web. And Ira Galushkin demonstrates how quickly accepted communication theory can become obsolete in the face of changing technologies such as SMS.

In the commentary section, Susanne Taylor challenges us to be more cooperative, Monica Walle dares us to be more ethical, and Christel Bruijns explores the topical issue of the celebrity CEO. There are also six book reviews covering both recent and classic titles in public relations and communication.

PRism owes its achievement in balancing high standards with new work development to its referees. The editorial board, which encompasses some of Australasias, and indeed the worlds, leading PR academics, was incredibly generous with time and support in helping to ensure the high quality of PRism articles. Even rejected authors expressed their gratitude to referees who were always honest, yet constructive.

PRism would not have been possible without the tireless editorial assistance of Emma Petherick, whose eye for detail and grasp of the intricacies of APA style are beyond compare. Sincere thanks also to Kim Braid, for expert website reconstruction, Sandra Donohue, for the PRism logo, the book reviewers for their honest and amusing assessments of current texts, Bond Universitys School of Humanities & Social Sciences for research funding, and Petter Gustavsen and Lena Andersen, for the original prototype site.

My sincere thanks also to the authors themselves for their cheerful cooperation throughout the refereeing process. The diversity of authorial viewpoints and topics represented here agreeably reflects the choice of PRism as journal title, permitting PRism to provide a starting point for the refraction of diverse ideas. At this stage publication is anticipated annually, however I hope that readers will take advantage of the discussion features on the host site, PRaxis, to continue the refraction and dialogue process between issues. So researchers, practitioners, students, interested observers, please respond to, critique, or comment on the articles, thereby helping us to display the vibrant and multi-faceted nature of current thought in the PR field.

Elspeth Tilley
PRism Editor

 

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