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Researching Digital News Consumption

As a UX Research Intern at CNN, I worked on planning, programming, fielding, and analyzing research studies that would inform key CNN digital product strategies as well as support research during the Midterm election season.
My Role
UX Research Intern
My Team
Robert Hamburger — UX Research Manager
Asha Toulmin— Director of UX Research
Laura Cozart — UX Researcher
Justine Kim — UX Researcher
Katie Glaeser— Senior Producer, Global Programming
Jeff Green— Director of Gloabl Programming
Seth Holladay — VP, Digital Research
Work Duration
5 months (August - December 2022)
During my Fall 2022 semester, I joined CNN as a UX Research intern on the CNN Digital team. As a UX Research intern I worked on programming, fielding, and analyzing an intercept survey for the 2022 Midterm Election to inform future CNN homepage and elections coverage programming. I also designed and executed a competitive design benchmarking study. Lastly, I worked on cultivating CNN Digital UXR's research operations by organizing a new research repository for all past and ongoing research studies.
What I Worked On

I was at CNN at an important time, the 2022 midterm elections were near the middle of my internship program. During the first half of my internship program, I worked with my UX Research Manager - Robert, to help the CNN politics and programming team with research on elections coverage.

CNN Elections Coverage

I helped plan, program, monitor, and synthesize an intercept survey that we launched on midterm election day to evaluate current elections related product features and elections coverage experience in order to improve future elections related content. In addition, I presented this work with my manager to the wider CNN research and programming teams.

Pictured below: Presenting 2022 midterm elections survey research to the wider CNN research organization.

Competitive Design Benchmarking

During this time, CNN was also going through some internal transformation - starting with a key focus on modernization of the user experience. I led, programmed, and synthesized a mixed methods competitive benchmarking research study evaluating design satisfaction across CNN and competitors.

Pictured below: Overview of the methodology of my design benchmarking study from a shareout session, this study was also tied to evaluation of CNN's newly established design principles.

Operationalizing Research

My last big initiative I worked on as a part of my internship was around helping the UXR team set up a new system of keeping track of all of their research studies. This meant consolidating a repository of all past and ongoing work and creating a new visible library that made it easier for researchers to store and locate key UX research content.


I had the  privilege of having an incredibly knowledgeable and close-knit team of UX researchers who mentored me on not just how to conduct meaningful research at CNN and research approaches in media, but also taught me a variety of new and interesting research methodologies and best practices.

The news space is interesting in that many research questions reflected an industry prioritization of themes around trust and integrity. At the same time, I observed interesting industry disruptors such as an increase in brand ambivalence that coincides with the increasing popularity of social media platforms like Tiktok being used for news consumption.

Thank-you to my UX Research team, the larger CNN research organization, the CNN product and design team as well as the early career team! :)