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Marina Vujnovic, Ph.D.

Professor

Concentration Director of Strategic Public Relations and Social Media Concentration


Department
Communication
Office
Plangere Center 224
Phone
732-263-5667
Email
mvujnovi@monmouth.edu

Marina Vujnovic, Ph.D.

Dr. Marina Vujnovic is an Associate Professor of
Journalism in the Department of Communication at Monmouth University. Native of
Croatia, Dr. Marina Vujnovic, came to United States in 2003 to pursue her
graduate education in journalism and mass communication. Before coming to
United States she worked as a journalist before becoming a research assistant
at the University of Zagreb. She also worked as a PR practitioner for Cyprian
based PR agency Action Global Communications. She received her MA in
Communication from the University of Northern Iowa, and her PhD at the
University of Iowa in 2008. She is an author of Forging the Bubikopf Nation: Journalism, Gender and Modernity in
Interwar Yugoslavia
, co-author of Participatory
Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers
, and co-editor of Globalizing Cultures:
Theories, Paradigms, Actions. 

Education

Ph. D. in Communication, University of Iowa

M.A. in Communication, University of Northern Iowa

Research Interests

international communication and global flow of information, journalism studies; intersections of public relations and journalism, and explorations of the historical, political-economic and cultural impact on media, class, gender, and ethnicity

Publications

Books

Vujnovic, M. & Kruckeberg, D. (2020). Global Advertising and Public Relations. In Y. R. Kamalipour (Ed.), Global Communication: A Multicultural Perspective, 3rd edition. The Rowan and Littlefield.

Vujnovic, M., & Kruckeberg, D.  (2019).  Digital Media, Journalism, PR and Grassroots Power: Theoretical Perspectives. In A. Adi (Ed.), Protest public relations: Communicating dissent and activism.  New York, NY:  Routledge.  

Vujnovic, M.,
& Kruckeberg, D.  (2017).  In the Bind between Theory and Practice:
Public Relations and Ethics of Neoliberal Global Capitalism.  In B. R. Brunner (Ed.), The moral compass of public relations.  New York, NY: 
Routledge.  

Scholarly Articles

Vujnovic, M. &
Kruckeberg, D. (2016). Pitfalls and promises of transparency in the digital
age. Public Relations Inquiry, 5(2),
121-143.

Additional Information

Listen to Professor Vujnovic’s episode of the Department of Communication’s Professor Profiles Podcast:

Machine Transcript

Nick:

Welcome to a, another edition of we still haven’t come up with a title for this entirely, but a…

Marina:

Faculty profile series.

Nick:

Faculty profile series. I like that quite a bit. I like that quite a bit. I am a Nick Messina specialist professor here in the department of communication here at Monmouth university. Along with my my coworker, Matt Harmon, we are, we’re trying to sit down with everybody in our department, try and get to know them a little bit better and you know, get into a what I like to think of the secret lives. If you will, at the the secret lives of professors

Marina:

That’ll end up being so boring, I’m still

Nick:

By any means. Not by any means. In fact, I don’t think we’ll be bored by any means sitting across from me right now. Dr. Marina, when you Vick associate professor here in the department of communication, she is also the faculty council chair, the author of forging with Bubikopf Nation.

Marina:

Forging.

Nick:

Forging, the Bubikopf Nation. I don’t know why I said with, I have the journalism, gender modality in interwar, Yugoslavia, participatory journalism, guarding open Gates at online newspapers, and most recently global communication, a multicultural perspective. Third edition Marina. Thank you very much for being with us today.

Marina:

Thank you, Nick. My pleasure.

Nick:

Now, like I said, we want to see if we can, you know, get into the backgrounds and get into the backstories of some of the folks here in our department. Now you bring a particularly unique background to the journalism and PR concentration or cluster here in the department being that you are, you are a native of Croatia, correct?

Marina:

Correct.

Nick:

And 2003 is when you came here.

Marina:

Yeah, that’s correct. 2003 to pursue my graduate education.

Nick:

And you were at which university did you study at?

Marina:

I did my masters at university of Northern Iowa. And then I pursued my PhD in journalism and mass comm at university of Iowa. Not that far from university of Northern Iowa, university of Iowa is in Cedar falls and only about an hour and a half South in Iowa city. I did my PhD.

Nick:

Oh, so you weren’t an aims though?

Marina:

No, that’s Iowa state, which is not a excellent school in a Iowa state system, but yeah, I went to university of Iowa.

Nick:

That’s the only one that I’m familiar with at this point. I’ve been there twice, shockingly enough, but

Marina:

That is shocking. Cause I made a lot of people from New Jersey or in this area that go Iowa, Iowa. They’re like, Oh, what?

Nick:

Oh yeah, that’s what we always think. It’s one of the square States in the middle. We’re not exactly sure. A hundred percent

Marina:

Pretty awesome place. I mean, everyone’s heard of Iowa because of the Iowa caucuses, but.

Nick:

Oh, that’s right.

Marina:

It’s not election year. People tend, forget or, or confuse it with Idaho.

Nick:

Oh, that’s unfortunate. If we only have 50 States to remember it shouldn’t be bad. Shouldn’t be that difficult by any means. What kind of transition was that like for you coming from Croatia to, to Iowa to complete your studies?

Marina:

Oh, it was like to say it was rural and more of transition coming from Iowa to New Jersey then from Croatia to Iowa because, you know, I mean I grew up watching American television. Of course Iowa ended up nothing like what you’ve seen friends, you know, for example. But at least, you know, I had some expectations about how different it’s going to be. Certain things were familiar because as I said, you know, from the mass communication TV, et cetera, but you know, other things when you, and I just enjoyed learning, but my expectation for coming from Iowa to New Jersey, it’s just going to be more of the same, you know, it’s America. Right. But the cultural differences of pretty, pretty huge then middle of the country and, and the coasts, I would assume the same with California, although I didn’t spend much time there.

Nick:

It’s funny. You know what, I don’t think that we realize how big of a country we are. So yeah, going it is humongous. You know, I am blown away, blown away, whatever I have to go down South or, or out West, I, I cannot wait to return to the Northeast the majority of the time, but it is important to, to, to get out there. Now you began your career and your studies in journalism, again in Croatia in a essentially in, in newly founded or newly established Croatia,

Nick:

Correct?

Marina:

Yeah, it was really during the tail end of the civil war in former Yugoslavia, Croatia was established in 1990 as a new independent state. And yeah, I started my undergraduate education in 1993.

Nick:

Wow. So really right in the, essentially right in the middle of the night.

Nick:

Yeah. The war sort of ended in 1995 and then you had the, you know, post-war years that were not so fun, but not, it was the war.

Nick:

What made you gravitate towards journalism? You know, kind of being this, we refer to it here, you know, in the United States as being the fourth of state, you know, the, the Watchers of the Watchmen, if you will. Is that what made you gravitate towards the industry and, and towards the career of being a journalist?

Marina:

I mean, I think like most of students undergraduate students, those of home maybe listening to us or, or those who might be actually high school students that are looking to find a program, I fell into journalism sort of accidentally it just in a way beauty of it, you know, you might have some preconceived notions of like what your future might look like. And, you know, I really wanted to study comparative literature and English language because I was the best in my class in English. But then I took a test to qualify for free education because we have a merit test, you know, I actually flunked it. I got accepted to comprehensive literature, but you can start a comparative literature as a major only kind of as a double major. And I just did not have another outlet. So that sort of fell through the cracks.

Marina:

And my mom was like, well, you always like news. And I said, well, you ride at age nine. I actually started doing news clippings and I had a scrap book of news clippings. And I remember like, so vividly this you know, time magazine cover when Indira Gandhi was shot early eight days. And it was an image of her holding her heart in the shape of India. We’d like three holes in it, like bleeding. Oh my God. And I was like so powerful. And so I started to look for like, you know, magazines that will come to our house or at the library and, you know, whatever my neighbors gave me any newspapers. And I found that article interesting or a cartoon or whatever, I would make those clippings. And I did that for years. But even then, I didn’t think of, you know, myself as potential journalists and future.

Marina:

And then during the warm, I remember, you know, when the war started, I was in high school and there were all this interesting stories about, you know, our government and they’re all in the war. And there was this cartoon again, off all of the politicians leaders in former Yugoslavia sitting around a cake and they all sort of with knives, cutting pieces, like who wants, who is going to grab the bigger piece of the cake. And I was really powerful. So yeah, I, I always had sort of interest in this area, but I never made a connection until my mom said, you know, while this is sort of ICU in this area, you argue points really well. And it’s good for journalists. And, you know, I think journalists perform one of the most important roles in society. She said, you know, Marina, we wouldn’t know anything if there wasn’t journalists.

Marina:

And I was like, mom, that this really true. And I, I do see a point. I, I do have interest in that, although I never made it so conscious, you know, and I, I meant I took a test and I was 29 in the country. They’re were accepting 70 students for like tuition-free education. And I remember they, you know, make, make lists public of everybody who got accepted. I pushed for like a crowd of people. And so my name is that accepted and I ran outside and I jumped and I said, I’m going to be a journalist. And there were all this like senior students sort of like, you know, their faces were like, well, shoot. So excited about, you know, like probably before a test or something, you know, standing outside and, you know, that’s, that’s really, you know, made mean to this like passionate journalism student. And yeah, I find that that’s such an important,

Nick:

The story for you to tell us because, you know, sitting with some other folks so far, it’s been, there’s been this common thread of, I was eight. I was nine. I was 10, I was 11 years old. I was playing, you know, pretending to make radio shows, you know, doing cuttings of, of newspapers, pretending to make movies. But I didn’t think that this was actually something that I would wind up doing and pursuing and would be a viable career option. Right. And that’s, that’s, I think is huge, you know, more than anything else there, there’s something in us that we’re going towards, that we’re going towards that more than, yeah.

Marina:

Look at your toy box, exactly what you played the most, that might be, you know, telling you what Mary really interesting.

Nick:

Now we just got to get rid of the iPads first, once they get rid of the iPads, that’s when they can hang into that. Now you’ve done quite a bit of research bout a lot of your, your research is about kind of journalism and subsequently identity in these digital realms. What sort of impact do you see kind of like manifesting as a result of having, you know, almost a generation, two generations almost now of students that grew up in this really don’t know life without the internet don’t know life without living in kind of these digital forums. Do you see any differences maybe in the classroom or?

Marina:

Well, sometimes I’m sort of puzzled. We just students who I am in journalism courses, but they don’t follow news or they get news from social media only. Right. So this idea that somehow, you know, and uses all around and you don’t need to pursue pursue it, you know, knowledge of news or sort of in-depth understanding of news or more in-depth understanding of news courage on particular issues. Also sometimes puzzled that students have difficulty identifying what issues they care. Right. And so I think one of the big roles that I see educators must do is to sort of vacant that understanding of like what the real role of journalism is, right. Importance of journalism in any society, but particularly in democratic societies and also to sort of a vacant, this need to be passionate about at least one issue in the world you would like to know more about.

Marina:

And the more you know about you have a need to tell that story to other people. So the storytelling component and, you know, I don’t blame the students. Like I said, I was pretty unconscious of my own interests and even like what my career goals would be. But you know, I guess my, my goal is my goal is educator to sort of vacant that passion and have them, you know, start pursuing, asking those questions of themselves. Yeah. What, what really is that I cared the most about and then trying to learn about it to a point where you want to tell a story about it,

Nick:

Try to, I try to do the, the exact same thing and, and you’re right. Preface the same way. Yeah. At 19, at 20 years old. Yeah. I, I really didn’t, you know, I won’t say I didn’t care, but I wasn’t paying attention. I, you know, I wasn’t, you know, made informed and it wasn’t until I had a professor who used to make us read the New York times from front to back and I explained it to them now I’m like, after a while it starts to read like a soap opera, like a drama, you learned the good guys or the perceived good guys and bad guys you know, who’s kind of doing what behind who’s back and what kind of repercussions. And then when you start to develop these relationships and you follow these narratives and these plot points yeah. You almost start to think, okay, what is what’s going to happen next? I’m looking forward to the next episode, the next edition I’m, I’m fascinated by it. And again, you know, seeing that spark, you know, kind of light that fire,

Marina:

It was a really fascinating process. And it’s really telling the story of our time in a real time while they are living it, not from a historical perspective, you know, it’s really told and hopefully win in general is doing her job from eyewitness accounts, from perspectives of the regular people who otherwise don’t see themselves as participants in a history. Right. And I think the opportunity for regular people to participate in newest production, which is what most of my books is about the participatory journalism practices in online media and beyond. He’s about this promise with the internet in particular that, you know, people, eye witnesses would have more impact on a news production.

Nick:

Do you find that there’s a a trade-off between that encouraging that participatory nature of journalism and the credibility, the validity of the facts that are being then disseminated?

Marina:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, when my group of scholars from around the world, my friends and my colleagues on via sort of plotting to, to do a, not a project, which would be sort of 10 year, you know, more than 10 years after, you know, started this book 2008 is when you know, that book was done. And so we are sort of looking at the thousand and eight as a time when we were very optimistic. Maybe some are delusional about the promise of participatory journalism or regular people’s participation and contribution that somehow atrial lead to more democracy, you know, that marketplace of ideas, promise, you know, that, you know, the more voices the better, but of course, over the course of the years we’ve seen that the non necessarily pan out. And I don’t think that’s the problem of there, you know, regular people just simply don’t tell the truth or they don’t contribute to the news production in, in a proper way.

Marina:

Right? Yeah. I think it’s more of additional continuous hyper corporatization of the main media, including the social media, the tech giants like Facebook and Google and otters have managed to hijack the democratic process, including the information, including the news. Right. And they’ve allowed it to morph into something that’s not informational nor newsworthy in many instances and more dangerously and not correct. And that’s something that’d be going to try to explore, you know, even in the piece in 2008, I probably, and I think my colleagues would agree. It had the more bleak sort of my friend Davide, who is one of the core others would say, well you’ll pass the mist and I’m optimist. And I’m like, yeah, I guess I’m pessimists. But I looked at things from more of the from more of a political economic perspective and, you know, what was the real impetus for any organization to go, even into participatory journalism, user generated content. And whenever I talk to journalists or editors in various newspapers, they all said they were all the impetus is the competition economic competition advantage, right. It never was truly about democratizing the voice or, you know, getting more people, you know, of course maybe they would market it that way. But in a background, the truth reality was, you know, we have to jump on that bandwagon or otherwise we’ll disappear that, that, that,

Nick:

That post that, you know post-capitalism eater B E N mentality and yeah, the way that it’s subsequently impacted the news. And I guess one of the, one of the questions that I, that I do have, and, and if you, if I met, you know, I did a little research as well. Great. You Brian, I should preface as well. That Marina was one of my fine professors here at Monmouth as well when I was in my master’s program.

Marina:

And Nick was a verified student.

Nick:

Thank You. Thank you, goodness. I hope so. But one of the things that had popped up was After Uh or just before and after Croatia, you know, about 30 years ago now did declare that, I think I saw December of 1990 was when it was voted on. Yeah. Yeah. one of the things that had happened was that, you know saw this rise in nationalism and there are a lot of, you know, you know, you’ve got in that particular area, you’ve got individuals that identify as CRO at and, and Serbian and Bosnian and a Macedonian and all these different and how that’s right. He has an Slavs, of course. Yeah. Wow. I forgot those as well.

Nick:

What sort of juxtaposition do you think might exist between that region of the world 30 years ago? And let’s say being here in the United States today, where we do see so many, you know so much strife, if you will, as a result of the kind of compartmentalization of these groups within the public sphere, all trying to interact in a democratic society,

Marina:

I think, you know, NICU, you mentioned you were my student, you’re a very fine student in my global communication course. This isn’t about me. And in that course, we did discuss you know, very important planetary process called globalization, right? And when you look at the, in research from the past 30 years, when people start to talk about that, or there is such a thing as globalization and some, you know, equated, it made economic expansion of capitalism basically at American model expansion of American influence around the world. So some States simply Americanization and nothing else, but certainly, you know, not to get into theory too much, there is something evidently going on. And I think that fall off Yugoslavia to say that way was in part a victim of this process of globalization that perhaps started you know, right after the second world war, as you know, America started to expand its influence around the world.

Marina:

And for that influence, you had, you know cultural sort of what we call imperialism, you know, massive amounts of exporting culture, which wasn’t just, you know, sort of accidental accidentally the exported because we have the means, but also policies and other ways in which you know, countries have signed contracts with Americans for record industry, from record industry to films, to other things. I mean, there is a great number of books and literature out there that does a remarkable job at explaining that to us. So in that process, I think, you know, he goes, Slavia just fell a victim because it was sort of a mixed economy model between capitalism and socialism and politicians sort of in the grab for, in a process of you know, transplanting a new economic model relied on what they knew the best that would work the best, which is you know, nationalist, ideologists, you know, how do you succeed is you divide the people and you’ll rise to the top.

Marina:

And you had that, you know, sort of a bloody war going forward. And so I think that how we could perhaps see this whole processes you know, globalization had a promise of, you know, homogeneity to cultural homogeneity. People will be most similar. Therefore there will be no reason to fight or anything, but what we’ve seen is, you know, problems around lack of resources economic decisions that, you know, make poor countries sometimes even more poor and more dependent. And auto cases, you know, globalization has led to some advancement to certain countries like Taiwan and others. But in most cases it kept low, low wages, poor conditions and environmental issues persistent. And in addition to, you know, bringing new factories and no regulations, that the fact that negatively in many, many countries in the world.

Marina:

So even though the story isn’t, you know, just like worldwide, you know I think that what you’re seeing is somewhat of a backlash towards the globalization and that sort of unity and one globe, one nation, one, you know culture, global culture and you know, backlash always happens when people feel sort of betrayed by, you know, you have, you know, even people in divest like in UK, you know, people felt that they were betrayed in a process in America, you know, today just heard on the news of a closure of a GM factory, you know, HIO, that was a huge, you know, people across the country felt betrayed and coupled with the 2008 global economic crisis, which additionally confirmed that, you know, it’s mostly those on the top 1% that are getting, you know, richer for whom you know, the trade markets really work.

Marina:

And, but for the rest of the people, you know, there’s still, probably in the same the age that they were in late nineties or early two thousands, like in the last 20 years, nothing much changed for them. In fact, the change that is coming is potentially loss of jobs and, and security that they’ve had. And I think in that environment, when you certainly fighting, you know, like 99%, if you use that, you know, analogy 99% of on from the occupy wall street and 99% is fighting for, you know, to look at that cake cartoon. And I kind of started today, you know, fighting for a muffin sized cake. And then 1% has, you know, a gigantic, you know, 20 foot by 20 foot cake, she can finish, right. No matter how, how much they ate they cannot finish it. And I think that’s, that’s, what’s causing some of this potential on your most is, and blame and nationalism and all this things that Canada, you know, and usually do end up bad. Yeah.

Nick:

Yeah. Nice call back on the cake thing, by the way, that was very well done rather than Oh my goodness. You know what, I, I know that I can sit here and because I know that I’ve got more things that I could talk to you about then time would persist. So rather than necessarily ending on the idea of that as a result of potentially failed globalization, we’re just going to keep on going through the muck A little, A little, you know, easy sometimes, but what, what are you reading right now? What are you watching? Is there anything, you know, at the end of the day, once we, you know, once we go home and we’re finished talking about globalization and, you know public spheres and whatnot, what is it that that you’re entertaining yourself with right now,

Marina:

Currently I’m, binge-watching with my husband, a Spanish show called money heist on Netflix, and it’s fabulous. It is connected to sort of idea of stealing from the rich Scott kind of has Robin Houdin, you know, elements to it, but I think is also connected to the 2008 great depression. And it’s very well done. Very interesting keeps you on the edge of your seat and I’m really enjoying it to be into third season and the force isn’t, it hasn’t been made yet, but I hope they will make a fourth season. Oh, it’s so that’s what I’m doing. You know, many calls my computer and try to, you know remove from here loves spending time with my four-year-old daughter

Nick:

Four already, my goodness,

Marina:

Four year olds, a lot of fun. All this sometimes can be very frustrating, but most of the time, really, really fun. And as far as my sort of research is concerned sort of thinking, and maybe that’s a result of my aging that I’m more and more think about my childhood and how I grew up. And I’m thinking of sort of in a broad strokes about a project on everyday life in Yugoslavia, in particularly Pru looking through media and music and film and how not only was portrayed, even though absolutely, we cannot reduce the experiences of people to how they’re portrayed in the popular culture. So th the book would be in sense historical and might include interviews with people. The one thing that you know, is now a really interesting phenomenon in, in a former Yugoslavian States is you’re going to stall JEA or soldier for, you know, times that, that people feel has been lost.

Marina:

And, and what is even a more interesting phenomenon is that people who have been born after the fall of Yugoslavia feel nostalgic for those times. And so that phenomenon really interests me and would love to maybe go on a sabbatical, do some interviews and research. And I parallel leave with that, see a documentary emerging. I am no expert in documentary making, but I have sort of ideas and images that, you know, could very well be told in, in a documentary forum and would look forward to maybe learn and work with a group or get a grant to, to do something like that. So that’s my sort of a large tenure project that I would like to embark as soon as I’m done with the faculty council. Chairing Mitch takes a lot of my time. It’s my pleasure to serve the faculty in that capacity, but it is a very time consuming.

Nick:

You are a strong and powerful presence and voice for us down there. And I know that, you know, while most of us, and I’m sure, you know, across campus and department, while we complained to, you know, we don’t say, thank you nearly enough. So so thank you for doing that. Dr. Marina, [inaudible] associate professor, she winced as I, as I butchered that, but I’m so sorry. She’s affectionately known as Dr. V you know, by all the students. So we’ll go with that. Dr. V a associate professor of communication here at Monmouth university. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today. Thank you, Nick photo virginity now, right. Folks make sure you you check out the rest of the interviews and profiles that myself and my colleague, Matt Harmon are doing here with our co-workers and the faculty and staff of the communication department at Monmouth University. We’ll see you for another episode soon. Bye bye.

Courses

Frequently Taught Classes

  • Co-Curricular Practicum in Journalism (CO 264)
  • Communication Comprehensive Exam (CO CPE)
  • Communication Project (CO 694)
  • Communication Project Proposal (CO 693)
  • First Year Seminar (FY 101)
  • Global Communication (CO 250, CO 510)
  • Global Communication and Public Relations (CO 510)
  • Multimedia Journalism (CO 333)
  • Online Journalism (CO 333)
  • Research Methods for Professional Life (CO 502)
  • Research Methods in Communication and Mass Media (CO 502)
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