Josh Braun’s Homepage

Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies at UMass Amherst

media technology graphic Research

My research revolves around online distribution of television, news, and (naturally) television news, as well as other forms of media. I examine how large legacy media organizations are coping as audiences move online—how they go about developing and deploying new methods of distribution for their content.

I also study new entrants into the world of television distribution, including tech start-ups like Hulu and Boxee, as well as ordinary Internet users, whose social, technical, and peer-to-peer activities have helped to dramatically upend entrenched markets and models of circulation.

My dissertation fieldwork—which is now the subject of a forthcoming book from Yale University Press—was with MSNBC TV and MSNBC.com (now NBC News Digital), where I spent time with The Rachel Maddow Show, whose approach to the Internet became a model for many within the television company, and at Newsvine, a startup acquired by MSNBC.com that is now responsible for constructing a considerable amount of the infrastructure that helps to power MSNBC and NBC News’ assorted websites, and especially their social features.

Using conceptual tools from the history and sociology of socio-technical systems, along with more traditional lenses from media studies, media sociology, journalism studies, and communication theory, I look at how companies and individuals are building and deploying new systems for distributing their content online.

I have contributed to a number of research blogs on occasion, including Culture Digitally and Nieman Lab. I also periodically update a personal blog with research-related thoughts and news, ruminations on open source software, and other items of personal and professional interest. In the past my work has been funded by a grant from UC Santa Barbara’s Media Industries Project.