Research Opportunities for Graduate Students
Research is not just encouraged; research is the underpinning of the graduate education experience in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Beginning the first year, Ph.D. and Master's Research & Theory students produce their first conference paper and by the end of their graduate education, students have presented papers at national and international conferences and published journal articles, book chapters, and in some cases co-edited books. One of the many reasons for the productivity of graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin is the dedication of journalism faculty inside and outside the classroom. In addition to making graduate seminar projects synergistic with producing research papers, faculty members collaborate with students on research projects. Some of these collaborations take place in the following research groups:
Digital Media Research Program (DMRP)
(Dr. Tom Johnson)
The DMRP launched as a combined initiative from the College of Communication and the Annette Strauss Institute at the University of Texas - Austin. The DMRP airms to shed light on how new technologies of communication and innovative outreatch can be used to increase political understanding and praticipation in democratic societies. It draws on the various backgrounds and research interests of its students and that of Dr. Johnson. For instance, DMRP members study new communication technologies and digital media and their impact on the arena of journalism and communication, with a particular interest in civic and political engagement issues. If you are interested in participating in any of the projects or want to provide some feedback and comments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dr. Dominic Lasorsa's Research Group
My research group doesn't have a name but we have been working together for many years, with old-timers moving on to new jobs and new faces joining us each year. We focus on one topic at a time, writing a number of papers on that topic. Previously, for example, we were working on stereotyping in news stories and then coverage of the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Our current project involves how journalists use Twitter. Students are involved in every aspect of the projects, from coming up with project ideas, to designing studies, data collection, data analysis, and so forth. Please contact Nick Lasorsa at email@example.com
Media Economics Research Group (MERG)
(Dr. Iris Chyi)
Starting fall 2008, several students in my "Economics of New Media" seminar suggested that we form a Media Economics Research Group (MERG). Based on shared interest, this group carried out projects relevant to the economics (and thus the future) of journalism. We believe that "media are economic institutions and should be understood as such" (Albarran, 1996), and our goal is to demystify the (often misunderstood) economic nature of (online) news with reality-based data and logical reasoning. With so much uncertainty going on in the media world, we need research that makes sense and makes a difference. Please contact Iris Chyi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Race, Agenda-setting, Visuals & Ethics (RAVE)
(Dr. Renita Coleman)
We do all that, plus some health care communication research. Students can propose their own ideas, or work on something that's already going. My primary research method is the experiment, but we also do content analyses and surveys. Typically, we have several projects going on with two to three people working on each one. There are even some solo projects where the students. Just come for some feedback and help from their peers and me. Please contact Renita Coleman at email@example.com
Research Eclectic Group
(Dr. Paula Poindexter)
I named my group Research Eclectic because of the diversity in topics, methods, meetings, and collaborations. Most recently I have collaborated with graduate students on three content analysis studies, two that involved the 2008 presidential election. In early 2011, I will launch a national news audience survey that will partially replicate the local news as good neighbor study and the duty to keep informed study. This national survey will also follow up on the most recent Pew Research Center findings that Facebook and Twitter users "hardly ever" use these social media for consuming news. Web-based focus groups will be conducted to explore why these social media are barely being used for news. If you'd like to get involved with the upcoming national survey or other research projects, please contact Paula Poindexter at firstname.lastname@example.org
The News as Culture
(Dr. Mary Bock)
The news as culture research groups offers support for students interested in qualitative, ethnographic, content analysis or textual analysis. It's possible to contribute to ongoing projects already underway on photographic practice and visual culture. Students can also come for advice and assistance with their own individual projects. Because this group will emphasize qualitative research, there will be a heavy emphasis on writing, peer review and (occasionally) sustained, focused writing time. We meet Fridays at 3 p.m. in a place to be determined. Contact email@example.com
Twitter Research Group (TWRG)
(Dr. Regina Lawrence)
This group focuses on how journalists and the public are using Twitter to cover and converse about politics and other issues. Using innovative databases and path-breaking social media analysis tools, we do everything from qualitative and textual analysis to big data. Papers prepared by TWRG members have been presented at AEJ and other major conferences and published in Journalism Studies and the International Journal of Press/Politics. Interested? Please contact Dr. Regina Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Topics Research Group
(Dr. George Sylvie)
It encompasses any and all methods, with particular interest on Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Central and South America. We try to focus on how cultures and countries increase our knowledge of varying communication processes and societies. We focus on the various backgrounds and research interests of students and that of Dr. Sylvie, which includes the Nordic area. For instance, we study management and decision-making and their impact on newsrooms. Some of our members have studied: climate change, framing and economic development; citizen media organizations in various countries; communicative practices of immigrant Muslims in the US; Nordic newsroom managers and cultural influences. Students interested in working on any of the topics, have a related interest, or who want to learn more, please contact email@example.com.