PhD in Mass Communication
University of Minnesota
MS in Mass Communication
Florida International University
BA in Journalism
University of Minnesota
I am an Associate Professor in the Journalism Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of journalism and technology, with a focus on the reconfiguration of journalism in a changing media environment and the development of digital research methods for social scientists.
My research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including New Media & Society, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Digital Journalism, and The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. I am a recipient of AEJMC’s Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award, and have been a finalist for the ICA Gene Burd Dissertation Award and Digital Journalism’s Article Of The Year award. I am a Faculty Associate of UMass’ Computational Social Science Institute and a Faculty Affiliate of its Department of Communication.
My teaching includes both conceptually-oriented and skills-oriented courses, ranging from a broad overview of journalism to data-oriented journalistic practices. I am currently teaching or have recently taught Data-Driven Storytelling, Introduction to Journalism, International Journalism, Content Analysis, and Introduction to Visual Storytelling. I am a former Lilly Teaching Fellow and FlexLearning Fellow, recipient of UMass’ College Outstanding Teaching Award, and finalist for the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
I hold a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota, an M.S. in Mass Communication from Florida International University, and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.
News is the result of news production, a set of epistemic processes for developing knowledge about current events or issues that draw upon a range of newsgathering techniques and formatting choices with the objective of yielding a publishable and distributable product designed to inform others. That process, however, has changed considerably over time and in parallel to broader economic, political, professional, social, and technological changes. Such changes have required scholars to revisit different theories that help explain how news is produced and with what consequences. Whereas the field of journalism studies draws on a rich history of multidisciplinary theorizing, epistemologies of journalism have received increased attention in recent years. An epistemological lens allows scholars to examine the production, articulation, justification, and use of knowledge within the social context of digital journalism. This article presents an analytic matrix of 10 dimensions—the epistemologies of journalism matrix—that helps scholars examine different forms of journalism through an epistemological lens. The matrix is appled to four emerging forms of journalism (participatory journalism, live blogging, data journalism, and automated journalism), demonstrating that digital journalism and news production are becoming even more heterogeneous in terms of their implicated entities, cultures and methods, and positionality in relation to matters of knowledge and authority. In short, history has shown that news production will continue to evolve, and an epistemological lens affords scholars a useful and adaptable approach for understanding the implications of those changes to the production of knowledge about news.
This book is designed to help us understand the many changes to U.S. journalism and imagine new futures for it – futures in which it can serve as an even more useful tool for promoting a well-functioning society. But, before we can imagine new futures, we must take a step back and examine the institution of U.S. journalism through a critical and in-depth lens. This book aims to offer just that. It provides a conceptual foundation for understanding the development, logic, and practice of journalism in the United States; describes some of the key challenges, tensions, and opportunities it has faced, is facing, and will likely face; and offers guidance to help individuals develop the skills needed engage in impactful journalism.
International journalism is crucial to our understanding of the world beyond our own borders. This book is designed to explain key theories and concepts that allow us to understand the general practice of journalism around the world, and to illustrate some of the challenges that arise from practicing journalism in those contexts. It begins by providing a theoretical foundation that helps us understand why international journalism matters and the key forces that shape what it looks like; highlights some of the key challenges to bearing witness to developments, sourcing information, and simply doing ’the job’ of journalism; and describes important similarities and differences in how journalism is imagined and performed in different regions of the world.
As journalism undergoes widespread changes, it finds itself in a “new normal.” Research seeking to understand these changes by surveying journalists faces new methodological hurdles that span different stages of the survey process. This article identifies the key contemporary challenges when it comes to sampling, instrument design, and distribution. Best research practices in identifying a target population, sampling, selecting or developing measures, and maximizing the likelihood of participation are presented and discussed. Advice is also offered to help peer reviewers identify common shortcomings in surveys of journalists and encourage authors to engage with the limitations of their work.
This book is designed to help aspiring data journalists understand the key concepts associated with data-driven storytelling and begin using R, a data science tool, to make sense of real-world data. The book begins by explaining the role that data can play in journalism and describing different data formats that journalists regularly encounter. Then, it offers a gentle introduction to R, explaining how the tool works and offering hands-on tutorials that show how it can be used in a journalistic way. The book then offers some tips on how to find datasets, incorporate humans into data-driven stories, and produce stories through different kinds of narrative structures. The book concludes with a primer on graphic design and by offering hands-on tutorials on how to use different data visualization tools to product journalistic visualizations.