Former NY Times, CNN journalists named Reynolds visiting professors


December 11, 2013

A former New York Times senior business correspondent and a former CNN Wall Street correspondent will be the Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professors in Business Journalism for the spring semester at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Former Times airline and auto industry reporter Micheline Maynard and former CNN Wall Street correspondent Susan Lisovicz will serve as Reynolds visiting professors at the Cronkite School during the spring 2014 semester. Maynard was a Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor at Central Michigan University last year, and Lisovicz has twice before been a Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor at the Cronkite School.  Download Full Image

Maynard, a reporter and bureau chief for the Times until 2010, left to become senior editor of a two-year NPR grant project called “Changing Gears.” She recently launched a new crowd-funded journalism venture, “Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around,” examining why people are driving less and turning to different types of transportation. Curbing Cars is featured on the cover of the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review. Maynard's e-book on the project's findings will be published in 2014.

“It's never been more important for prospective journalists to understand business,” Maynard said. “I'm excited to bring my expertise in transportation, urban topics and other economic subjects to Arizona State.”

Lisovicz was a correspondent for more than a decade at CNN, interviewing business leaders and providing daily Wall Street coverage. She previously worked as a correspondent for CNBC. She is a former president of the New York Financial Writers Association, and has also been an Asian Pacific Fellow, a Jefferson Fellow in Asia and a Radio Television Digital News Association Fellow in Europe. She received the President’s Medal from her alma mater, William Paterson University.

“The Reynolds Center does invaluable work for students and working pros alike in breaking down today's complex business news,” Lisovicz said.  “I'm thrilled to return to Reynolds and help teach a subject that is critically important and yet still so misunderstood.”

The school has two visiting business journalism professors during the spring 2014 semester because Andrew Leckey, president of the Reynolds Center and the Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism, will be teaching in Guangzhou, China as a Fulbright scholar at Sun Yat-sen University then.

“Micheline Maynard and Susan Lisovicz have proven their ability to help journalism students better understand the world of money, and we’re delighted the school will benefit from their knowledge during the upcoming spring semester,” Leckey said. “I’ve gotten to know both of them and consider their outstanding professional careers, coupled with proven teaching ability, to be the optimum formula for student success.”

At the school, Maynard will teach the business issues and reporting courses in business journalism, while Lisovicz will teach broadcast-related business journalism courses. The positions are made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The foundation also supports the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism at the Cronkite School.

Former New York Times business reporter Leslie Wayne was the school’s inaugural Reynolds Visiting Professor in Business Journalism in 2010, followed by Lisovicz in 2011 and Sharon Bernstein, former business reporter and editor of the Los Angeles Times, in 2012. Lisovicz returned last year.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it has committed more than $115 million nationwide through its journalism program.

Reporter , ASU Now

480-727-5176

Twitter pattern: Those who don't know you well are more likely to retweet


December 11, 2013

Big news can spread like wildfire via Twitter, but did you ever think about why certain people choose to retweet? A new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows that if someone doesn’t know you well, he or she is actually more likely to retweet something significant you say.

“We found that people with weak ties, such as those who only have a one-way relationship on Twitter – who don’t both follow each other – are more likely to retweet,” says Zhan Michael Shi, assistant professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business, one of the paper’s authors. “We believe the retweeters are sharing the information because they think it will boost their reputation and influence by providing something new. People with stronger ties might not retweet because they believe their followers already know the details, and/or they may have communicated with each other in other ways.” Assistant Professor Zhan Michael Shi Download Full Image

The new research by Shi and his co-authors, professor Huaxia Rui of the University of Rochester and professor Andrew Whinston of the University of Texas at Austin, will be published in the academic journal MIS Quarterly in March. For their study, they put together a complex program utilizing 20 computers over 140 days. They were able to follow the progress of certain tweets for five-day periods and see whether the Twitter relationships between the author and retweeters were strong or weak. It’s believed to be the first information-systems study using publicly available Twitter data to explore how people voluntarily relay information.

For example, the paper mentions a famed tweet in 2011, when a highly placed official in Washington said, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama bin Laden.” That tweet was sent out more than an hour before the White House officially announced the event. By the time the presidential announcement was made, tens of thousands of Twitter users had already spread the word, even though most of them didn’t know anyone directly involved.

“Twitter is incredibly popular and fast-growing as a social medium, with more than 500 million registered users worldwide by April 2012,” Shi says. “It’s a combination of a broadcasting service and a social network, so our results aren’t necessarily translatable to more pure social networks, such as Facebook. However, we think the new information is going to be very useful to people like social-media managers and marketers trying to understand how information is spread via social-broadcasting networks like Twitter.”

Among the results: Those with a two-way Twitter relationship are only 6 percent likely to retweet a remark like the ones of the median quality these researchers studied. However, one-way followers are 9.1 percent likely to tweet it. That’s a boost of more than 50 percent.

The full study can be found online here. More analysis is also available from knowWPCarey, the W. P. Carey School’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com.