Research Review

These short features highlight academic research that could be relevant and useful to the news industry. We also hope that this series will spark ideas among academics with an interest in researching the news.

Managing change within news organizations

Although change is inevitable, some innovations are easier for newsrooms to adopt than others. How change fares has much to do with how the innovation is introduced and communicated. In their latest research, assistant professor Brian Ekdale from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa teamed up with professor Jane […]

How social sharing varies by news topic and social platform

What causes some stories to catch fire on social media while others fall flat? Is it determined by indefinable qualities, or are there some elements that can be understood and controlled? According to new academic research published in Journalism Studies, the topic of the news and the social media platform play influential roles in how […]

Readers have mixed feelings about journalists interacting on Facebook

On Facebook, personal storytelling and interaction abound. For journalists, however, these practices seem to breach traditional norms that they should avoid entering the fray. But what about when journalists have Facebook pages? Should journalists engage, as Facebook norms suggest? Or avoid interaction, as traditional journalism norms dictate? New research by Dr. Jayeon Lee, assistant professor […]

How to integrate start-up culture in a traditional news organization

Newsrooms and tech start-ups have much in common. Both are fast-paced, have intellectually curious staff, and strive to stay ahead of the latest developments. But newsrooms also have long-standing routines that govern their day-to-day work and hierarchical management structures that are out-of-step with typical start-up culture. Injecting a bit of start-up ethos into the newsroom […]

Study shows the value of copy editing

Consider the following sentence:  Their may be some mistakes, but we are the ones to place you’re trust with. No news organization would print this sentence, and even the least grammatically sensitive people will be taken aback that I’m starting a blog post with it. But in an age of increasing pressure to push news […]

How best to move forward after newsroom layoffs

The New York Times in December. USA Today in September. Newsroom layoffs, buyouts, and other forms of staff reduction have a near-drumbeat quality. Responding to layoffs can be difficult both for management and staff, depressing morale and increasing feelings of insecurity. At the precise moment when a news organization most needs its staff to be […]

The types of stories and comments that promote comment-section engagement

Want more comments? Look at how you write articles on your site. Articles that describe why they matter to specific groups of people generate more comments than articles that don’t describe how they affect people or that focus on just one person. Want to boost interaction among commenters? Try encouraging commenters to respond to each […]

The journalist as referee: How audiences react when reporters evaluate competing claims

When reporting on competing factual claims, journalists can call foul. Acting as a referee, journalists can analyze which statement squares with the evidence. But should journalists do it? Are audiences better served when journalists take on this role? There are risks in this sort of reporting. Audiences may judge the reporting as biased and come […]

From free to fee: How U.S. dailies decide to use paywalls

Before charging for digital content, doing research seems like good business. It can help publishers learn how particular audiences will react to a transition from free content to paying for content. But a recent study shows that rarely do publishers report doing audience research before making the transition to a paywall. University of Missouri School […]