Does Anyone Care About Journalism Research? (No, Really)
Nikki Usher

I think you make a number of good points here — there’s a lot of great research out there that could help journalists build trust with the public that isn’t well-known or talked about. One small example is that yes, we actually do know some things about the factors in news and media that increase trust and credibility. Among other things! I’ve been frustrated at the lack of knowledge displayed by many news executives at all the “fake news” meetings going around these days. Oh, if only we knew how people would respond if we did X….well, we actually do have some ideas, because we’ve tested that for DECADES!

That said, I do think that many — although not ALL — academics could do a better job of interfacing with the profession in a variety of ways instead of being mostly focused on racking up publications in top-tier journals or writing study number 1502357 on how fashion magazines affect women’s body image because tweaking a basic template that already exists is easier than a riskier type of study on something newer or less-well known— I mean, I got a journal reviewer comment once that literally said, “why should we care how African Americans use Twitter? This seems like a frivolous line of research” (it was early in Twitter days). As with anything else, I don’t think we can paint this as, all academics are bad at outreach or all journalists are anti-intellectual. I think there is work to be done on both sides.

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