News and Calendar of Events

Read the latest MCJ news on the Arts and Humanities blog here.

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Department Annual Events and Celebrations


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CineCulture is a film series offered as a three-unit academic course in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. CineCulture provides a service to the Fresno State campus students, faculty and staff, and community. Everyone is welcome to attend.

CineCulture is also a campus club. The CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions. Dr. Denni Blum, formerly of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, founded CineCulture Club in Fall 2004 as a student club. It was awarded the title of Outstanding Cultural Event at Fresno State in 2007.

The Fresno State CineCulture Series kicks off its fall 2017 lineup of film screenings with “The Eagle Huntress” at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1.

Most CineCulture screenings are at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays during the fall semester in the Peters Education Center Auditorium (5010 N. Woodrow Ave. in the Student Recreation Center). Some screenings are held with Fresno Filmworks at Tower Theatre (815 E. Olive Ave.). See the full list below.

All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays. The Fresno Filmworks screenings are $10 general admission, and $8 for students and seniors.

Oct. 20: “Frame by Frame” (2015)

  • Discussant: Farzana Wahidy, photographer featured in the film
  • Co-Sponsors: Department of Art and Design, Center for Creativity and the Arts, Asian Pacific Islander Programs and Services at Fresno State, Department of Communication, and Cross Cultural and Gender Center
  • In Dari and English with English subtitles, 85 minutes

After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime, four Afghan photojournalists face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own. Under Taliban rule it was a crime to take a photo. After the Taliban fell from power in 2001, a fledgling free press emerges and a photography revolution is born. Now, as foreign troops and media withdraw, Afghanistan is left to stand on its own, and so are its journalists. Set in modern Afghanistan bursting with color and character, “Frame by Frame” follows four Afghan photojournalists as they navigate an emerging and dangerous media landscape – reframing Afghanistan for the world and for themselves. Through cinema vérité, intimate interviews, powerful photojournalism, and never-before-seen archival footage shot in secret during the Taliban regime, the film connects audiences with four photojournalists in the pursuit of the truth.

Oct. 27: “Nowhere to Hide” (2016)

  • Discussant: Zaradasht Ahmed, director and writer
  • Co-Sponsors: Center for Creativity and the Arts, Peace Fresno
  • In Arabic with English subtitles, 86 minutes

Nowhere to Hide is an immersive and uncompromising first-hand reflection of the resilience and fortitude of a male nurse working and raising his children in Jalawla, Iraq, an increasingly dangerous and inaccessible part of the world. While US troops withdraw from Iraq in 2011, director Zaradasht Ahmed gives Nori Sharif a camera and teaches him how to use it, asking him to capture the reality of life in his community and the hospital where he works. For the next five years, Nori films life around him, but the population — including the majority of the hospital staff—flees when the Iraqi army pulls out of his city in 2013 because of intensifying militant activity. Sharif is one of the few who remain. When the Sunni militias and the Islamic State advance on Jalawla in 2014 and finally take over the city, Sharif continues to film. However, he now faces a crucial dilemma: should he stay and dedicate himself to treating those he vowed to help, or should he leave to protect his family and become one of thousands of internally displaced people in Iraq? Winner of the 2017 Nestor Almendros award for courage in filmmaking and 2016 IDFA Winner for Best Feature-Length Documentary.

Nov. 3: “Menashe” (2017)

  • Discussant: Joshua Weinstein, director
  • Co-Sponsor: Jewish Studies Program and the Jewish Studies Association
  • In Yiddish and English with English subtitles, 82 minutes.

Deep in the heart of New York’s ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, “Menashe,” a kind, hapless grocery store clerk, struggles to make ends meet and responsibly parent his young son, Rieven, following his wife Leah’s death. Tradition prohibits Menashe from raising his son alone, so Rieven’s strict uncle adopts him, leaving Menashe heartbroken. Meanwhile, though Menashe seems to bungle every challenge in his path, his rabbi grants him one special week with Rieven before Leah’s memorial. It is his chance to prove himself a suitable man of faith and a responsible father, and restore respect among his doubters.

Nov. 10-12: (10-10 Veteran’s Day) Filmworks/Festival

Nov. 17: “Footnotes (Sur quel pied danser…)” 2016

  • Discussants: Paul Calori and Kostia Testut, co-directors/writers)
  • Co-Sponsors: The French Program and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Inspired by the films of French filmmaker and lyricist Jacques Demy (“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”) and American film director and choreographer Stanley Donen (“Singing in the Rain”), “Footnotes” by French directors Paul Calori and Kostia Testut, is a whimsical musical comedy. The film tells the story of Julie a young woman who might land a steady job in a luxury shoe factory. The film’s original French title is “Sur quel pied danser…” meaning literally “On which foot should I dance?” or in other words: “What should I do?  Which side should I be on?” The shoe factory could close and its jobs sent overseas. Julie has to decide between her livelihood and her life. Will she stand with her striking coworkers or follow her boss? What is more important: a permanent job or her future? No spoiler alert here: you will have to come and see “Footnotes” with its fun choreography and inspiring songs.

Nov. 22-24: Thanksgiving – no films

Dec. 1: “Evolution of Organic” (2016)

  • Discussant: Mark Kitchell, director
  • Several local organic Central Valley farmers are featured in the film, including our own Tom Willey and David “Mas” Masomoto. 77 minutes

Directed by Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties,” “A Fierce Green Fire”), “Evolution of Organic” is the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the organic movement in California. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters reject chemical farming and set out to explore organic alternatives. It is a heartfelt journey of change: from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has gone mainstream, split between an industry oriented toward bringing organic to all people and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture. It is the most popular and successful outgrowth of the environmental impulse of the last fifty years. “Evolution of Organic” is not just history, but also a look into an exciting and critical future.

Dec. 8: Filmworks: To be announced

CineCulture is a film series provided as a service to Fresno State students, faculty and staff and the community. CineCulture is also offered as a three-unit academic course (MCJ 179) in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department.

The CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions. Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.

For more information, contact Dr. Mary Husain, professor and club adviser, at, or visit the CineCulture website.

Celebration of Graduates

Media, Communications & Journalism Celebration of Graduates
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 | Satellite Student Union | 5-7 p.m.

The MCJ Department Spring 2018 Celebration of Graduates ceremony will include its MCJ Showcase of Excellence.

Gruner Journalism Awards Banquet

GrunerAwardPhotoThe George F. Gruner Awards for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism annually recognize outstanding community service in newspaper journalism in the central San Joaquin Valley. The awards, which honor Mr. Gruner, a former executive editor of The Fresno Bee, rank among the top journalism honors in the state.

The McClatchy Company established the Gruner awards in 1989. The Department of Media, Communications and Journalism administers the competition and co-hosts the awards banquet with The Fresno Bee, which provides a grant to make the awards possible. The banquet takes place each April.

The MCJ department conducts the contest by selecting a three-judge panel and a fourth, nonvoting judging coordinator. Veteran outside newspaper journalists comprise the panel. Up to one award is given in each of the following categories: weekly newspapers; daily newspapers under 50,000 circulation; and daily newspapers over 50,000 circulation. A fourth “at large” award is sometimes also given. Winners receive cash prizes.

About Mr. Gruner

George F. Gruner retired in April 1988 after a career in journalism covering 46 years, including 33 years on the news staff of The Fresno Bee. Before joining The Bee, he worked for 10 years as a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and two years as a copy editor on the civilian staff of the European Edition of The Stars and Stripes, the armed services newspaper published in Germany.

After a year on the copy desk at The Fresno Bee, Gruner was named assistant city editor in 1956 and city editor in 1961. He served as assistant managing editor in 1970, became managing editor in 1971 and executive editor in 1981.

Gruner was a figure in a Freedom of the Press issue in 1976 when, as a member of the “Fresno Four,” he was jailed for contempt of court for refusing a judge's order to reveal a confidential source of information used in The Fresno Bee's news stories concerning a city official. He and three other members of The Bee's staff refused to reveal the source and spent 15 days in custody before being released. The “Fresno Four” received wide support from journalists and many other individuals and organizations throughout the United States for upholding the right to maintain confidential sources.

Since his retirement, Gruner has written two books, a history of the battleship USS California and another on the coastal passenger liners Yale and Harvard.

Hall of Fame Induction

The 2017 MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the MCJ TV Studio -- SA 172. Please email Jan Edwards for more information -- 

Visit the Alumni Link to view our MCJ Hall of Fame Inductees.  

Kappa Tau Alpha Induction

Kappa Tau Alpha is the only journalism/mass communication society recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies.

KTA is the seventh oldest national honor society and was founded at the University of Missouri in 1910.

There are over 93 KTA chapters in colleges and universities throughout the country, including the Dayle Molen chapter at California State University, Fresno.

Membership must be earned by excellence in academic work. Only those students who rank in the top 10 percent of their classes are considered for membership. 


During some spring semesters the public relations students in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department host MCJ Day.

MCJ Day is designed to celebrate the Department's five options and connect current students with alumni. Guest speakers and panelists provide professional development, and networking opportunities are available.   

Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposium

Periodically the MCJ Department will host Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposia. These events bring in top-notch national and international journalists to share with the campus and broader community about important issues of the day. The Roger Tatarian Journalism Chair coordinates the symposia. 

War Veteran's Oral History Project

Dr. Gary Rice, MCJ professor of print journalism, started the War Veterans’ Oral History Project in 2009-2010 and is the director of the project. The project gives veterans an opportunity to preserve their stories in their own words while students learn history from the people who made it. MCJ journalism lecturer Alice Daniel is the co-director.

Gary Rice and Alice Daniel

In the fall 2010 semester, students conducted more than 80 interviews. This was the second semester for the project. The new interviews will be added to the first group, already cataloged and available to scholars, researchers and the public in the library's Special Collections Research Center.

Interviews with more than 50 veterans of conflicts from World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan were presented on Dec. 9, 2010 to the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno as part of the Central California War Veterans’ Oral History Project.

The veterans and the 28 mass communication and journalism students of Dr. Gary Rice's class who interviewed them were honored at a reception in the Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room of the library.

At the ceremony, Charlie Waters, state judge advocate of the American Legion, praised the project for bringing together veterans and students.

Charlie Waters

The project will continue in 2011, involving mass communication students as well as 15 students from the Smittcamp Family Honors College.

The oral histories — transcripts and audio recordings that meet accepted historical standards and guidelines — will be kept permanently in a special collection at the library.

Veterans include survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Battle of the 


Bulge and a bomber crew member, who was one of the first Americans to fly against a German-built jet during World War II. Other interviews are with former prisoners of war; participants in Korean War events like the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge and the POW riots at Koje-do; a Vietnam War bugler and soldiers involved in fierce fighting during the Tet Offensive; and several recent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

“Every veteran has a story to tell, and our students are doing their part to ensure the stories get told,” Rice said. 

Scholarship Reception

The Department of Mass Communication & Journalism will host its 15th Annual Scholarship Reception in conjunction with the MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame event on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the MCJ TV Studio -- SA 172.

For more information the reception or scholarships, contact Prof. Betsy Hays, MCJ Scholarship Chair, at