Summer Harlow

Summer Harlow
University of Houston | U of H, UH · Journalism

PhD in Journalism, University of Texas at Austin

About

63
Publications
22,948
Reads
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1,465
Citations
Introduction
Summer Harlow, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston. She has done extensive research on news coverage of protests, and the intersections of social movements, social media, and journalism. She is the author of "Liberation Technology in El Salvador: Re-appropriating Social Media Among Alternative Media Projects (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017).
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - present
Florida State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2009 - May 2014
University of Texas at Austin
Field of study
  • Journalism
August 2004 - May 2006
University of Texas at Austin
Field of study
  • Latin American Studies

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
Based on interviews with journalists during the 2020 racial justice protests, this study uses field theory and doxa to explore to what extent journalists who cover social justice issues are redrawing the boundary between journalism and activism. I use #BlackoutTuesday and journalists’ discourse about posting black squares on Instagram in support of...
Article
The protest paradigm, which describes the unequitable reciprocity of the media-social movement relationship, creates a double-bind for social movements. Mainstream news media in the United States emphasize emotion, drama, and irrationality while excluding the grievances, agendas, and substance behind a protest, contributing to negative narratives t...
Article
This triangulated study combines surveys of readers of digital-native news sites in Latin America with focus groups of journalists working at these sites to explore how the emerging media sphere of digital-native media in the region might be redefining what it means to be “alternative.” Results show survey respondents were motivated to read the dig...
Article
This content analysis expands protest paradigm research, examining the relationship between Facebook user engagement and newspaper protest coverage. Stories not posted to social media housed more negative frames that delegitimized protesters. For select protests, Facebook users engaged more with articles with legitimizing content, suggesting users,...
Article
Protest paradigm researchers theorize that protests are delegitimized in news coverage because of journalistic culture and practices. This study explores the degree to which norms, routines, values and perceptions explain coverage patterns of protest. This mixed-methods study utilizes self-reflections from a survey of US journalists in four regions...
Article
Full-text available
Innovation is driving major changes in journalism globally. Understanding how journalism educators, students, and journalists perceive of innovation—in themselves and their organizations—is another layer by which to understand how the overall industry is evolving. This study explores the perceptions of innovation through an international survey ( N...
Article
Full-text available
Social media like Twitter have been widely adopted by advocacy organizations to communicate dissent and mobilize consensus during recent bouts of collective action. Viewing organizational discourse on Twitter as a strategic framing process, this study examines whether and how frames may converge among a diverse group of immigrant-serving organizati...
Article
Previous research suggests that mainstream media coverage around the world follows a “protest paradigm” that demonizes protesters and marginalizes their causes. Given the recent increase in global protest activity and the growing importance of social media for activism, this paper content analyzes 1,438 protest-related English and Spanish news stor...
Article
Previous research suggests that mainstream media coverage around the world follows a “protest paradigm” that demonizes protesters and marginalizes their causes. Given the recent increase in global protest activity and the growing importance of social media for activism, this paper content analyzes 1,438 protest-related English and Spanish news stor...
Article
This study examines the individual and organizational level factors shaping Brazilian journalists’ use of social media. Results from a survey of 774 reporters show that individual factors influence awareness and reporting uses, while organizational factors are associated with branding. Results suggest no difference between groups of journalists, wh...
Article
This study uses surveys with readers of entrepreneurial news startups in seven Latin American countries to examine their motivations for donating to journalism. Using the donor–organization relationship from public relations scholarship as a framework, this study showed content, independent/objective journalism, and community were main motivating f...
Article
This study uses a survey of journalists from throughout Latin America (n = 1,094) to understand the relationship between policies (or lack thereof) and journalists’ work environments and editorial decisions. Results show most journalists work in newsrooms with no policy in place. Country, newsroom size, geographic scope, and revenue source all are...
Article
Full-text available
Digital-native news sites from Latin America are changing the region’s industry. These news organizations are accessed nationally and also across national boundaries. This study examined, through the theoretical lens of social capital, factors contributing to the creation of transnational audiences for these news organizations. A survey of audience...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Report of the Worlds of Journalism Study Latin American and Caribbean network is ready. The overview of topics of concern to Journalism and Journalism Studies in the region is a valuable joint contribution, as are the individual analyses of each country which are the work of each country coordinator or team. · Feel free to download and share.
Article
News coverage is fundamental to a protest’s viability, but research suggests media negatively portray protests and protesters that challenge the status quo (a pattern known as the protest paradigm). This study questions the validity of those claims within the context of digital newspaper coverage, interrogating how topic and region shape coverage....
Article
Following the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, protests around the world—online and offline—grabbed headlines. Considering that previous research suggests that the news media tend to follow a protest paradigm of coverage that delegitimizes protesters, this study examined #Ferguson coverage on social media to re-asses...
Article
This study examines independent news startups with self-reported revenue earnings in high-, middle-, and low-income categories and compares them in the areas of news content creation. The findings, based on a content analysis of 704 articles, reveal that low-revenue earners publish fewer stories than middle- and high-revenue earning sites. For-prof...
Article
In this era of participatory and social media, memes have become a user-generated form of political discussion. The online conversation surrounding Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who was jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses provides insight into the rhetoric used in political memes. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis using...
Article
Scholars have questioned the extent to which journalism’s public-service values can be reconciled with the financial responsibilities of running an online, entrepreneurial news site. This study explores that debate using content analysis and secondary survey data to examine the links between financial sustainability, technological innovation, and c...
Article
This study compares U.S. digital news coverage of recent foreign and domestic protests. Differences in coverage’s framing, sourcing, and device emphases were analyzed for two cases: protests that erupted after the death of Michael Brown and protests demanding justice for the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico. Building on protest paradigm...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores how entrepreneurial news organizations in Latin America perceive innovation and sustainability in relation to the operations of their organizations. Based on online focus groups conducted in June-July 2015 with 16 entrepreneurial news organizations in Latin America, this study identifies that the relationship between innovation...
Article
This qualitative study based on interviews at 10 digital news startups in India fills multiple gaps in entrepreneurial journalism literature by exploring how social identities of founders shape innovation and financing at their ventures. In line with extant managerial literature, this study showed founders can be classified according to a typology:...
Article
Political communication has changed drastically in recent years, and in the 2016 election cycle, the messaging app Snapchat entered the arena. Snapchat is a virtually based messaging service that allows users to send and receive time-sensitive, visual messages called “snaps.” This study offers a visual analysis of news delivered via Snapchat, revea...
Article
Pundits disagree on the extent to which hip-hop artists have used their celebrity clout to further the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This study adds to a nascent body of research on Black Twitter by examining how celebrities, in particular, hip-hop celebrities, used the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to create and maintain Black identity during the 2014 F...
Article
Most research on journalists’ role perceptions and journalistic culture remains Western-focused, and is limited to mainstream media. This quantitative study uses a survey to fill two gaps in the literature by examining differences in role perceptions and journalistic culture among mainstream and alternative media journalists in Brazil. Results indi...
Article
Entrepreneurial, independent digital media sites arose in response to disruption in the journalism industry brought on by emerging technologies. This study explores this trend in Latin America from the perspective of audiences. Based on surveys of readers of entrepreneurial digital news sites in Guatemala and Nicaragua, this mixed-methods study off...
Book
This ethnographic study explores how four alternative media projects in El Salvador integrated digital technologies-particularly social media-into their practices, and whether incorporating these technologies affected citizen participation not only in the media production process, but in a broader discursive sphere of civic and political life as we...
Article
In 2014 protests erupted around the world after 43 college students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico, were kidnapped and massacred. This bilingual, cross-national content analysis explores the relationship between multimedia features in stories about the Ayotzinapa protests and how social media users liked, shared, and commented on that coverage. This study...
Chapter
This chapter compares and contrasts the two traditional media sites with each other and the two online-only sites with each other, and then compares and contrasts the traditional versus online-only media sites, in order to explore common challenges and benefits of incorporating new technologies. Such a holistic analysis allows insight into the cont...
Chapter
This chapter examines the online citizen journalism and debate site Política Stereo, showing how online social media can be used successfully to promote citizen debate, participation, and perhaps even action. Política Stereo served as a digital counter public sphere, encouraging debate and action by emphasizing dialogue among users with opposing vi...
Chapter
This chapter offers a discussion of the findings and their theoretical and practical implications, conclusions, limitations of this project, and thoughts on how future research can advance the ideas raised in this volume. Here, I offer a liberation technology model, based off the four sites under study, that helps us better understand what factors...
Chapter
This chapter sets the scene by situating the four media projects under study within a framework of El Salvador’s mainstream and alternative media ecologies, contextualized by the country’s political, social, economic, and technological realities. This chapter also develops the theoretical framework necessary for understanding the role of technology...
Chapter
This chapter details the case of the online newspaper Voces, showing that while Voces wanted to be open to direct participation from marginalized voices, the limitations of the digital divide meant that it had to settle for writing on behalf of those marginalized voices, as participation was limited to those citizens with literacy and technological...
Chapter
This chapter examines the case of Diario CoLatino, a more than 100-year-old leftist, alternative newspaper. This chapter indicates that CoLatino created more of a space for representation than for actual expression or participation. When it came to technology, a seeming lack of resources, training, vision, and even desire prevented CoLatino from us...
Chapter
This chapter shows how Radio Victoria, a community radio station in El Salvador, used technologies to encourage citizen participation and action, despite digital inequalities. Analysis showed who participated and how they participated changed because of social media. Subjects did not see the digital divide as an insurmountable obstacle: their innov...
Article
Audiences play a fundamental role in disseminating and evaluating news content, and one of the big questions facing news organizations is what elements make content viral in the digital environment. This comparative study of the United States, Brazil and Argentina explores what values and topics present in news shared online predict audience intera...
Article
The well-known phrase 'if it bleeds, it leads' describes the sensational approach that has penetrated the history of news. Sensationalism is a term without complete consensus among scholars, and its meaning and implications have not been considered in a digital environment. This study analyzes 400 articles from online-native news organizations acro...
Article
Full-text available
Este estudio de caso etnográfico examinó cómo el grupo de activistas ju- veniles salvadoreños, Activista, incorporó los medios de comunicación so - ciales en su ecología de medios. El análisis reveló cuatro temas principales: los medios de comunicación social como medios alternativos; la relación entre Facebook y la visibilidad, la legitimidad y la...
Article
This study maps the emerging digital media landscape of online-native news sites in Latin America, interrogating to what extent these sites challenge mainstream, traditional journalism. Researchers identified and analyzed the region’s online-native sites, exploring their influence and “alternativeness”—in terms of ownership, funding, content, degre...
Article
This ethnographic case study explores whether and how the Salvadoran alternative newspaper Diario CoLatino incorporated new technologies, specifically online social media, to encourage citizen participation in the media process (in technology) and in a larger discursive sphere (through technology). This study contributes to the literature by includ...
Article
This study examines whether a Salvadoran alternative newspaper maintained its critical, independent, and alternative position after the country’s first leftist president was elected and the newspaper no longer was in opposition to the government. Via a content analysis and in-depth interviews that drove the content analysis, this study improves our...
Poster
Full-text available
This study maps the emerging digital media landscape of online-native Latin America, interrogating to what extent these sites challenge mainstream, traditional journalism. The region’s online-native sites were analyzed for ‘alternativeness’ – in terms of ownership, funding, content, degree of activism, and organizational goals – and ‘digital-ness,’...
Article
With reader comments posted to newspaper websites seemingly becoming increasingly vitriolic, newspapers across the country are weighing the pros and cons of allowing readers to post anonymous comments online. Using a content analysis of online reader comments from a random sample of U.S. newspapers, this study explores how readers discuss race in o...
Article
This study examined how activists in India, the world's largest democracy, perceived online social networking sites' potential to bring about social change in a country with a large digital divide and a partially free press. Analysis of closed and open-ended survey responses indicated activists were positive about using SNS in their work, believing...
Article
This ethnographic study of El Salvador's social media citizen debate site Política Stereo explores whether and how the site used online social media to prompt citizen debate, participation, and action. The analysis investigates whether Política Stereo encouraged citizen participation in technology and through technology. Política Stereo served as a...
Article
This study examines representations of African Americans, Latinos, and Asians in YouTube videos, exploring whether YouTube serves as a type of alternative media where the status quo is contested. Results show that most videos analyzed perpetuated racial stereotypes. Further, videos that included stereotypes, most of which contained user-produced co...
Article
Considering the debate over U.S. immigration reform and the way digital communication technologies increasingly are being used to spark protests, this qualitative study examines focus group discourse of immigration activists to explore how digital media are transforming the definitions of “activism” and “activist.” Analysis suggests technologies ar...
Article
Full-text available
This quantitative and qualitative analysis of Time and Newsweek explores how women are incorporated into a globalization discourse that often is seen as a masculinized public sphere. Results indicate that although female journalists integrate women into the news more than their male counterparts, females are invisible in globalization discourse. Wh...
Article
Full-text available
As activists increasingly use the Internet to bypass traditional media gatekeepers, disseminate their own messages, and mobilize protests, this study explores how activists in the United States and Latin America view activism in relation to mainstream and alternative media, particularly online media. Results from a quantitative and qualitative surv...
Article
This content analysis explores how 19 flagship newspapers from throughout Latin America adopt multimedia and interactive features in their websites and open up to a more dialogical relationship with their audiences. The results show that that newspaper websites continue to replicate their print version in online settings and are bringing citizens i...
Article
Full-text available
Este análisis de contenido aborda cómo 19 de los periódicos más influyentes de América Latina incorporan elementos multimedia e interactivos en sus sitios web y dan paso a una relación más dialógica con las audiencias. Los datos revelan que estos los sitios de periódicos continúan replicando sus versiones impresas en el entorno digital y están abri...
Article
When Brazil’s then-president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was implicated in a bribery scandal in 2005, Senator Antônio Carlos Magalhães from the state of Bahia emerged as one of the president’s most vocal critics. This study relied on a content analysis of scandal coverage in two competing Bahia newspapers: A Tarde, which had no overt political ties...
Article
In the light of newspapers’ struggle to maintain readers and viability in the digital era, this study aims to understand better how newspapers in Latin America are responding to this shift toward user-generated and multimedia content. Using a content analysis of 19 newspapers from throughout Latin America, this study found that newspaper websites a...
Article
Social networking sites (SNS) are credited with organizing protesters in Colombia and Guatemala, and mobilizing voters in the United States. With SNS increasingly used to mobilize collective action, this cross-cultural study surveyed activists in the United States and Latin America to examine how respondents perceived the usefulness and the potenti...
Article
Full-text available
In May of 2009, a posthumous video surfaced in which prominent lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg blamed Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom for murdering him. The accusations prompted the creation of numerous Facebook pages calling for Colom’s resignation, and for justice for Rosenberg. Using interviews and a content analysis of Facebook comments from the two...

Projects

Project (1)