Three Journalism Faculty Members Nominated for 2019 Article of the Year

Left to right: Brian McDermott, Rodrigo Zamith and Joshua Braun
Left to right: Brian McDermott, Rodrigo Zamith and Joshua Braun

Three faculty members in the journalism department have been nominated for 2019 Article of the Year Awards from two different journals. Two of the articles were published in “Digital Journalism” and another was published in “Journalism Practice.”

Brian McDermott, senior lecturer and department chair, co-authored “Closing the Gap Between Photojournalist Research and Photojournalism Practice: Exploring the Motivations of the Subjects of Sensitive Photo Essays,” published in “Journalism Practice.” The article takes a close look at people’s willingness to allow professional photojournalists to tell their stories through the medium of the photo essay.

“My co-authors and I are excited to be nominated for this award from Journalism Practice,” said McDermott. “As a former photojournalist myself, it’s especially gratifying to get a positive response to research about photojournalism. Traditionally, visual storytelling has been understudied, so it was interesting to learn why the subjects of photo stories agreed to participate in letting a photojournalist tell their story.”

Joshua Braun, associate professor of journalism, with co-author and journalism alumna Jessica Eklund ‘17 published “Fake News, Real Money: Ad Tech Platforms, Profit-Driven Hoaxes, and the Business of Journalism.” Their study explores how the programmatic advertising industry understands “fake news,” how it conceptualizes and grapples with the use of its tools by hoax publishers to generate revenue and how its approach to the issue may ultimately contribute to reshaping the financial underpinnings of the digital journalism industry that depends on the same economic infrastructure.

"Regardless of whether any award is forthcoming, I’m most excited about what the multiple nominations among our faculty say about the intellectual vibrancy of the Journalism Department, especially given the caliber of other institutions on the list,” said Braun. “I’m especially proud, too, of our undergraduate students, who collaborated on and even co-authored these studies with us.”

“It's really exciting to see the article nominated by Digital Journalism,” added Eklund. “The project has definitely furthered my interest in studying digital media, in my job now and in the future. Working with professor Josh Braun on the research paper has made me feel very grateful for the amazing faculty of the journalism department who push their students to think critically about the emerging media technology around us and to consider the impact we can make when we ask questions together.

Rodrigo Zamith, assistant professor of journalism, authored “Transparency, Interactivity, Diversity, and Information Provenance in Everyday Data Journalism.” Zamith examines story characteristics in data journalism and their links to the concepts of transparency, interactivity, diversity, and information provenance.

"I was really happy to see that more people are recognizing the intellectual power we have in our department,” said Zamith. “I think people have long recognized that we have an abundance of talent here across teaching and public engagement, but now we're demonstrating more of our research capacity, too.”