Office: CMU 233
Matthew Powers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication. His research interests include journalism studies, political communication and comparative media, and his writings have been published in Journal of Communication, Communication Research and International Journal of Press/Politics, among others.
At present, he is working on two projects. The first examines the role of humanitarian and human rights NGOs as information providers in the changing landscape of international news. As legacy news media dedicate fewer resources to such news, NGOs have dramatically increased both the amount and types of information they produce for public consumption. Research in this area asks what these efforts look like in practice and whether they have any discernible impacts on humanitarian and human rights news. This project has produced numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and will culminate in a book manuscript on the topic.
The second project is a comparative analysis of metropolitan journalism in France and the United States. Taking two interestingly similar cities (Toulouse, Seattle) that are embedded in opposing media systems (France’s government subsidized, political/literary press; America’s highly commercialized, information/objectivity journalism), this research asks how and in what ways different media systems process shared economic, technological and professional challenges. To date, the project has resulted in several articles with Sandra Vera Zambrano, with several more in progress.
Powers received his Ph.D. in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on qualitative research methods, comparative media, and communication ethics. Before entering the academy, he worked as a journalist at the Burlington Free Press in Vermont.
“The News Crisis Compared: The Impact of the Journalism Crisis on Local News Ecosystems in Toulouse (France) and Seattle (US).” In R.K. Nielsen, Local Journalism, 2016.
“Beyond Boon or Bane: Using Normative Theories to Evaluate the Newsmakang Efforts of NGOs.” Journalism Studies, 2016.
“NGO Publicity and Reinforcing Path Dependencies: Explaining the Persistence of Media-Centered Publicity Strategies.” International Journal of Press/Politics, 2016.
“Explaining the Formation of Online News Startups in France and the United States: A Field Analysis.” Journal of Communication, 2016.
“Opening the News Gates? Humanitarian and human rights NGOs in the US News Media, 1990-2010.” Media, Culture & Society, 2015.
“Contemporary NGO-Journalist Relations: Reviewing and Evaluating an Emergent Area of Research.” Sociology Compass, 2015.
“The role of qualitative methods in political communication research: Past, present, and future.” (with David Karpf, Daniel Kreiss, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen). International Journal of Communication, 2015.
“The new boots on the ground: NGOs in the changing landscape of international news.” Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 2015.
“The structural organization of NGO publicity: Explaining divergent publicity strategies at humanitarian and human rights organizations.” International Journal of Communication, 8: 90-107, 2014.
“Is the Internet homogenizing or diversifying the news? External pluralism in the U.S., Danish and French Press.” International Journal of Press/Politics 19(2): 246-265.
“In forms that are familiar and yet-to-be invented: American journalism and the discourse of technologically specific work.” Journal of Communication Inquiry, 36(1): 24-43, 2012.
“Media Systems On-line and Off: Comparing the form of news in the United States, Denmark and France.” (Co-author with Rodney Benson (lead), Mark Ørsten, Ida Schultz, and Sandra Vera). Journal of Communication, 62(1): 21-38, 2012.
“Public Media and Political Independence: Lessons for the future of journalism from around the world.” (co-author with Rodney Benson), Policy report for Free Press.