David Dowling, Ph.D.


What is David's Story?

David Dowling’s work in digital media and journalism studies centers on developments in publishing industries that drive markets and cultural production.

He is the author and editor of 12 books and numerous articles on media, communication, and culture with an emphasis on narrative journalism from print to the digital age. His latest books are Podcast Journalism: The Promise and Perils of Audio Reporting (Columbia University Press 2024) and The Art of Fact in the Digital Age: An Anthology of New Literary Journalism (co-edited with Jacqueline Marino; Bloomsbury Academic 2024). His work has earned coverage and reviews in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, The London School of Economics Newsroom Report, and elsewhere. 

The impact of shifts in online culture and digital publishing industries on multimedia narrative is the focus of Immersive Longform Storytelling: Media, Technology, Audience (2019). This research on digital journalism’s pivot toward increasingly immersive forms—from podcasts to 360/VR and interactive documentaries—provides the foundation in interactive news media for The Gamification of Digital Journalism: Innovation in Journalistic Storytelling (2021). Also extending from the 2019 book are studies on podcasting that include Podcast Journalism and two award-winning articles (Dowling & Miller 2019; Fox, Dowling, & Miller 2020).

His research on digital longform journalism began with “Can We Snowfall This? Digital Longform and the Race for the Tablet Market,” an article (with Travis Vogan) in Digital Journalism spotlighted by Harvard’s Nieman Journalism and Shorenstein Center. A similar topic is his project (also in DJ) on alternative business models and the economics of deep storytelling in the slow journalism movement. His journalistic reporting and writing includes a multimedia longform story in Narratively, listed in Time’s 50 best websites of the year.

The subject of writers in mass culture is the focus of A Delicate Aggression: Savagery and Survival in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (Yale), the first comprehensive history of the world’s premier creative writing program. The book was covered by The New Yorker, the New York TimesThe New Republic, and in several radio interviews. It extends into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries the research of his 2014 book, Emerson’s Protégés (Yale), on intellectual networks and publishing industries of the antebellum era. His work on the careers of writers, editors, and journalists appears in such journals as American JournalismJournalism & Communication Monographs, and American Periodicals

Dowling serves as executive editor of the Journal of Communication Inquiry (beginning August 2024). He teaches graduate seminars in journalism studies and qualitative research methods, in addition to the undergraduate courses Magazine Reporting and Writing, Digital and Gaming Culture, Introduction to Media and Culture, and Introduction to Journalism and Strategic Communication.

Selected Books (12 total: 10 Solo Authored, 1 Co-edited Anthology & 1 Monograph) 

12. Marino, J. & Dowling, D. (Eds.). (2024). The Art of Fact in the Digital Age: An Anthology of New Literary Journalism. Bloomsbury.
11. Dowling, D. (2024). Podcast Journalism: The Promise and Perils of Audio Reporting. Columbia University Press. Media coverage: Norman, M. (2024) The Economist.
10. Dowling, D. (2021). The Gamification of Digital Journalism: Innovation in Journalistic Storytelling. Routledge. 
Media coverage and reviews: 
          Thula, A. (2022). London School of Economics Newsroom Report
          Gutsche, R.E., Jr. (2021). Journalism Practice
          Fursich, E. (2021). Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
9. Dowling, D. (2019). A Delicate Aggression: Savagery and Survival in Paul Engle’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Yale University Press. 
Media coverage and reviews: 
          Doherty, M. (2019). The New Republic 
          Williams, J. (2019). New York Times
          Hoby, H. (2019). The New Yorker
          Healy, D. (2019). Telegraph Herald
8. Dowling, D. (2019). Immersive Longform Storytelling: Media, Technology, and Audience. Routledge. 
          Review: Boynton, R.S. (2020). Literary Journalism Studies
7. Dowling, D. (2017). Emerson's Newspaperman: Horace Greeley and Radical Intellectual Culture, 1836-1872. Journalism and Communication Monographs, Sage.   

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles

Miller, K., Fox, K., Dowling, D. (2022). From Black Lives Matter to COVID-19: 

Daily news podcasts and the reinvention of audio reporting. Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media, 20(2), 1-20.

Dowling, D., Johnson, P., & Ekdale, B. (2022). Hijacking journalism: Legitimacy and 

metajournalistic discourse in right-wing podcasts. Media and Communication, 10(3), 1-15.

Dowling, D. (2021). Interactive documentary and the reinvention of digital journalism, 2015-2020. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies28(3), 905-924.

Dowling, D. (2021). Alternative media on the front lines: Unicorn Riot and activist journalism’s new urgency. Journalism Practice, 7(17), 1393-1412. 

Fox, K., Dowling, D., Miller, K. (2020). A curriculum for blackness: Podcasts as discursive cultural guides, 2010-2020. Journal of Radio and Audio Media, 27(2), 298-318. 2020 Best Article Award in Journal of Radio & Audio Media

Dowling, D., Miller, K. J. (2019). Immersive audio storytelling: Podcasting and serial 

documentary in the digital publishing industry. Journal of Radio and Audio Media, 26(1), 167-184.  2019 Best Article Award in Journal of Radio & Audio Media 

Paul, S., Dowling, D. (2018). Digital archiving as social protest: Dalit Camera and the mobilization of India’s ‘untouchable’ caste. Digital Journalism, 6(9), 1239-1254. Reprinted in Journalism History and Digital Archives (Routledge, 2021), ed. H. Bodker. 

Dowling, D. (2017). Toward a new aesthetic of digital literary journalism: Charting the fierce evolution of the ‘Supreme Nonfiction’. Literary Journalism Studies, 9(1), 100-116. 

Dowling, D. (2016). The business of slow journalism: Deep storytelling's alternative economies. Digital Journalism, 4(4), 530-546. 

Dowling, D., Vogan, T. (2015). Can we snowfall this? Digital longform and the race for the tablet market. Digital Journalism, 3(2), 209-224. 


David Dowling
Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1995
Contact Information

David Dowling
E334 Adler Journalism Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Phone Number