Recognized as an Innovative Journalism Educator

MediaShift published its EducationShift20 list, which honors innovative journalism educators. As the announcement states: After receiving numerous nominations from our audience and voting as a MediaShift staff, EducationShift is thrilled to honor the inaugural EducationShift20 with a list that includes journalism faculty at college and high school levels, as well as educators affiliated with various organizations. These…

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…

Pulling Back the Curtain on Personalization Algorithms

Algorithms are everywhere. They power social media sites like Facebook, search engines like Google and increasingly digital news outlets that want to show users more of what they like and less of what they don’t. Algorithms rarely get attention, except for when they are in the news for allegedly having a left-leaning bias or other…

Studying Student Civic Engagement in an Election Year

As the high-stakes 2020 U.S. presidential election approaches, the political conversation on social media will continue to intensify. But if recent research is any indication, many young people will stay on the sidelines rather than contribute to the political conversation. And that’s a problem for civic life given the importance of social media as a…

Teaching Analytics in the Classroom and Newsroom

Recently, I wrote about the rise of engagement editors at news outlets across the country. These hybrid positions (part editorial, part business) typically include social media and SEO strategy, examining analytics and strategizing with top editors about other ways to engage audiences. I spoke with engagement editors from The Washington Post, Fortune, The Hill, The Center…

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…