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Joy Jenkins

Assistant Professor
338 Communications Building

Dr. Jenkins’ research uses a sociological lens to examine changing organizational identities and practices in newsrooms in an increasingly complex digital environment. Dr. Jenkins’ studies have focused on the influence of market concerns on journalists’ public service roles, how perceptions of audience and local impact shape journalistic identity, the potential of journalistic narratives to spur civic engagement, and the ways news organizations use digital platforms to facilitate dialogue with audiences. Dr. Jenkins also examines the role of gender in news organizations and content, including pressures facing women journalists and the functions news organizations play in spurring public discourse about feminism and gender roles. Dr. Jenkins work has been published in multiple academic journals, including Journalism, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, New Media & Society, and Feminist Media Studies.

Before coming to the University of Tennessee, Dr. Jenkins served as a post-doctoral research fellow in digital news at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. At the Reuters Institute, she studied how local and regional news organizations around Europe are adapting to changes facing the news industry. The project addressed the value, influence, and future of local journalism from the perspectives of staff members working in both the editorial and commercial sides of local and regional newspapers. It also examined how they understand and respond to shifts in audience behavior and media markets in their production, editorial, and business strategies. Finally, the project considered the potential for collaborative initiatives to address the challenges facing local news and produce high-quality journalism at the local level.

Before entering academia, Dr. Jenkins worked as a copy editor and reporter at the Oklahoma Gazette, an alternative newsweekly in Oklahoma City, and as a senior editor at TulsaPeople, the city magazine in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri
M.S. in mass communications/media management from Oklahoma State University
B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma

Research Interests:
Digital media and newsrooms
Local media
Comparative research
Lifestyle journalism
Gender and media