Andrea Hudson and Matt Binford (Ph.D. Candidate) (2023). The visuals of a changing newsroom: Analyzing local coverage of the midterm election in Georgia. Accepted for presentation to the Visual Communication Division of the 2023 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, Murfreesboro.
Abstract:This study looks at local newspaper coverage in Georgia to study the visual content presented on front pages about the 2022 midterm elections. Preliminary results show that local newspapers relied heavily on wire photos and consistent visual frames surrounding election security. Data also pointed to these images being created by predominantly white men despite the diversity present in the candidates and the state.
Ireland Hayes (Undergraduate Journalism major and Karin Assmann’s CURO student) successfully submitted her work in progress to AEJMC’s Community Journalism Division for presentation at this year’s Southeast Colloquium. Her project “Black Holes of Information: The State of Local News in Southeast Georgia” is a case study of a rural Southeast Georgia community located between the Jacksonville, FL and Brunswick, GA designated media areas (DMA). She aims to quantify the dearth in news coverage in this area and to understand how members of this rural community define their specific information needs, if they think those needs are currently being met and how they fill these real and perceived information holes.
Karin Assmann & Eckert, S. (Accepted, 2023) “Are women journalists in leadership changing work conditions and newsroom culture?” Journalism.
Abstract: Using standpoint epistemology and critical mass theory this study analyzes the potential impact on work culture and conditions in German newsrooms following a call for voluntary gender quotas in newsroom leadership. In-depth interviews with 53 journalists in 21 leading newsrooms in Germany find positive changes in work culture and conditions for all journalists in all newsrooms that reached or approached critical mass of women in leadership. Through the eyes of women and men working in these national newsrooms, an increase in women in newsrooms that came near or superseded the voluntary quota in leadership positions helped boost ongoing institutional support regarding paid parental leave and childcare options and augmented transparency around opportunities for mentoring, coaching, and hiring through more institutionalized processes. We recommend a continued implementation of voluntary quotas and further research to document and analyze long-term structural and systemic changes that more women in newsroom leadership could bring.
Karin Assmann. “Whistleblowers and their faith in journalism” has been published (online first) in Journalism Practice and was featured in Mark Coddington and Seth Lewis’ column RQ1 and in the Nieman Lab newsletter.
Abstract: This study explores whistleblowers’ perceptions of the news media as they recall crossing over from the employer’s to journalism’s institutional logic. In-depth interviews conducted with 16 U.S. whistleblowers who contacted journalists from the 1970s through the 2010s, find that trust in individual journalists is a consistent theme. Of all norms, participants most valued source protection and accuracy, followed by a reporter’s expertise and willingness to listen.
Karin Assmann. “Whistleblowers and their faith in journalism,” Journalism Practice (forthcoming).
Abstract: Reporters, to enact their role as watchdogs and their commitment to uncovering corporate or governmental wrongdoing, often must rely on individuals willing to risk their careers and reputations, at times their lives, to expose their employers’ malfeasance. Some whistleblowers turn to the news media to get their messages and stories out. This is often a leap of faith that implies a level of trust in journalists and in their outlet’s adherence to their normative roles. This study explores whistleblowers’ perceptions of the news media as they recall crossing over from the employer’s institutional logic to journalism’s institutional logic. In-depth interviews conducted with 16 U.S. whistleblowers who contacted journalists from the 1970s through the 2010s, find that trust in individual journalists is a consistent theme. Of all norms, participants most valued source protection and accuracy, followed by a reporter’s expertise and willingness to listen. Almost all interviewees lack faith in the impact of today’s press. As austerity measures take hold in newsrooms across the country, this study shines a light, from the source’s perspective, on what will likely be lost if newsrooms neglect beat reporting and overlook the specter of government surveillance and control.
Kyser Lough. “Richer solutions journalism through multi-semiotic news storytelling,” extended abstract accepted for presentation at the 19 Oct 2022 ECREA pre-conference: Constructive Journalism: Where are we now and what are the ways to a better future?, Aarhus Denmark.
Abstract: Today’s news stories rarely resemble what one might find in the news of 100 years ago. Instead of reading a text-heavy story printed in the newspaper, a reader now has a world of still images, video, animation, data visualization and audio to help bring them deeper into the story. Each aspect of this multisemiotic news storytelling (Caple, 2013) offers sensory engagement and a unique contribution to the social construction of the story. My study will deconstruct the multisemiotic news story into its base elements, with a focus on solutions journalism, to better define the contributions each component makes. By applying the various multisemiotic news story elements to the four pillars of solutions journalism (Solutions Journalism Network, 2020), I will cultivate a richer understanding of how each contributes to the social construction of the broader story.
Karen McIntyre, Nicole Dahmen, Kyser Lough, Cathrine Gyldensted and Ulrik Haagerup. Panel debate: Trends and developments in the research in constructive journalism. Networks and future collaboration? Invited panelist for the closing session of the 19 Oct 2022 ECREA pre-conference: “Constructive Journalism: Where are we now and what are the ways to a better future?”, Aarhus Denmark.
Ivanka Pjesivac, Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, Solyee Kim (former PhD student) & Andrea Briscoe (current PhD student) (in press). “360-degree journalism as a gateway to information seeking: The role of enjoyment and spatial presence.” Journalism Practice. Advance online publication: DOI 10.1080/17512786.2022.2059545
Abstract: This study examined the impact of news modality (print news vs. 360° journalism) on psychological mechanisms of information seeking intention, as well as individual differences that moderate the observed outcomes. The results of a two condition between subjects experiment (N = 100) conducted on a community sample showed that news modality affected information seeking intentions, enjoyment of news story, and the feelings of spatial presence, but did not affect actual information seeking behavior and information recall. Exposure to 360° journalism led to the increase in spatial presence, which led to a linear increase in enjoyment, ultimately resulting in greater intentions to seek further information. Participants with a higher need for cognitive closure enjoyed consuming news more when the story was presented as 360° journalism than those with a lower need for cognitive closure. Results contribute to expanding the theories of information seeking and the role of affective responses and spatial presence on news consumption in journalism and communication scholarship.
Laurena Bernabo, “Copaganda and Post-Floyd TVPD: Broadcast Television’s Response to Policing in 2020.” Journal of Communication 72 (4):488-496.
Abstract: After George Floyd was murdered in 2020, U.S. police procedurals faced increased scrutiny with regards to the ideological implications of how police are represented. This genre has historically represented police as the “good guys,” even when they break the rules in their quest for justice, but cop shows face increased public pressure to include more diverse perspectives and stop normalizing brutality. This study examines ten U.S. police procedurals that aired in the 2020–2021 season to investigate how they navigated public calls for police reform. As a cultural forum, contemporary cop shows offered varied narrative strategies and ideological positions as they articulated the problems in modern policing, considered potential solutions for improving policing, and identified impediments to progress. This forum is ultimately quite limited in scope, reinforcing the status quo even as narratives lack resolution.
Janice Hume Earns Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism History – The American Journalism Historians Association Service Awards Committee has honored Janice Hume of the University of Georgia as the 2022 recipient of the Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement, AJHA’s highest honor.