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The J Word: A Podcast by Journalism Practice
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The J Word: A Podcast by Journalism Practice

Author: Robert (Ted) Gutsche Jr.

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What is journalism? How can we make it better? What does "better" look like? We talk about some of these questions -- and answer them -- in our discussions with academics and professionals who've published recently in Journalism Practice. We focus on meanings of advancing digital technologies in journalism, social issues and conditions that journalists (need to) cover, and the future of the field. Articles featured in the episodes are temporarily made free access for citizens, journalists, scholars, and students. While the discussions are rooted in research, they are approached to influence practice. The podcast is hosted and produced by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr., a former journalist, Associate Editor at Journalism Practice, and an Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Critical Digital Media Practice at Lancaster University in the U.K. Follow him on Twitter @RobertGutscheJr and the podcast @JournPractice or email us with ideas and feedback at
24 Episodes
Our episodes often discuss marginalization and inequalities as a byproduct of journalism. Today, we try to find some solutions to those issues – naming the missing voices in financial crises, in transgender scenes, and in addressing voices of asylum seekers. Danford Zirugo is a doctoral student at Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota in the U.S. His paper, “Negative memory mobilization” examines how journalists are reflecting back on their coverage of the 2008 economic disaster to understand what voices were missing in their coverage of financial crisis. Minjie Li, Assistant Professor in Communication at the University of Tampa in the U.S., looks at what it means for journalists to be inclusive, particularly when it comes to transgender media visibility. He discusses this in his paper, “Exemplifying power Matters.” And, recorded separately, Ashleigh Haw, a Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne in Australia takes us through her paper, “‘Hapless victims’ or ‘making trouble,’” which gives perspective on how news audiences recognize journalistic norms in covering asylum seekers. Text Featured in this Episode:Zirugo, D. (2021). Negative Memory Mobilization: Moments of Journalistic Failure as an Interpretive Lens. Journalism Practice, 1-16. Li, M. (2021). Exemplifying Power Matters: The Impact of Power Exemplification of Transgender People in the News on Issue Attribution, Dehumanization, and Aggression Tendencies. Journalism Practice, 1-29.Haw, A. L. (2021). “Hapless Victims” or “Making Trouble”: Audience Responses to Stereotypical Representations of Asylum Seekers in Australian News Discourse. Journalism Practice, 1-19. Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
We talk a lot about audiences as a way to understand what’s "good" and "bad" journalism in the world. Journalists guess what audiences want. And they try to deliver. But when we dig deeper into the needs of audiences – and the needs of journalism, itself – what contestation and challenges and celebrations do we really find? Today, we discuss the challenges and celebrations of various types of journalism – and various types of audiences. The connection? There really is a lot more to know.Kristina Riegert from Södertörn University in Sweden, talks about her co-authored paper on cultural journalism, and we complicate what might be first considered an elitist form of journalism to see that it includes coverage of gaming, explanations of terror, and, yes, sometimes a review of the opera’s new tenor. Karin Wahl-Jorgenson at Cardiff University in the U.K. unpacks her co-authored piece, “Conjecturing fearful futures” that looks at how journalists and their audiences are experiencing moral panic around deepfakes, where we ask just what audiences know (or think they know) about these new forms of media and how journalists are speculating about what deepfakes might mean for the future.And, speculating about how and why journalists ignore some audiences over others, particularly in financial news, Ángel Arrese at the University of Navarra in Spain talks about his coauthored piece, “The ignoring of ‘people’ in the journalistic coverage of economic crises.”Text Featured in this Episode:Arrese, Á., & Vara-Miguel, A. (2021). The Ignoring of “People” in the Journalistic Coverage of Economic Crises. The Housing Bubble and the Euro Crisis in Spain. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Wahl-Jorgensen, K., & Carlson, M. (2021). Conjecturing Fearful Futures: Journalistic Discourses on Deepfakes. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Kristensen, N. N., & Riegert, K. (2021). The Tensions of the Cultural News Beat. Journalism Practice, 1-15.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
What are the forces on local news, and how do they operate in a global, digital world with its  influences and changes? This episode discusses the connections between ideologies and practices, interactions, and diversions in understanding normative and social understandings of journalistic complexities in local news. Hélder Prior is Professor at Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil and speaks to one of the most local of experiences, that of voting, in his co-authored article, “Framing political populism.” Joy Jenkins, Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee and a Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism as the University of Oxford, also looks at the role of the local in coverage through the lens of newsroom practices across Portugal, Germany, France, Finland, and the U.K. Her work “Changing the beat?” brings to scholarship the positionalities of newsroom managers and on how to create beats in local and regional digital news spaces. Text Featured in this Episode:Jenkins, J., & Jeronimo, P. (2021). Changing the Beat? Local Online Newsmaking in Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, and the UK. Journalism Practice, 1-18. Araújo, B., & Prior, H. (2021). Framing political populism: the role of media in framing the election of Jair Bolsonaro. Journalism Practice, 15(2), 226-242. Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
Sports journalism. It’s certainly more than box scores. What does it tell us about the world and our places in it? This episode focuses on the role of sports journalism in shaping social interpretations of gender, place, and the meanings of winning, losing, and leaving it all on the field. In this episode, Patrick Ferrucci, Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Journalism at University of Colorado Boulder. His article, “Joining the Team,” focuses on discourse and paradigm repair by writers on The Athletic and challenges our assumptions of how sports journalists comment on their practices in a digital age. And Roxane Coche, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Production, Management, and Technology at the University of Florida and also Associate Director of Sports Journalism and Communication, talks through her co-authored article, “Victory on their own terms.” That piece examines the function of American exceptionalism in coverage of women’s sport, specifically in coverage of the U.S. women’s national team’s FIFA World Cup title in 2019.Text Featured in this Episode:Bell, T. R., & Coche, R. (2020). “Victory on Their Own Terms”: American Front-Page Framing of the USWNT Repeat World Cup Championship. Journalism Practice, 1-16.Ferrucci, P. (2021). Joining the Team: Metajournalistic Discourse, Paradigm Repair, the Athletic and Sports Journalism Practice. Journalism Practice, 1-19.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
News agendas are often seen as how journalist cover a news issue or event. For some, the idea of a news agenda is also related to beliefs that journalistic outlets have a political agenda in how and what they cover. In this episode, we complicate the idea of agendas by looking at the silencing of journalists’ own agendas to question the powerful under the threat of violence in Colombia, how the use of “expert sources” influences a newspaper’s agenda in Denmark, and the degree to which editorial and news agendas collide in newspapers of Brazil. Our guests include Toby Miller at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa in Mexico, Jamil Marcus in Brazil, and Leila Trapp in Denmark. Texts Discussed in this Episode:Marques, F. P. J., Miola, E., Mitozo, I., & Mont’Alverne, C. (2020). Similar, but not the same: Comparing Editorial and News Agendas in Brazilian Newspapers. Journalism Practice, 14(9), 1066-1086.Laursen, B., & Trapp, N. L. (2021). Experts or Advocates: Shifting Roles of Central Sources Used by Journalists in News Stories?. Journalism Practice, 15(1), 1-18.Barrios, M. M., & Miller, T. (2020). Voices of resilience: Colombian journalists and Self-Censorship in the Post-Conflict period. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
It might seem strange to celebrate what we have learned from and about journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic, but our guests in this episode take an approach that what we know about journalism, or what we think we know about journalism, has been challenged and changed, as with much of other parts of life, since early 2020. Our guests include Teri Finneman and Rebecca Nee from the U.S. and T.J. Thomson from Australia. We discuss pandemic podcasting, the effects of covering a pandemic on local media the future of visual mis- and dis-information that appeared in a pre-COVID world and will remain for some time. Texts Discussed in this Episode:Finneman, T., & Thomas, R. J. (2021). “Our Company is in Survival Mode”: Metajournalistic Discourse on COVID-19’s Impact on US Community Newspapers. Journalism Practice, 1-19.Nee, R. C., & Santana, A. D. (2021). Podcasting the Pandemic: Exploring Storytelling Formats and Shifting Journalistic Norms in News Podcasts Related to the Coronavirus. Journalism Practice, 1-19.Thomson, T. J., Angus, D., Dootson, P., Hurcombe, E., & Smith, A. (2020). Visual Mis/disinformation in Journalism and Public Communications: Current Verification Practices, Challenges, and Future Opportunities. Journalism Practice, 1-25.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
What have and can journalists learn about successful podcasts, such as Serial? What about how journalists use acronyms and abbreviations? And what do viewers really think about local TV journalists’ mistakes? Today, we focus on scholarship surrounding news presentation, from podcasts to parlance and to seeking pardons for journalistic slip-ups. Our discussion provides insights on cultural meanings and practices that can improve journalism, its reach, effectiveness, and clarity. Our guests include Lindsey Sherrill, Alyssa Appelman, and Harrison Gong.Sherrill, L. A. (2020). The “Serial Effect” and the True Crime Podcast Ecosystem. Journalism Practice, 1-22.Appelman, A. (2021). Written in Code: Exploring the Negative Effects of Acronyms in News Headlines. Journalism Practice, 1-17.Gong, Z. H., & Eppler, J. (2021). Exploring the Impact of Delivery Mistakes, Gender, and Empathic Concern on Source and Message Credibility. Journalism Practice, 1-20.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
Cellphones and citizenship. Today, they go hand in hand. And journalists know it. And journalists are well aware of the things people do with their phones, too – from using them for social media to clicking stills – and that this content is ripe for engaging as and with journalism. Today’s episode features journalists’ use of cell phone footage to share stories about police shootings, the balancing of advocacy journalism and conventional practice, and the effects of promoting journalists and how that can lead to trolling and harassment. Our guests are Silvio Waisbord, Denetra Walker, and Charu Uppal.Texts Discussed in this Episode:Waisbord, S. (2020). Trolling Journalists and the Risks of Digital Publicity. Journalism Practice, 1-17.Walker, D. (2021). “There’s a Camera Everywhere”: How Citizen Journalists, Cellphones, and Technology Shape Coverage of Police Shootings. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Uppal, C. (2020). Mobilizing Citizens at Their Level: A Case Study of Public Engagement. Journalism Practice, 1-19.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
Innovation in digital longform journalism, inclusivity and engagement in freedom of information requests and reporting, and balancing entrepreneurship with conventional journalism. We hit these three topics with three world-leading scholars, discussing the dynamics of journalists working in groups, doing digital design, and engaging citizens in accessing and interpreting public records that then contribute to participatory reporting. Our guests include Marcel Broersma, Rosanna Planer, and Paul Mihailidis.  Texts Discussed in this Episode: Broersma, M., & Singer, J. B. (2020). Caught Between Innovation and Tradition: Young Journalists as Normative Change Agents in the Journalistic Field. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Planer, R., & Godulla, A. (2020). Longform Journalism in the USA and Germany: Patterns in Award-Winning Digital Storytelling Productions. Journalism Practice, 1-17.Mihailidis, P., & Gamwell, A. (2020). Designing Engagement in Local News: Using FOIA Requests to Create Inclusive Participatory Journalism Practices. Journalism Practice, 1-20.Make FOIA Work websiteProduced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
Advancements in consumer digital camera and editing software has made us more visual. Before, we would covet our friends’ fancy Canons and Kodaks strapped around their necks. Now we boast about which version of a new phone we have. A focus on filters, AR, editing, and sharing functions of our phones have replaced our old-school focus on megapixels. We are now all photographers and videographers. But is that a good thing, and what do journalists need to know about visuals today? Jennifer Midberry, Brian McDermott, and Jessica Collier discuss. Texts Discussed in this Episode:McDermott, B. P., Mortensen, T. M., Ejaz, K., & Haun, D. D. (2019). “I Was Doing a Good Deed”: Exploring the Motivations of Photo Story Subjects in Granting Photojournalists Access. Journalism Practice, 13(8), 916-921.Midberry, J., & Dahmen, N. S. (2020). Visual Solutions Journalism: A Theoretical Framework. Journalism Practice, 14(10), 1159-1178.Collier, J., Kim, Y., & Stroud, N. J. (2020). How News Images Affect Clicking on Subscription Appeals. Journalism Practice, 1-19."Journalism research in practice: Scholarly inquiry for journalists" special issueProduced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
In this episode, Mohamad Elmasry from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies in Qatar talks with us about his coauthored piece from Journalism Practice that examines news speculation about suspects in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting and the mass shooting that occurred in Orlando, Florida, in 2016.  And from the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University in Sweden, Maria Nilsson focuses on coverage from a 2017 terrorist attack in that country to ask what is journalistically appropriate, necessary, and desirable in terms of how we see terrorism in the news. Together, we discuss issues of news speculation and the scene-setting of terrorism and crime that comes from news and influences society.Texts Discussed in this Episode: Elmasry, M. H., & el-Nawawy, M. (2020). Can a non-Muslim Mass Shooter be a “Terrorist”?: A Comparative Content Analysis of the Las Vegas and Orlando Shootings. Journalism Practice, 14(7), 863-879.Nilsson, M. (2020). An ethics of (not) showing: citizen witnessing, journalism and visualizations of a terror attack. Journalism Practice, 14(3), 259-276.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
What are the secrets to – and of – today’s social media sourcing? Who are our sources? Are they diversifying because of social media? And, what if our sources spew hate. We cover these questions in this episode by speaking with Claudia Mellado about her work on social media diversification in Chile, Gregory Perreault, who studied journalists that covered white nationalist groups in the U.S., and Manuel Goyanes, who worked on the influence of social media on Ecuadorian journalists.Texts Discussed in this Episode: Goyanes, M., López-López, P. C., & Demeter, M. (2020). Social Media in Ecuador: Impact on Journalism Practice and Citizens’ Understanding of Public Politics. Journalism Practice, 1-17.Mellado, C., & Scherman, A. (2020). Mapping Source Diversity Across Chilean News Platforms and Mediums. Journalism Practice, 1-20.Perreault, G., Johnson, B., & Klein, L. (2020). Covering Hate: Field Theory and Journalistic Role Conception in Reporting on White Nationalist Rallies. Journalism Practice, 1-17.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
What news trends are going to emerge in 2021? What ones matter? Associate Editors of Journalism Practice, Zahera Harb and Jaume Suau, talk about the force of amplified media voices and hate speech, digital trends and technologies in news, and journalistic practices from across the world that have impact across cultures. From challenges with an infodemic to ideological explorations of news storytelling in Spain and in the Arab World, this episode also visits how journalists and scholars can interpret and apply comparative studies on journalism practices and value research about journalism education and training.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
One of the ways journalists engage audiences online is also one of the things we hate about the internet – clickbait, headlines that draw us in but that often undersell the story. But is it possible clickbait could actually be a good thing? We connect this discussion to other forms of engagement through tech, including news aggregation and VR to understand the changing roles of editing old and new forms of media. And, in the end, to understand what works in terms of drawing users in through headlines, collating news, and adding emotion to immersive storytelling.Our guests include Fred Vultee, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University in the US, Nili Steinfeld, a Lecturer in The School of Communication at Ariel University in Israel, and Logan Molyneux, Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Temple University in the US.Text Featured in this Episode:Vultee, F., Burgess, G. S., Frazier, D., & Mesmer, K. (2020). Here’s What to Know About Clickbait: Effects of Image, Headline and Editing on Audience Attitudes. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Molyneux, L., & Coddington, M. (2020). Aggregation, clickbait and their effect on perceptions of journalistic credibility and quality. Journalism Practice, 14(4), 429-446.Steinfeld, N. (2020). To Be there when it Happened: Immersive Journalism, Empathy, and Opinion on Sexual Harassment. Journalism Practice, 14(2), 240-258.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
This episode is NOT about Donald Trump and the 2020 U.S. presidential election. It is, however, about how journalists across the globe cover elections. Here, we ask, "What is it that makes an election cycle in almost each spot we will be talking about today – Norway, the US, and Nigeria – ripe for horse-race attention and serve as a kind of sport?" And, moreover, "What are the challenges journalists face in covering elections, how can they address those challenges, and, what influences of journalism on election processes and outcomes should we also be addressing?" We are joined by Ahmad Muhammad Auwal, a PhD candidate in Communication and Media Studies at Eastern Mediterranean University in Turkey and a faculty member at Nasarawa State University in Nigeria. We also speak with Lea Hellmueller, an Assistant Professor in the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston in the U.S. and Bente Kaulsnes, an Associate Professor at Kristiania University College’s Department of Communication, in Oslo, Norway.Articles Featured in this Episode:Hellmueller, L., & Arias, V. S. (2020). Decisión 2016: Comparative Analysis of Journalistic Role Performance on Spanish-and English-language TV Networks. Journalism Practice 14(4), 447-464. Auwal, A. M., Ersoy, M., & Dambo, T. H. (2020). Influence of Political Tweets on Campaign Coverage: Building the News Agenda in Twittersphere. Journalism Practice, 1-19.Kalsnes, B., & Larsson, A. O. (2019). Facebook News Use During the 2017 Norwegian Elections—Assessing the Influence of Hyperpartisan News. Journalism Practice, 1-17.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
How should journalists and scholars think differently about digital journalism? Isn't everything journalism digital today? Professors Steen Steensen (also an Associate Editor of Journalism Practice) and Oscar Westlund (Editor-in-Chief of Digital Journalism) talk through their new open access book, What is Digital Journalism Studies?  Listeners will walk away from this conversation seeing how this new field of study expands notions of journalism, deals with infrastructure and business models, technology and technique. The Book Featured in the EpisodeWhat is Digital Journalism Studies? (Download here for free)Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
This episode focuses on how and why journalists leave the field. This is not an episode to shame people who left, or who may, and it is also not one meant to keep people in jobs that might be abusive or harmful, but it is one that takes the reasons people stay or leave seriously. From Mexico, Víctor Hugo Reyna looks at the role of “job control” as an influence in people deciding if the job is right for them, while Halliki Harro-Loit in Estonia discusses findings from the Worlds of Journalism Study of journalists in 60+ countries about their perceptions of time pressure on their jobs. And from the Netherlands, Mirjam Prenger focuses on journalists who left to the public relations “Dark Side." Together, we focus on the role of technology, creative freedom, safety, and how to improve work conditions for journalists across the globe.Articles Featured in this Episode:Reyna, V. H. (2020). “This Is My Exit Sign”: Job Control Deficit, Role Strain and Turnover in Mexican Journalism. Journalism Practice, 1-17.Harro-Loit, H., & Josephi, B. (2020). Journalists’ Perception of Time Pressure: A Global Perspective. Journalism Practice, 14(4), 395-411. Kester, B., & Prenger, M. (2020). The Turncoat Phenomenon: Role Conceptions of PR Practitioners Who Used To Be Journalists. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
In this episode, Andréa Baker and Usha Rodrigues, both from universities in Australia, discuss the global journalism of the #MeToo movement and the role of digital news, including VR, in creating change against sexual assault and harassment. Jing Zeng, from Zurich, talks about her study of 36,000 WeChat articles about sexual assault and harassment in China. Guests share insights on how journalists can better report these kinds of crimes and raise awareness of related issues. Articles Featured in this Episode:Baker, A., Williams, K., & Rodrigues, U. M. (2020). # metoo 2.0 to# meNOmore: Analysing Western Reporting About Sexual Violence in the Music Industry. Journalism Practice, 14(2), 191-207.Zeng, J. (2020). # MeToo as connective action: a study of the anti-sexual violence and anti-sexual harassment campaign on Chinese social media in 2018. Journalism practice, 14(2), 171-190.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
In this episode, we conclude our current conversation about media trust with Jacob Nelson and Su Jung Kim. Episode 6 looks at media in both South Korea and the U.S., with a focus on understanding just what journalists can do to address their trust issue.The Article Featured in this Episode:Nelson, J. L., & Kim, S. J. (2020). Improve Trust, Increase Loyalty? Analyzing the Relationship Between News Credibility and Consumption. Journalism Practice, 1-18.Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
Episode 5 features Caroline Fisher and Terry Flew who discuss how journalists can understand the issues of media trust today and pose solutions for how newsrooms can regain audiences' attention, interest, and trust in changing economic and social times. This is the first of two episodes exploring the complications and contestations of media trust.The Article Featured in this Episode:Fisher, C., Flew, T., Park, S., Lee, J. Y., & Dulleck, U. (2020). Improving trust in news: Audience solutions. Journalism Practice, 1-19. Produced and hosted by Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr.Give feedback to the podcast on Twitter @JournPractice or email
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