Welcome to the official website of Dr. J. Gregory Payne.

J. Gregory Payne is an Associate Professor in Emerson College's Department of Communication Studies and one of the foremost international experts on the protest rhetoric of Kent State.

Dr. Payne‘s expertise is in political communication, public diplomacy, crisis communication, celebrity/spectacle media events (death of Princess Diana, JFK, Jr., Michael Jackson) and health communication, protest rhetoric, especially the shootings at Kent State.  He has edited the American Behavioral Scientist’s campaign edition for every presidential election since 1988, and is the founding director of the Saudi American Exchange, the first grass roots public diplomacy effort in the wake of 9/11 and honored at the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative.  

He is the past president of the International Academy of Business Disciplines, past Chair of the NCA Political Communication Division, and former Chair of the Communication Studies Dept at Emerson.  He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Health Communication, Tripodos, American Behavioral Scientist and the Journal of Promotion Management.  He is the author of Tom Bradley: The Impossible Dream, Mayday: Kent State, and the play Kent State: A Requiem, has authored academic and popular articles and book chapters for publications worldwide, and has provided commentary for print, electronic and new media nationally and internationally.   

He has consulted with the U.S. State Department, U.S. Dept. of Defense, U.S. Treasury, United Nations, UNICEF, Cities of Los Angeles, Boston, Barcelona, and local, national and international businesses and NGO’s.  He received Outstanding Service Awards from the University of Illinois, Friends of the Emerson Majestic, Aramco, U.S. Treasury, Formula 1, and International Academy of Business Disciplines.  He received the 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Northwest Communication Association.  

He is Director of the Center for Ethics in Political and Health Communication, which he co-founded in 1996. He has taught at Tufts University's Department of Family Medicine.  While Chair of Communication Studies at Emerson College, he began innovative programs including a joint Health Communication program with Tufts School of Medicine, the first joint degree program of its kind in the world, Global Marketing, Marketing Communication and Political Communication. The number of graduate students in the Communication Studies increased from single digits to over 350 during his tenure.  

Dr. Payne advises the Emerson chapter of the Communications, Politics & Law Association (CPLA) that hosts numerous guest speakers, events and trips for students throughout the course of each academic year. 

Current Projects/Activity

Public Diplomacy
The Emerson Election Project
Rediscover Rosarito
Payne Selected for Nation Branding Seminar at NCA 2009
Payne and Emerson Students invited to be Baja Film Advisory members September 2009
Second annual Rosarito Film Festival participamts showcased on Baja TV
Payne to be keynote speaker at Baja Society Meeting

Crisis Communication
Payne invoted to design crisis communication workshop for Rosarito in Fall 2009

September 28, 2009
Payne to present at NCA Chicago October 2009

Payne's proposal for a research-in-progress round table was accepted for discussion at the 2009 NCA Convention in Chicago.

Full program listing:
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September 14, 2009

Rosarito Public Diplomacy Updates

1. Rosarito Baseball Baja trip to the Padres game see:www.rediscoverosarito.org 
Event covered by Veritix Marketing:

The San Diego Padres are supporting “Rediscover Rosarito,” a public affairs project designed to restore the image of Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, as a “safe, secure, convenient location for tourism, retirement, and investment.” As part of the goal of forging a connection between the Padres and the Rosarito community, the team recently hosted eight young residents (13-18 years old) at their ballpark for a day of baseball. “We very much look forward to continuing to develop interest in both the Padres and in our beachside community, which is only 30 miles away from San Diego,” says Hugo Torres, the mayor of Playas de Rosarito. The Rediscover Rosarito project (www.rediscoverosarito.org) was started in 2008 and is led by a graduate student class atEmerson College in Boston. “I was personally excited to have helped build a much-needed bridge between the municipality and the Padres,” says Emerson student Jeffrey Werner. (RS)

2. Students honored at Foxloration film premier

September 11, 2009
Payne Coordinates the 8th Annual 9/11 Vigil

Dr. Payne once again coordinates, along with Sonia Tita-Puopolo, the nations longest running memorial to the victims of 9/11.  The event has since turned into a highly publicized event focusing on bridging cultural barriers and opening up global communication and peacemaking.  Full details in the following release:

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August 21, 2009

Payne spearheads second Rosarito Student Film Fest
Exclusive Behind the Scenes Video!

Official press release from Rosarito:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 AUGUST 20, 2009 
Rosarito Project Teaches 10 Students Filmmaking And Promotes City Image 

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO---Starting Sunday 10 local students will take a six-day filmmaking class led by an Emerson College professor who heads a project dedicated to conveying an accurate picture of the city in the United States.

Public affairs professor Gregory Payne will lead the class with the assistance of Michael McManus, an independent television and film producer. Emerson college students and alumni also participate

Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival, is supplying Panasonic HD cameras, Apple laptops, and other equipment for the local and high school and college students. The LA Program, a private international student exchange, also assists.

Payne and others donate their time for the class and there is no cost to students or to Rosarito. The hotel donates facilities, lodging and food.

During the intensive six-day class students will stay and study at the hosting Rosarito Beach Hotel while completing short films about Rosarito. Those will be shown Sunday evening Aug. 30 at Baja Studios, where Titanic and Master & Commander were filmed.

This is the second year of the project, held in conjunction with Payne’s ongoing class project RediscoveRosarito (website: RediscoveRosarito.org)

“Last year we had a great group of Rosarito students who produced some fine short films conveying the image of the city they know well,” Payne said. “I am excited to be doing it again.”

Rosarito Beach Mayor Hugo Torres is a strong supporter of the projects.

“Dr. Payne through the RediscoveRosarito project and the film project has been a great friend and supporter of Rosarito,” Torres said. “The city is very appreciative of the ongoing efforts of the professor, his colleagues and students.”

Payne, whose family has a vacation home in Rosarito and who has visited the city for years, said he started the RediscoveRosartio project because much of the media coverage he was seeing in the U.S. was not giving an accurate picture of life in area.

He said that much of the coverage of the Mexican government’s crackdown on drug cartels has created the misperception that Rosarito is unsafe for residents and visitors, and has had a devastating effect on the region’s economy.

"Some of the coverage I was seeing in the U.S. was responsible and balanced, especially from media who knew the area best,” he said.

“But a number of stories, including some from large national media outlets, perpetuated an image of the area that simply was not accurate. Sensationalism and simplification too often were the main elements in the reporting."

The RediscoveRosarito website contains a media watch component among other elements.

The project’s mission statement is “to sustain a grassroots, international coalition between students from Emerson College in Boston, local leaders of Rosarito Beach, and others dedicated to restoring the image of Rosarito Beach as a safe, secure, prime location for tourism, retirement and real estate investment.”

“To put it as simply as possible, the overwhelming perception that has been created of Rosarito in the United States is not an accurate one.” Payne said.

“Through the project, we want to bring the perception in line with the reality. Like places everywhere, Rosarito is neither perfect not without problems. But it is an outstanding city and a welcoming one to its many visitors and expatriate residents.”

He added: “Mayor Torres has put some excellent services in place for visitors and foreign residents that you will not find even in major tourist destinations in the United States.”

Payne is an associate professor and former chair of Emerson College's Department of Communication Studies. He is Director of the Center for Ethics in Political and Health Communication, which he co-founded in 1996.

Payne holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is co-author of The Impossible Dream, a biography of former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.

Joining Payne as instructor this year is Michael McManus, who has won a best actor from Campus MovieFest and produced a film that was finalist in national competition. He also is an alumnus of Emerson.

Campus MovieFest, which is supplying equipment, is the only event of its kind to provide Apple laptops, Panasonic HD camcorders, AT&T phones, and training all for free to tens of thousands of students around the globe.

Campus MovieFest President Dan Costa said he is “proud that Campus MovieFest can be a part of a program that encourages students to make a difference, and tell their story through movie making. That’s what CMF is all about.”

Students at more than 50 colleges and universities have one week to create their own short movies, with each school hosting red carpet finales to showcase its top movies. 




August 14, 2009

As the summer continues, Dr. Payne has been continuing his efforts in U.S.-Mexican public diplomacy as a part of his Rediscover Rosarito campaign.  Going on its third year, the program is devoted to restoring the image of Baja California as a safe, affordable place for tourism, real estate, and retirement, amidst a mediated reality of violence perpetuated by U.S. news. 

He has also been working once again with the annual L.A. Program, and is a major advocate of Campus Movie Fest.

Originally created by four students, and now the world's largest student film and music festival, Campus MovieFest is the only event of its kind to provide Apple laptops, Panasonic HD camcorders, AT&T phones, and training all for free to tens of thousands of students around the globe. Students at over 50 colleges and universities have one week to create their own short movies, with each school hosting red carpet finales to showcase its top movies. The best of the best move on to their CMF regional grand finales, which determine the top student teams that move onto the CMF International Grand Finale on the lot of Paramount Studios. Over 250,000 students have participated, earning over $1,000,000 in prizing. Thousands of past movies are available for viewing online at www.campusmoviefest.com, as well as in-flight on Virgin America, on AT&T phones, and at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival.

Last year, students in Rosarito showcased what the Baja means to them as a part of Campus Movie Fest, and this year Dr. Payne is continuing the program with Rosarito and the L.A. program, bridging cultural gaps between U.S. and Mexican students.