The purpose of research is to reveal truth and unlock mystery. For Talia Stroud, it also provided a mission.
Fresh out of graduate school, Stroud joined the faculty at The University of Texas in 2006 to continue pursuing her fascination with partisan media, which ultimately resulted in a book, “Niche News: The Politics of News Choice,” and an opportunity to work with the Federal Communications Commission to study communities and their information needs.
As part of an FCC working group, Stroud learned more about the difficult economic situation facing local news outlets. The process motivated her to do more than study media divides, but actually devise solutions.
“News media provide a space where people can come together to learn about what is happening in the world and in their communities,” Stroud said. “It is imperative that we figure out ways to help this industry.”
In 2011, Stroud received her first research grant for what was then the Engaging News Project, which grew into the Center for Media Engagement in 2017. Under Stroud’s leadership, the center works to sustain a vibrant news media through research and testing of strategies for delivering news and informing the public.