Margaret Ng selected for 2023-24 James W. Carey Faculty Fellowship and AEJMC Emerging Scholar Award

Margaret NgMargaret Ng, assistant professor of journalism with an appointment in the Institute of Communications Research, has been selected for 2023-24 James W. Carey Faculty Fellowship. She was also recognized with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Emerging Scholar Grant.

Ng will receive stipends to support her research on social media platform migration, within broader shifts in digital communication culture. The recognitions support her pioneering inquiry into this contemporary phenomenon in journalism.

The James W. Carey Fund for Faculty Excellence, established in 2021 through the generosity of the Carey family, is a prestigious recognition designed to bolster the research activities of faculty in ICR, the world’s oldest program for interdisciplinary research and doctoral education in communication and media studies. At ICR, Carey earned his doctoral degree, was a research professor, and served as director (1969-76); he also served as dean of the College of Media.

Ng said the Carey Faculty Fellowship’s research support will assist her to explore the social and cultural implications of the platform migration phenomenon. 

“It would detail, for instance, how circumstances like voluntary and forced platform discontinuance (a platform closing due to financial reasons or the de-platforming of notable figures) are influenced by a complex interplay of factors like culture, economics, and social identity,” she said. 

Ng was also recently awarded a $3,500 grant from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The AEJMC Emerging Scholar Award will enable Ng to study how journalists are grappling with platform migration in the wake of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover in October 2022. 

She will hire a research assistant and administer a mixed-method approach that encompasses computational analysis of activities by 900 journalists on Twitter (now X) and Mastodon and qualitative interviews of 10 to 15 active journalists. The new knowledge helps journalists assess the risks and benefits of platform changes, facilitating smoother transitions and audience maintenance in the future.The results will appear in a journal publication and a chapter in her book, setting the scholarly discourse around the topic.  

“Both the James W. Carey Faculty Fellowship and AEJMC Emerging Scholar Award, along with the opportunity to bring on board the Mark L. Brandt Public Engagement Fellows, focus largely on the topic of my scholarly book project—platform migration,” Ng said. 

Ng will also team up with a student Brandt Fellow to engage with journalists and the public, potentially through a webinar, to provide a better understanding of the experiences, challenges, and strategies journalists employed following Musk’s Twitter takeover. The Mark L. Brandt Public Engagement Fellows program was established to support Media students assisting faculty and staff with public engagement projects.  

—Kelly Youngblood