• Academic,  Highlights,  Publications

    New Article: Indonesia’s English-Language Press

    Last year John Carpenter, a PhD student in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, asked if I would be interested in working with him on a project about English-language journalists in Indonesia. John had just spent six weeks in Jakarta observing and interviewing journalists and editors at privately owned news organizations that publish in the English language. John’s interest in English-language journalism in countries where English is not the primary language meshed well with my interest in global imaginaries. The result of our collaboration is an exploration of how English-language journalists conceive of public service when their audience is local, regional and global. The resulting manuscript, “Service at the Intersection of…

  • Academic

    Book Review: The Naked Blogger of Cairo

    Below is the pre-publication text for a review published in the Journal of Communication Inquiry. The final, published review can be found here behind a paywall.  In February 2011, a month after the “Day of Revolt” in Egypt, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed union-busting legislation under the guise of a budgetary repair bill. Then a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, I joined thousands of other concerned citizens in occupying the state capitol to protest the bill. Contrary to claims by Walker and conservative talk radio, liberal sympathizers did not send professional activists to flood the capitol. What they did send was pizza. Local restaurants received orders from all 50…

  • Academic,  Highlights,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Music Videos, Global Imaginaries and Frictions

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been studying Kenyan music videos. My first article from this research project, “Global frictions and the production of locality in Kenya’s music video industry,” was just published online at Media, Culture & Society. I’m really excited about this piece, and I hope that it will be useful to other scholars of global media. The article’s main contribution is an analytical framework for studying global cultural production. Here are the main points: People feel a sense of belonging with those outside their direct proximity. This is illustrated nicely by Benedict Anderson’s book Imagined Communities and also by Charles Taylor’s book Modern Social Imaginaries. Within the context of globalization, Manfred Steger and others…

  • Academic,  Publications

    New Article: Innovation Clusters & Newsroom Change

    The second article from my collaborative newsroom study with Jane Singer, Melissa Tully, and Shawn Harmsen has just been published by Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. Whereas the first piece looked at job insecurity and newswork, this article uses diffusion of innovations theory to examine the various changes happening in American newsrooms. In Diffusion of Innovations, Roger’s notes that innovations rarely appear one at a time; instead, they typically overlap with each other or are introduced as packages. While most diffusion studies isolate and track a single innovation, we used Roger’s concept of “innovation clusters” to parse out three interdependent yet distinct changes taking place at the newsroom that was the focus of our case study. This cluster of innovations includes changes in technology use, changes…

  • Academic,  Publications

    New Article: Precarious Newswork

    In the past few years, Jane Singer, Shawn Harmsen, Melissa Tully and I have been looking into the changing newsroom. If you haven’t noticed, the news industry in the United States has been experiencing tremendous change. The four of us have been exploring how these changes affect those at the front lines of producing news. Our first manuscript from this project was published online at Journalism Practice. The article “Newswork within a culture of job insecurity: Producing news amidst organizational and industry uncertainty” examines how uncertainty in the industry and at a specific company with a history of layoffs affects the news practices of those who remain behind. In it, we argue that a culture of job insecurity has a…

  • Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Twitter Hashtags in Kenya

    Melissa Tully and I are excited to be included in the latest issue of Information Technologies & International Development. It is a special issue about expanding the domain of ICT4D research to consider leisure and other non-utilitarian activities. As the guest editors Payal Arora and Nimmi Rangaswamy explain in the introduction, “adopting a narrow development lens can miss the actual engagements and ingenious strategies marginal populations use to instate technologies into their everyday.” Our contribution is titled “Sites of Playful Engagement: Twitter Hashtags as Spaces of Leisure and Development in Kenya” (open access). Here, we look at how Kenyans use hashtags to engage in serious conversations and exchange jokes, often at the same time. Here’s…

  • Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Taking on the Kibera Discourse

    Before I visited Kibera for the first time in 2009, I tried to read and watch as much as I could to better understand the community. Much of what I consumed was from international news and academic journals, which largely focused on health, crime, and housing issues in Kibera. After spending some time on the ground getting to know residents and seeing how the community worked, I came to realize that, while these issues are real and significant,  they are only part of Kibera’s story. Like people everywhere, Kibera residents live complicated lives filled with joys, sorrow, boredom, and pain. I have a new article in Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies that is my…

  • Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Researcher Identity in Ethnographic Study

    I recently published an article in Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture that considers the place of identity in ethnographic research. Stemming from my dissertation research on community media in Nairobi’s slums, I wanted to do some self-reflection to consider how my identity was used strategically (by myself and others) during the course of my fieldwork, and how identity management and use is complicated by the digital age. The abstract for the article “Negotiating the researcher: Interstitial, appropriated, and digital identities in media production ethnography” is below: While all people form, exhibit, and use multiple identities, the hybridity of identity plays an integral role in the production of ethnographic knowledge. This article…

  • Academic,  Highlights,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Participatory Culture in Kenya

    Melissa Tully and I have a new article out in Critical Studies in Media Communication about the one and only Makmende. If you’re not familiar with Makmende, you should watch this video immediately. Melissa and I were both in Kenya doing research on other topics when Makmende became the hot topic online and in public. The video and the resulting meme caught our attention. If Kenyan bloggers and international news organizations like the Wall Street Journal and CNN were discussing Makmende as Kenya’s first internet sensation, we wanted to know why this video, why now, and what does this all say about contemporary Kenya? Our article, “Makmende Amerudi: Kenya’s Collective Reimagining…

  • Academic,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Community Journalism in Kibera

    I have a new article in Journalism Practice about the difficulties of doing community journalism in places like Kibera. The article is titled “‘I Wish They Knew that We are Doing This for Them’: Participation and resistance in African community journalism” and will appear in an upcoming special issue on “Community journalism midst media revolution” edited by Sue Robinson. Here’s the abstract: This article examines the relationship between community journalists and residents in Kibera, a sizable slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Focusing on two videojournalism initiatives, this research explores the structural and cultural features of Kibera that impacted residents’ participation and nonparticipation in these projects. Findings reveal that many residents were unfamiliar with…