My research examines issues of power in the application of news myth to perpetuate and secure racialized explanations of perceived social disorder. I am also interested in how journalists form collective boundaries and this assists in news as an ideological tool of and for dominant ideology. In this work, I blend participatory and ethnographic approaches with qualitative textual and discourse analysis to examine news practices and texts through critical and cultural lenses.
Within the field of journalism studies, therefore, my research agenda holds three aims: 1) to examine the role of journalists within an ideological, interpretive community – particularly in terms of expressing narratives of race and geography; 2) to explore issues of power within journalistic storytelling via mythical news narratives that reinforce dominant ideologies of community; and, 3) to apply critical human geography to explicate place-making in local news as an ideological process.
I have presented more than 100 papers at international conferences and have published in scholarly journals that include Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, Journalism Studies, and Visual Communication. I am also an Associate Editor for Journalism Practice.
My authored books include A Transplanted Chicago: Race, Place and the Press in Iowa City (McFarland, 2014), Media Control: News as an Institution of Power and Social Control (Bloomsbury, 2015/2017), News, Neoliberalism and Miami’s Fragmented Urban Space (coauthor with Moses Shumow, Lexington, 2016), Trumpled: The Making of Trump and the Demonization of the Press (Bloomsbury, due to publisher in 2018), Reinventing Journalism, Education, and Training: Addressing News as Power and Propaganda (Bloomsbury, due to publisher 2018), and Geographies of Journalism: The Imaginative Power of Place in Making Digital News (coauthor with Kristy Hess, Routledge, due to publisher in 2018). I am coeditor of Visual Culture for a Global Audience (with Alina Rafikova, Cognella, 2016), and am editor of The Trump Presidency, Journalism, and Democracy (Routledge, 2018).
Before arriving at Lancaster, I was assistant professor in Journalism + Media at Florida International University in Miami where I led the department’s Mobile Virtual Reality Lab and was Co-PI of FIU’s $300,000 Inter-disciplinary Educational E-immersive Production Studio. In 2015, I was a Research Scholar at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri to study audience interactions with longform, multimedia journalism, and in 2017 was named a Disruptive Educator at City University of New York’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. I also have written as a journalist for The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin State Journal, and other regional and local publications. In 2009, I helped launch an online nonprofit news organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and cofounded another online nonprofit news outlet that same year at the University of Iowa.