Merging Media Science with Media Practice: A Poynter online chat experience

By Paul Bolls on February 23, 2012 2 Comments Ideas Research
Paul Bolls, 2011-2012 Reynolds Fellow
Paul Bolls

Why don’t media scientists and media practitioners talk to each other more often?!?!?

That question is burning in my brain as I have just wrapped up one of the most amazing and valuable experiences in my time as a Reynolds Fellow. Today, noon-1pm CST I had the honor of being the guest for a live online Poynter chat hosted by Charles Apple and moderated by Mallary Tenore from Poynter. Poynter holds these chats every Thursday and Charles told me they were a little nervous about having a geeky mad scientist (my phrasing not his) as a guest but they took the leap and it was AWESOME…at least from our perspective. Whenever I have the opportunity to visit with media professionals it is such a rewarding experience but the phrase “dumb it down” invariably comes up at some point. I have to admit that I’m always a little put off by that phrase. All of us are intelligent individuals engaged in a field we are extremely passionate about! So, I don’t think the communication problem is a matter of dumbing things down but rather we all need to have patience in the process of translating media science into understandable and actionable insights for media practices. Admittedly, I can get caught up in jargon associated with my science and I need to be made aware of when that happens and figure out a different way of explaining things. However, I also need to interact with media professionals who will have the patience with me to clearly explain current challenges from their perspective, in essence dumbing things down for the media scientist!

Clicking here will take you to Charles Apples' blog (a great resource for visual design) and allow you to replay the Poynter chat. Several interesting ideas were brought up that I will discuss next week. It's also an example of what I think was an effective, valuable conversation between a media scientist and media professionals. Please let me know if anything in it captures your interest. Here’s to merging media science with media practice!


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Paul, your work is so

Paul, your work is so fascinating. I look forward to reading more.


Thank you Gina! I appreciate the encouragement from a member of MIZZOU MAFIA. Would be fun having you visit J School. Results from my research should be available during RJI week in April.

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