Brendan R. Watson

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University School of Journalism

2016 Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication (AEJMC) Presentations

Watson, B.R.(2016).See, Click, Control: Predicting the Popularity of Civic Technology for Social Control . Paper accepted for presentation at the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Paper will be presented Friday, Aug. 5, 3:15 to 4:45 p.m., Symphony Room 1

Many local news media no longer fulfill their surveillance and feedback control functions. Thus, cities rely on emerging media to maintain social order. This study found that large, pluralistic cities with higher levels of community stress had higher usage levels of the mobile app, SeeClickFix, which allows residents to snap and send photos of community problems to local governments. Implications for structural pluralism theory and research on social functions of emerging civic technologies are discussed.



  • Online Communication amd Engagement, Political Communication Interest Group, Thurs., Aug. 4, 1:30 to 3 p.m., Minneapolis Ballroom
  • Uses and Effects of Social Media & Mobiles, Mass Communication & Society Division, Thurs., Aug. 4, 5 to 6 p.m., Minneapolis Ballroom


  • Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • M.A., Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • B.A., English Literature & American Culture Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

Research Interests

  • Community information needs
  • Public affairs news/information
  • Social and participatory media
  • Community composition/structure
  • Public opinion
  • Digital research methods
>>Published research


Watson, B.R. and Cavanah, S. (2015).Community information needs: A theory and methodological framework. Mass Communication & Society, 18, 651-673. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2015.1059948



School of Journalism
College of Commmunication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University
404 Wilson Road, Room 302
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 884-4487