Transitioning to solutions journalism: One newsroom’s shift to solutions-focused reporting.
Presented at the Future of Journalism 2019 conference, Cardiff, UK, September 12-13
Abstract: Solutions journalism — rigorous news reporting on how people are responding to social problems — has gained much attention in the past five years as newsrooms have looked for innovative ways to increase audience engagement. Several news outlets have launched solutions journalism initiatives. However, oftentimes news outlets separate their solution-focused news coverage from their traditional coverage. In 2018, in a move that was the first of its kind, Alabama’s largest daily newspaper, the Gannett-owned Montgomery Advertiser, executed a complete transformation of its newsroom to focus on enterprise and solutions journalism. To examine its impact, we conducted a multiple-wave survey of the newspaper’s audience before and after the transition and collected community conversations via social media data from Twitter and Facebook. The results were mixed and thus show support for future real-world research in this area. Audience perceptions from the survey data revealed less engagement over time. However, the newspaper saw 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. Other factors, like big news items in the state and a smaller number of solution-oriented stories being published than expected, are discussed.
Cementing Their Heroes: Historical Newspaper Coverage of Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Confederate Monuments
Little, Alexia (Grady M.A.) (Forthcoming). Cementing Their Heroes: Historical Newspaper Coverage of Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Confederate Monuments. Journalism History. Abstract: Following continued conflicts about Confederate monuments in American society, this study explores Civil War memory encapsulated in newspaper coverage of the initial construction and dedication of four Confederate monument. Discourse and narrative analyses of […]
The power of political journalists as deception detectors and how politicians reactivate voters’ truth-default
Abstract: Journalists serve as deception detectors for voters. Sometimes politicians refute journalists’ assertions. How do voters discern whom to believe? Based on cognitive sequences posited by truth-default theory (TDT), experiments tested voters’ reactions to alleged deceptiveness in a political news interview. In Study 1 (N = 209) perceptions of a politician being truthfully or falsely […]