In my first year of study for my Masters of Arts in Journalism from the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism., I have explored existing research in audience building, community engagement, and how relationships develop between individuals and institutions. My second year of study will focus on my graduate thesis research and developing a news literacy game.
My graduate thesis research, conducted under the direction of Dr. Tracy Everbach, applies theories from human-interaction design to evaluate the relationship between journalists and readers to investigate how to increase engagement between the two groups and build stronger communities.
Engagement is more than crafting witty tweets or timing Facebook posts to beat an algorithm. It is a conversation with readers that is crucial to the advancement of journalism. It requires thoughtful messaging that examines what readers need to know, what they don’t know and what they have to share with the newsroom. Effective engagement requires putting the needs of readers first — including asking on which platforms they are already having a conversation.
My research, grounded in functionalism and the dual-responsibility model, examines the so-called third wave of public journalism in the United States. I am conducting research in how different newsrooms across the country are approaching engagement and if it is an effective way of building stronger, democratic, more equitable communities.