Transitioning to solutions journalism: One newsroom’s shift to solutions-focused reporting.
Abstract: In 2018, Alabama’s largest daily newspaper, the Gannett-owned Montgomery Advertiser, set out to transform its newsroom to focus on enterprise and solutions journalism—rigorous news reporting on how people are responding to social problems, a practice that has gained attention as newsrooms have looked for innovative ways to increase audience engagement. To examine its impact, we conducted a multiple-wave survey of the newspaper’s audience before and after the transition, collected community conversations via social media data from Twitter and Facebook, and reviewed the newspaper’s website analytics. The results were mixed. Audience perceptions from the survey data revealed less engagement over time. However, newspaper analytics revealed an increased number of page views and longer engagement times on their solution-oriented news stories compared to their traditional stories. Sentiment analysis of the social media data showed a significant increase in positive sentiment and significant decrease in negative sentiment. The newspaper’s editor discusses factors that might have contributed to the results and highlights that, although the paper met obstacles, the transition to solutions journalism increased the newspaper’s connection to the community. These findings reinforce that measuring the impact of solutions journalism in a real-world environment is complex and more studies are needed.
Whistleblowers and their faith in journalism: The (d)evolution of trust among the sources that journalists need most
Abstract: Using in-depth interviews conducted with 12 U.S. whistleblowers who contacted the press in the 1970s through the 2010s, this paper examines changing perceptions of the news media and journalists among those who have confided in them and how these views have evolved. I find that trust in individual journalists, more so than in the […]
We are the People: Audience Engagement as Catalyst for Newsroom Unionization?
Abstract: This study explores the tension between management, journalists and their audience around audience engagement with a focus on the role of newsroom unionization. Ethnographic work in three U.S. newsrooms and interviews with 130 journalists, newsroom managers and editors in four newsrooms, shows that audience engagement work encourages unionization and that journalists in already unionized […]