I am a journalist by trade and by passion — one lucky enough to live in a time of innovation and work with people who value it. I spent a year studying engagement in journalism at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, and I have strong views about how the relationship between journalists and their audiences needs to evolve (and is evolving, whether journalists are ready for it or not). During my fellowship, I interviewed dozens of journalists, explored what “engagement” means in disciplines outside journalism, developed a newsroom discussion guide around engagement and held a workshop on how engagement success can be measured.
Use this link to read the highlights of what I wrote and interviews I conducted for RJI.
Use this link to read some of what other people have written about my work.
My regular job is as the director of community outreach at the Columbia Missourian, the community newspaper run by faculty and staffed by our awesome students. My focus at the newspaper is community engagement. I am also an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, where I teach or have taught a number of topics including Participatory Journalism, Multimedia Planning and Design, and News Design.
I’m an accidental academic, having fallen into the role of a professor from a career as a working journalist, and deciding to pick up a master’s degree along the way.
I’m an experimenter, an optimist and a change agent.
I’ve learned some things about these things and would be happy to work with you or speak to your group:
— audience engagement
— social media (for journalists and businesses)
— measuring impact
— participatory culture
— audience-focused design
— creativity and brainstorming
I live in the surprisingly cool town of Columbia, Mo., with my husband and our two young-but-growing-too-fast sons. I read. I swim. I cook food without corn, to accommodate one son’s food allergy, and am in constant shock over the ways corn is inserted into our food (just try buying crackers, or shredded cheese).
I’ve lived in eight states, the most spectacular of which is Alaska. I miss having drama in my daily landscape — the mountains and ocean, with their reminders about the smallness of my daily life. I miss our former sailboat, Hobie-One Kenobi. My name used to be Mary Joy Mathis (if you knew me then, say hi!).