A Plethora of Podcast Projects

I’ve been an avid podcast listener for years. Recently, I decided it was time to up my podcast game. I wanted in on the fun. So I attended the 2020 Transom Traveling workshop in Seattle. In the months since that training I’ve been involved in a range of podcast projects. Most notably, I host and…

A Face for Radio, a Voice for Print

The title of this post is intentionally blunt. Frankly, it’s cruel. But these types of digs — you’re not attractive enough to be on television; your voice isn’t good enough to be on radio — are all too common in journalism. Over the next year (or more), I’m setting out to write a book (with…

Teaching and Researching Audience Analytics

I’ve thought about audience analytics a lot over the last few years. I helped created a course at Towson University called Media Audiences & Analytics in which students learn basic concepts and principles of audience measurement in advertising, public relations, and journalism. The course reviews major analytics tools and platforms for website, search, and social…

Investigating the Impact of Journalism

How should journalists define, measure and discuss impact? It’s a question I’ve spent much of the past several years thinking about, reading about and — most recently — writing about. My first attempt to answer the question came in a journal article I co-authored, “What Can Nonprofit Journalists Actually do for Democracy?,” that examines how…

How to Fight Fake News and Misinformation

In the months since the fake news epidemic garnered national attention, much of the news coverage has been on how Facebook and other media/tech companies can change their algorithms or encourage crowdsourcing to help stop the spread of bogus information. That’s certainly a major component of combating fake news, defined here as wholly false news…

Studying Student Civic Engagement in Election Years

If the 2020 U.S. presidential election was like previous cycles, plenty of young people scanned political news on social media but didn’t contribute to the political conversation. And that’s a problem for civic life given the importance of social media as a place for political expression. Research I co-authored about the 2018 election cycle,  “Shouting…

Explaining the Role of Engagement Editors

What exactly is an engagement editor? I’ve wondered that for some time as I saw job ads with a title that sounded both vague and very of-the-moment. To find out the answer, I spoke with engagement editors from The Washington Post, Fortune, The Hill, The Center for Public Integrity and Engadget — and one former…

College Basketball & Broadcast Production Behind the Scenes

Last month in Chicago I covered one of my favorite sporting events: the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament. While almost everyone else I know doesn’t get a full case of March Madness until the NCAA Tournament begins, I get the fever a week earlier. During the third day of the tournament, I followed the producers,…

Teaching a Multimedia Reporting Course

One of my favorite comments to students is “show your work.” Not in a math way, but the same concepts apply. Journalists are used to showing audiences the final product, completely reported and edited and designed to perfection. Another philosophy — one that I subscribe to and explained succinctly in the popular book by Austin…

An Emerging Health Literacy Partnership

This summer, the University of Maryland and several high schools in neighboring Prince George’s County are partnering on a proposed project called ScienceBEAT, “an interdisciplinary writing initiative that supports core writing objectives for information texts as it enhances literacy in science, health and technology.” The proposed grant, to be submitted in August to the U.S….

Teaching at Towson

I’m excited to announce that I have accepted an offer to join Towson University’s Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies in August 2014 as a visiting assistant professor of journalism and new media. I will be teaching research methods this fall to undergraduates in the department.

Addressing Fellow 2014 UMD Graduates

As one of two graduating doctoral students, I was honored to address Philip Merrill College of Journalism graduates and their families at the 2014 Commencement ceremony on May 22. As I noted during my speech, I had the pleasure of teaching 22 undergraduates (including Nick Munson, pictured below) earning their degrees and working with many…

Dissertation Defended

On March 31, 2014, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation, “How Students Access, Filter and Evaluate Digital News: Choices That Shape What They Consume and the Implications for News Literacy Education.” You can read the full dissertation here. From the dissertation Abstract: Being an informed citizen in the digital age requires the ability to sift…

Examining Press Coverage of Donald Sterling

As a reporter for The Los Angeles Times in the mid-2000s, I recalled reading in the paper’s sports pages about Donald Sterling’s miserable on-court product.  But the longtime Los Angeles Clipper owners’ off-court legal battles? Those seemed to attract less press attention. In the wake of this spring’s Sterling saga, I wrote a piece for…

The Dream of the ’90s is Alive in Research

Coming this fall, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media is publishing my article, “Building Buzz and Episodes with Bite-Sized Content: Portlandia’s Formula for Turning a Video Project into a Television Series.” Using interviews and an analysis of the program’s structure and content, this case study explores how Portlandia was created and promoted in a…