Ph.D. in Media, Culture and Communication, New York University, 2013
Office: CMU 233
Matthew Powers is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, and Co-Director of the Department’s Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy. His research explores transformations in contemporary journalism through a cross-national comparative lens, and his writings have been published in Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, and the International Journal of Press/Politics, among others.
His first book, NGOs as Newsmakers: The Changing Landscape of International News, was published in 2018 by Columbia University Press. It is the first book in the “Reuters Institute Global Journalism” series. Based on interviews, observations, and content analysis, it examines the growing role of non-governmental organizations in shaping — and in some cases directly producing — international news coverage of humanitarian and human rights issues. In 2019, it received the Outstanding Book Award from the Journalism Studies Division of the International Communication Association.
With Adrienne Russell, he is the editor of Rethinking Media Research for Changing Societies (2020, Cambridge University Press). Bringing together leading scholars of media and public life, the book asks how media researchers can make sense of the massive changes confronting politics and media. Each author identifies a ‘most pressing’ question for scholars working at the intersection of journalism, politics, advocacy, and technology and suggests research approaches to make sense of it.
Powers has been engaged for several years in comparative analysis of journalism in France and the United States. The project–conducted jointly with Sandra Vera-Zambrano–asks how journalists in these distinct contexts react to the similar economic and technological transformations that confront them. It has resulted in several publications, and several more–including a book, tentatively titled What Journalists Are For–are forthcoming.
At the University of Washington, Powers teaches undergraduate courses in ethics and comparative media. At the graduate level, he teaches courses and advises students in qualitative and comparative research methods, and the sociology of journalism and cultural production.
- “Endure, Invest, Ignore: How French and American Journalists React to Economic Constraints and Technological Transformations” Journal of Communication, 2019
- “A Trojan Horse for Marketing? Solutions Journalism in French Regional Media” (with Pauline Amiel), European Journal of Communication, 2019.
- “The Universal and the Contextual of Media Systems: Research Design, Epistemology, and the Production of Comparative Knowledge” (with Sandra Vera-Zambrano), International Journal of Press/Politics, 23(2): 143-160, 2018.
- “How Journalists Use Social Media in France and the United States: Analyzing Technology Use Across Journalistic Fields” (with Sandra Vera-Zambrano). New Media & Society, 20(8): 2728-2744, 2018.
- “Les études comparatives comme des relations sociales: Les coulisses réflexives d’une enquête sur les pratiques politiques du journalisme local en France et aux Etats Unis.” [Comparative research as social relations: Backstage reflections of a survey of local journalism practices in France and the United States.”] (with Sandra Vera-Zambrano). Sur Le Journalisme, 6(2): 20-27, 2017.
- “Journalistic Autonomy and Democratic Accountability in Public Media: A Comparative Analysis of Best Policy Practices in 12 Leading Democracies.” (with Rodney Benson & Tim Neff). International Journal of Communication, 11: 1-22, 2017.
- “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 Newsmaking 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.