Tag Archive: Jake Batsell


Jake Batsell, Assistant Professor in the Journalism department at SMU, discussed media convergence and the importance of maintaining a presence in, or on, various media, including social media, at the January meeting of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter of the RCC on January 26. He is also faculty adviser for the student media websites, combined at smudailycampus.com, including the SMU Daily Mustang, a multi-platform news site produced by journalism students, and SMU-TV. Entitled “Media Outreach During Turbulent Times for the News Business,” Batsell’s presentation included results of the longitudinal study of media convergence that he, his colleagues, and students have been conducting.

They began the  study by asking a central research question: To what extent has convergence journalism taken hold in U.S. newsrooms over the past decade, and to what extent have these cross-platform partnerships endured? Newspaper and TV managers in the top 200 U.S. media markets were surveyed in 2002-‘03 (Phase 1), 2004-‘05 (Phase 2), and again in 2011 (Phase 3). Batsell and his colleagues are currently studying the results of phase 3. The results indicate challenges and opportunities for media outreach.

“The bad news is that traditional newsrooms are short-staffed, making cultivating relationships with reporters difficult. When you do interact with reporters, they’ll have less time to absorb your story than they used to.”

The good news, particularly for religion communicators, is that there are more non-traditional ways to get the message out. “Press releases that used to be ignored now might spark a blog post, which can be amplified through social media.” Suggested links to background information during an interview are likely to be included in the story. Alternate media outlets are plentiful, such as NeighborsGo and DallasSouthNews, as well as Pegasus News and Advocate Magazine, in the Dallas area.

Current results of the study show that news managers are focusing on developing interactive relationships with readers and viewers, primarily through social media. Which includes multimedia (both staff-generated and user-generated), news as conversation (blogs, comments, live chats, etc.), and engagement via social media platforms. “Today, news is a two way conversation” between newsrooms of all media and their readers. As religion communicators, we need to join the conversation. In an online world of “likes”, links, blogs, comments, and re-sending articles, and posts, good content and internet interaction are key to delivering our message to more people.

Peace be with you.

Knowing the interest in the topic of Social Media, we searched high and low and found an expert to talk about it. Jake Batsell, Assistant Professor in the Journalism department at SMU, will present a program on media convergence at the January meeting of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council. The meeting will be Thursday, January 26 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at the University Park UMC, 4024 Caruth Blvd, Dallas. Jake is both a knowledgeable and engaging speaker.

Part of his current research is in Phase Three of a study that examines media “convergence” and how both the term and practices it encompasses have evolved in the past 10 years. Results show that news managers are focusing on developing interactive relationships with readers and viewers, primarily through social media. Batsell is also faculty adviser for the student media web sites. SMU Daily Mustang, a multi-platform news site produced by journalism students, and SMU-TV combined operations in fall of 2011. The result is www.smudailycampus.com.

Cost for the meeting is $15 and includes lunch. Please email or call to make reservations, dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6495 x147, so we’ll be sure to have enough food. Please feel free to invite friends and co-workers who might be interested in this topic.  — from Deb Christian, Secretary.

Peace be with you.

September Meeting

The Future of Journalism will be the subject of the October  meeting of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), an interfaith organization. The presentation will be a panel discussion with panelists including Sam Hodges, managing editor of The United Methodist Reporter, David Sedeño, editor of the Texas Catholic / El Católico de Texas, and Jeff Weiss, long-time reporter and religion writer for the Dallas Morning News. Also invited is Jake Batsell, assistant professor for digital journalism at SMU. Providing additional input (although a schedule conflict precludes his attendance) is Ken Camp, managing editor of The Baptist Standard.

Questions to be considered include:

Will journalism will survive the digital age? If so, what will it look like or in what form?

How will journalism be paid for? Is it possible to make a profit or will it be a non-profit or subsidized “public good”?

Will the news be good? Why?

The meeting will be held at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 12 – 1:30 p.m. The $15 fee will include lunch. Please email or call Deb Christian, RCC Secretary, at dchristian@umr.org, 214.630.6495 x147 by Monday, Oct. 24 to make reservations. Bring your own thoughts and answers to these timely, pertinent questions.

I will be the host for the meeting. The discussions are always lively and informative with timely, relevant topics. This particular topic is of major concern to communicators, journalists, and writers as we look forward to the future with technological advances, social media, blogs, news feeds, etc.

Peace be with you.

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