Frank Luther Mott - Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism & Mass Communication Research Award

Named in honor of Frank Luther Mott, Pulitzer Prize winner, educator and long-time leader of Kappa Tau Alpha, the award is made for the best research-based book about journalism or mass communication published each year.

Kappa Tau Alpha, the national college honor society founded in 1910 for scholarship in journalism and mass communication, has recognized research contributions to the field since the inauguration of the award in 1944. The winning author receives a $1000 prize.

Entries are judged by a panel of university professors of journalism and mass communication and national officers of Kappa Tau Alpha.

Matthew Hindman’s The Internet Trap: How the Digital Economy Builds Monopolies and Undermines Democracy is the winner of the Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award for the best book on journalism and mass communication based on original research published in 2018.

Hindman’s book explains the political economy of the internet, particularly the dominance of Google and Facebook and the impact on journalism and the public sphere. The book also provides helpful insights for news organizations using digital media, said Holly Hall, national president of Kappa Tau Alpha and a contest judge.

“The work was a remarkable debunking of our assumptions of dynamics such as how web traffic works,” said Hall, associate professor of strategic communication at Arkansas State University. “Overall, this is a useful guide/treatise for understanding the nature of the internet and the importance of our choices as we use and regulate it.”

Hindman is associate professor of media and public affairs at The George Washington University. The book is published by Princeton Press. The award is to be presented at the August 2019 AEJMC conference in Toronto.

The award is in honor of Mott, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, educator and longtime leader of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national college honor society for journalism and mass communication. The competition has been held annually since 1944.

Other finalists were Melita M. Garza for They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representations of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression (University of Texas Press); Matthew Pressman for On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News (Harvard University Press); and Ronald R. Rodgers for The Struggle for the Soul of Journalism: The Pulpit Versus the Press 1833-1923 (University of Missouri Press).

Books with a 2019 copyright will be received until Dec. 9, 2019. Books with a 2019 copyright received after the entry deadline may be accepted if arrangements are made prior to the deadline.

Revised editions previously entered, edited volumes (i.e., collected works by several authors) and textbooks are not eligible. Paperback editions are acceptable. To enter, send six copies to:

Dr. Beverly Horvit
KTA Executive Director
School of Journalism
76 Gannett Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211-1200

For further information, write, phone (573) 882-7685 or e-mail (

Click for a list of previous winners.

The Internet Trap wins Mott/ KTA book award