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Jake Batsell

Jake Batsell

Jake Batsell

Associate Professor

Jake Batsell worked for more than a decade as a print journalist before learning to shoot and edit video as The Dallas Morning News Metro Desk’s “hybrid” reporter. Since joining SMU in 2008, he has taught digital journalism, technology reporting, media entrepreneurship and investigative reporting. He also coordinated the Division of Journalism’s digital student media operations for eight years. His book, Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences (Columbia University Press, February 2015), examines the changing relationship between journalists and the audiences they serve. In 2016, the book was recognized as one of three finalists for the Tankard Book Award, administered by the Standing Committee on Research for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Batsell spent the 2013-14 academic year at The Texas Tribune in Austin as part of a Knight Foundation fellowship to research best practices in the business of digital news.


M.A. in Government, University of Texas at Austin
B.A. in Journalism, Arizona State University


Audience engagement
Digital revenue strategies
Online news startups and nonprofits
Mobile devices as a news platform
Newsroom convergence

Professional Experience

Staff writer and videographer, The Dallas Morning News
Staff writer, The Seattle Times
Adjunct professor of journalism, University of North Texas


JOUR 4398: Digital Journalism
JOUR 5310: Media Entrepreneurship
JOUR 3325: Technology Reporting
JOUR 3365: Investigative Reporting

Selected Publications

Batsell, Jake. “Nonprofit Model Development.” In Michelle Ferrier & Elizabeth Mays (Eds.), Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Rebus Community Press, 2017.

Batsell, Jake. “There is a Swedish city where the CueCat lives on as a monument to media’s digital failures.” Nieman Journalism Lab, June 2017.

Batsell, Jake. Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered News Audiences. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

Batsell, Jake. “Earning Their Keep: Revenue Strategies From The Texas Tribune and Other Nonprofit News Organizations.” Miami: Knight Foundation, April 2015.

Kraeplin, Camille and Jake Batsell. “Web-Centric Convergence Replaces Media Partnerships.” Newspaper Research Journal, Vol. 34 (4), Fall 2013, pp. 68-82.

Batsell, Jake. “The ‘Original Platform’: How Newsrooms Build Digital Loyalty and Generate Revenue Through Face-to-Face Engagement,” #ISOJ – The Official Research Journal of the International Symposium on Online Journalism Journal, Vol. 3 (2), Spring 2013, pp. 274-289.

Batsell, Jake. “Intrigued, But Not Immersed: Millennial Students Analyze News Apps During the iPad’s First Year,” Electronic News, Vol. 6 (3), September 2012, pp. 111-130.

Batsell, Jake. “Friday Night Bytes: In Texas, high school football is the killer app,” Columbia Journalism Review, January/February 2012, pp. 39-41.

Batsell, Jake. “Lone Star Trailblazer: Will the Texas Tribune transform Texas journalism?Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2010, pp. 39-43.


2017 Tow-Knight Fellowship for Disruptive Educators, City University of New York.

2016 Finalist, Tankard Book Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

2013-14 Texas Tribune Fellowship, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

2012 Scripps Howard Entrepreneurial Journalism Institute fellowship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University

2009 Knight Digital Media Center fellowship, University of California at Berkeley

2005 Award for Excellence in Economic Reporting, presented by The Institute on Political Journalism and The Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C.

2005 Gerald Loeb Awards, finalist.

2004 Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards, finalist.

1999-2005 Pacific Northwest Society of Professional Journalists awards for comprehensive coverage, spot news and business features.


Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts


Mission Statement

Undergraduate Studies

Classes (See Catalog)


Faculty and Staff


Division Projects

Advisory Board


Journalism in Dallas