MILab Journal

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Journal of the Media Innovation Lab

Welcome to the MILab Journal: Adventures in Media Innovation. This is a product of the Media Innovation Lab in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. On this site, you will find research projects dealing with media innovation relating to pedagogy and the professions. Do you have a novel idea you'd like to explore, experiences that you'd like to share, a project that doesn't have a home in a more traditional venue? See below!


December 5, 2022: Who Needs to Code? Developing a Coding Practice in a Media Organization. MILab Director Cindy Royal and Allie Kosterich of Fordham University asked product managers and leaders from across the U.S. about the roles, programming languages and competency levels of coding skills needed in media organizations. The results highlight the emergence of coding practice in media organizations and offer implications regarding organizational structure, hiring, professional development, as well as media education. 

May 10, 2022: Digital Media Innovation Survey of Graduates 2016-2021. During Spring 2022, a survey was developed to assess the demographic and employment trends of alumni of the Digital Media Innovation undergraduate degree. This is the first detailed analysis of the program. 

November 17, 2020: The State of the News Product Community 2020. MILab Director Cindy Royal shares the results of a survey of news product professionals, working in conjunction with the News Product Alliance. Learn more about this emerging role.



May 31, 2022, No. 1: Local News, Local Engagement and Location: A Case Study of Two Communities - Amy Schmitz Weiss of San Diego State University explores how locative technology affects the news seeking activities of two communities.


November 9, 2021, No. 3: Oregon Is On Fire: Teaching Social Media in the Journalism Curriculum During COVID-19 - Jeslyn Lemke of Pacific University presents a case study introducing social media modules in a journalism course.

July 22, 2021, No. 2: Sending Out Digital Natives: Using Digital Tools, Andragogy, and Experiential Learning to Support Local Newsrooms - Amanda Bright of the University of Georgia presents a case study of an innovative program matching students with professional organizations -- where they learn from each other. 

March 22, 2021, No. 1: A History of “The Future of News”: Stereographs as Early Immersive Journalism - Jason Lee Guthrie of Clayton State University looks at the future of immersive storytelling with lessons from a past technology - stereographs.


July 1, 2020, No. 3: Promoting Enrollment, Protecting Reputation and Playing Catch Up: Purposes Driving Digital Curriculum Revisions In Journalism Programs - This article, by Amanda Bright of the University of Georgia, deals with curriculum change and identifies the factors that motivate faculty to revise curriculum.

June 8, 2020, No. 2: Teaching and Learning During a Pandemic: The Pivot to Online - This series of articles chronicles the ways in which Digital Media faculty addressed the shift to remote instruction during Spring 2020. Articles in the series will be released over several days.

April 21, 2020, No. 1:  Lessons from PhDigital Bootcamp: Preparing Future Faculty to Lead Emerging Media Curriculum - Our first article deals with a program of the MILab, the PhDigital Bootcamp. Six fellows of the Bootcamp share reflections and provide insight into the future of doctoral education.

Relevant Research

In this section, we invite reviews of research studies and reports that shed light on media innovation and digital technologies, particularly studies relevant to the professions.

September 18, 2023: Review of Vivid and Engaging: Effects of Interactive Data Visualization on Perceptions and Attitudes about Social Issues, by Cindy Royal, Ph.D.

June 28, 2022: Review of Materialising New Forms of Journalism: A Process Model, by Cindy Royal, Ph.D.

January 31, 2022: Review of Editorial Technologists as Engineers of Journalism’s Future: Exploring the Professional Community of Computational Journalism, by Cindy Royal, Ph.D.

September 7, 2021: Review of Exploring Data Visualisations: An Analytical Framework Based on Dimensional Components of Data Artefacts in Journalism, by Cindy Royal, Ph.D.

July 6, 2021: Review of inaugural issue of Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media, by Amber Hinsley, Ph.D.

June 21, 2021: Review of Preserving Data Journalism: A Systematic Literature Review, by Cindy Royal, Ph.D.

May 19, 2021: Review of Reengineering Journalism: Product Manager as News Industry Institutional Entrepreneur, by Cindy Royal, Ph.D.

April 26, 2021: Review of Digital Journalism's Special Issue on Digital Journalism in Latin America, by Vanessa de Macedo Higgins Joyce, Ph.D.

August 17, 2020: Review of Algorithms and Journalism: Exploring (Re)Configurations in Media and Communication, by Cindy Royal, PhD.

August 4, 2020: Review of Capturing Digital News Innovation Research in Organizations,1990-2018 in Journalism Studies, by Kelly Kaufhold, PhD

June 22, 2020: Review of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly's Special Issue on Advancing Journalism and Communication Research: New Concepts, Theories and Pathways, by Cindy Royal, PhD.

MILab Journal Information

The rapid pace of media innovation influences all aspects of our lives. Communication and technology are tightly integrated. Professionals are adapting their processes to address these changes, and students are learning and experimenting with new technologies to better prepare for the future. Faculty are adjusting courses and curriculum to best serve these needs, and they are exploring research agendas that reflect this new reality.

The MILab Journal will publish articles that deal with media innovation relevant to academics and the professions we serve. For example, have you done a project with drones or virtual reality and want to share the results? Have you made changes to a course to include social media analytics? Have you used data to tell a story and presented it in visual and interactive ways? Do you have another use of emerging media with which you would like to engage with academics and professionals?

Do you have a novel approach to research that needs a home? We believe there are many ways to be a productive academic. The MILab journal will promote and elevate the broadest range of these activities. We will consider any format, voice, methodology or presentation. Qualitative, quantitative methods, opinion and thought pieces, first-person accounts are welcome. Those that include photos and visuals are also appreciated. 2000-8000 words.

The MILab Journal is free and open access. Articles will be peer reviewed, and will be promoted on social media to provide the broadest distribution possible. Articles will be published as a web version, but will also include a downloadable pdf.

The journal has no set publication schedule. Articles will be published as they are received, edited and prepared. For more information about publication standards and styles, please contact Cindy Royal (