COMPASS| Measuring the Journalism Crisis: Developing New Approaches That Help the Public Connect to the Issue

Alex T. Williams


Despite academics and media critics warning that cutbacks from the journalism crisis may be harming democratic values, a majority of the public is unaware of the financial struggles plaguing the industry. In this article, I argue that more communication scholars should publish research that is accessible to the broader public to help raise public awareness of this pivotal issue. Political economy, I argue, is well suited to this task, given its emphasis on merging research with action. I detail three key ways scholars can help the public connect to the journalism crisis: (1) by “localizing” the data to allow people to see how the crisis is impacting their community, (2) by “humanizing” the research to make the findings more relatable, and (3) by testing and refuting common refrains related to the crisis.


journalism crisis, critical political economy, public engagement, media analysis

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