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.

Natalia Roudakova’s Losing Pravda: Ethics and the Press in Post-Truth Russia is the winner of this year’s Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award. The award honors the best book on journalism and mass communication based on original research published in 2017.

Roudakova draws upon moral and political theory, as well as ethnographic fieldwork in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, to explain and evaluate journalism practices in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

“Roudakova presents a challenge to both the traditional Cold War, oversimplified view of the Soviet-era press and the transformation and the privatization she claims ‘prostituted’ journalists as they lost status and had financial dependency upon owners,” said Jeff Fruit, president of Kappa Tau Alpha and a contest judge.

As Roudakova examines ethics in journalism in the context of truth-telling and truthseeking, her book is relevant in considering challenges to the role of journalism in the United States as its economic model has been disrupted and its legitimacy challenged, Fruit said.

Roudakova is a cultural anthropologist working in political communication and comparative media studies. The book was published by Cambridge University Press.

The award is in honor of Mott, Pulitzer Prize-winner, 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 Michael Clay Carey for The News Untold: Community Journalism and the Failure to Confront Poverty in Appalachia; Julia Guarneri for Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans; Aynne Kokas for Hollywood Made in China; and Michael McCluskey, News Framing of School Shootings.

Books with a 2018 copyright will be received until Dec. 9, 2018. Books with a 2018 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.