In October, the Center for Media Engagement hosted its second News Engagement Workshop, bringing together 11 digital news innovators to discuss current practices and future possibilities.

During the two-day workshop, participants brainstormed an array of new ideas about digital news. Some of their ideas include:

Metrics-based goal setting: Have journalists set goals for their stories and then evaluate whether they met the goal

Was this helpful?: Provide a rating scale allowing readers to give feedback about whether news stories are helpful

Tailor article length: Create articles of different lengths to cater to different readers

Citizen-focused reporting: Combat political polarization by giving citizens more voice in political stories

Themes that emerged from the workshop include

  • Digital Success and Analytics – How can analytics and engagement best be incorporated throughout the practice of making the news? What new metrics would you want?
  • Audience Involvement – How can readers and staff engage?
  • Website Design – What are best practices and new ideas for providing visitors with reasons to keep coming back?
  • Political Polarization – What could newsrooms do to affect levels of polarization?
  • Questions Facing the Digital Newsroom – What do you wish you knew about metrics, workflow, mobile, and keeping pace with technology?

Workshop participants

Wright Bryan, NPR
Jennifer Carroll, Gannett Digital
Megan Chan, Politico
Rachel Clarke, CNN
Ryan Kellett, The Washington Post
Enrique Lavin, NJ Advance Media
Allison Lichter, The Wall Street Journal
Todd Olmstead, The Wall Street Journal
Barry Osborne, The Denver Post
Allison Rockey, Vox
Ben Turk Tolub,


  • Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud

    Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud

    Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is the founding and current Director of the Center for Media Engagement and Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book, Niche News: The Politics of News Choice, received the Outstanding Book Award from the International Communication Association, and inspired the early development of the Center. Her research examines the use and effects of political news content.

  • Alex Curry

    Alex Curry
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    Alex Curry (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Media Engagement. His research interests include political communication and civic engagement, and he is particularly interested in how sports tie people to their community and to each other. From 2005 to 2010, he served as a writer for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he’s not working, Alex enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife and kids.

  • Cynthia Peacock

    Cynthia Peacock
    Faculty Research Associate

    Cynthia Peacock (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies department at the University of Alabama. She is interested in political communication and news use. Her most recent research investigates the contexts in which people express and avoid expressing their political opinions, and the ways in which diverse opinion expression and disagreement take place in political discussions.

  • Katie Steiner

    Katie Steiner
    Communications and Program Coordinator

    Katie Steiner is the Communications and Program Coordinator for the Center for Media Engagement. Since joining the team in 2014, Katie has handled all communications and outreach for the project, including overseeing report releases, planning CME-sponsored events and promoting the project to the journalism industry. She previously worked as a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Bakersfield Californian and the Daily Nebraskan. She has also worked in corporate communications and public relations. A Nebraska native, Katie has a bachelor’s degree in News/Editorial and English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a master’s degree in Journalism – Public Relations from Kent State University.