My research program centers on two elements: media management and online media. Psychology is the uniting factor for these research streams. My research niche within media management focuses on organizational psychology and behavior, as well as public perception and consumption of news. This has led to research comparing the public’s and news professionals’ views of what constitutes “good journalism,” which identified several ways in which the press can strive to improve its credibility with the public. I also have conducted media management research on journalists’ connections to their news organizations and the news profession, and on turnover rates among women working at newspapers. Such research provides media professionals with greater knowledge of the factors that influence employee job satisfaction, productivity, and attrition.
My research on online media also explores the psychology of perception and behavior, including the influence of personality on the use of social media applications as well as bloggers’ perceptions of themselves as journalists and disaster victims’ adoption of new technology as a communication tool. The implications of such studies include enabling technology designers to better understand why and how consumers use their products, and to further develop those applications and new technology based on the findings.
The two elements of my research stream—media management and online media—have intersected in a number of studies as well. I have examined how technological and economic changes at newspapers affected journalists’ psychological ties to their work organizations and how these perceptions vary for news professionals with different types of jobs. These findings help identify how journalists are using new media technology to redefine their work and how economic changes at their organizations have had a draining effect on productivity and perceptions of the organization.
My research also includes exploring how news consumers use online media to share news and develop interpersonal ties to others in mediated spaces and how they believe that online engagement translates to “real world” bonds. The importance of this research extends beyond its relevance for media managers searching for ways to better connect with their audience; greater insight into news consumers’ motivations for sharing news material can lead to increased exchanges of information that can introduce new ideas and discussions into the public sphere.