My solo-authored research paper, A Digital Juggling Act: New Media’s Impact on the Responsibilities of Local Television Reporters, was published in the Electronic News journal. The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard included the research in its monthly round-up of digital and social media research.
This study focuses on the concept of “journalism as process” and creates a framework to view social media’s impact on local television reporters’ responsibilities. Budding journalists entering the field, or those trying to stay relevant in their jobs, will have to be able to assume a range of job responsibilities in the evolving media landscape.
Through in-depth interviews with reporters and direct observation at a television station in a medium-sized market, the research reveals reporters’ tasks and work routines are evolving in three areas: dissemination, newsgathering, and the relationship with the audience.
Study participants expected new media to impact their dissemination process, ramping up job demands as they produce content for multiple platforms. However, they never anticipated new media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, would be so useful in the newsgathering process. In addition, the research details how the shifting relationship with audience has affected reporters’ responsibilities.
Lessons learned from this research are helpful to others in the industry and journalism educators.