Professor sees a rebirth of journalism using new approaches

Quality journalism is experiencing a boon as a result of the election and first months of the Trump administration, said Regina Lawrence, executive director of the UO’s Agora Journalism Center and George S. Turnbull Portland Center and a scholar on the role of the media in politics and campaigns.

If true, it seems reports of the death of journalism have been greatly exaggerated. There is evidence for growing engagement in the news, Lawrence said, because it’s so much more important now for people to feel they’re staying on top of what is going on. It may not take the shape of traditional journalism, however, as different approaches are utilized that center more around community involvement, solutions-based and visual storytelling.

And that’s exciting, Lawrence said. She calls it  good news, not only for the state of the profession and the function of the media, but also for innovative journalism centers like UO Portland’s Agora Center to explore and research new forms of journalism and apply them in what has turned out to be a critical yet hopeful era of the news industry.

But the resurgence of the news in people’s everyday lives is not that simple. It’s complicated, Lawrence believes, mainly because of partisan divides and the tendency for readers to gravitate toward the viewpoint that most matches up with theirs.

“Quality journalism also happens to be the stuff that is attracting some partisans from the progressive side, so that’s an interesting problem for journalism,” she said. “I think outlets are having to figure out now where they want to be in terms of the partisan side and where they want to be in terms of this presidency.”

And that means that approaches, methods and strategies are changing, too, not only in the delivery of the news but in how it’s covered.

“It’s a crucial moment in part because our journalism students are entering a fundamentally different world than 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and even four or five years…

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