Exploring the New Orleans Media Ecosystem


A Times-Picayune paper box, outside Café du Monde in New Orleans.

Earlier this month, I passed my dissertation proposal defense! My research centers upon the urban news ecosystem of New Orleans, documenting how the forces of disruptive innovation in news production have influenced the daily routines and roles of media actors, public officials and community leaders. Through in-depth interviewing, as well as content analysis and social network mapping, I will construct a descriptive case study that will examine the shifting perceptions and duties of journalists, public officials and community leaders within New Orleans. I will probe how journalists of all platforms see themselves in this evolving ecosystem of news and how their day-to-day tasks have transitioned, how user-generated contributions have supplemented gaps in content, as well as how governmental officials have responded to alterations in coverage. I will also uncover how community leaders seek information and how elected officials disseminate vital news regarding public affairs. The conversations will follow an semi-structured interview schedule about information needs in the community, the demise of the daily printed newspaper and how the roles/expectations/coverage/audience engagement efforts of journalistic practitioners and elected officials within the news ecosystem have been altered in light of technological change.

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to briefly visit New Orleans, getting a sense of the media market. In the months to come, I’ll post brief updates here on my work. I’d welcome any ideas/thoughts/suggestions that you have throughout this process, too. Feel free to use the “contact me” page to send a note my way…