Melissa Tully, Ph.D.

Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Professor and CLAS Collegiate Scholar
Easton Professor of Research

Drop-in Hours

By appointment 

What is Melissa’s story? 

Melissa studies news literacy, misinformation, global media with a particular focus on African media studies, and engagement.

Melissa has a particular interest in media produced in and about Africa and has conducted research in multiple Sub-Saharan African countries. She is currently working on research about misinformation and news literacy in Kenya and Senegal.

Melissa teaches courses that focus on social and digital media for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Melissa is also the Director of the Global Media Studies Working Group at the Obermann Center and a Senior Research Fellow in the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa.

  • JMC:1500 - Introduction to Social Media 
  • JMC:2020 - Multimedia Storytelling
  • JMC:3142 - Social Media for Social Change
  • JMC:3660 - Audio Production
  • JMC:6333 - Seminar in Media Communication, Global Digital Media
  • JMC:6333 - Seminar in Media Communication, Mixed Methods Research and Design
Recent Publications
  • Tuwei, D., & Tully, M. (2021). The role of change agents in the adaptation and use of mobile money services in Kenya. Journal of African Media Studies, 13(1), 89–102. doi: 10.1386/jams_00035_1
  • Vraga, E. K., Bode, L., & Tully, M. (2021). The effects of a news literacy video and real-time corrections to video misinformation related to sunscreen and skin cancer. Health Communication. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2021.1910165
  • Tully, M., Maksl, A., Vraga, E. K., Ashley, S., & Craft, S. (2021). Defining and measuring news literacy. Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/14648849211005888
  • Bode, L., Vraga E. K., & Tully, M. (2021). Correcting misperceptions about genetically modified food on social media: Examining the impact of experts, users, and the gateway belief model. Science Communication, 43(2), 225–251. doi: 10.1177/1075547020981375
  • Vraga, E. K., Tully, M., & Bode, L. (2021). Assessing the relative merits of news literacy and corrections in responding to misinformation on Twitter. New Media & Society. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1461444821998691
  • Vraga, E. K., Tully, M., Maksl, A., Craft, S., & Ashley, S. (2021). Theorizing news literacy behaviors. Communication Theory, 31(1), 1–21. doi:10.1093/ct/qtaa005
  • Madrid-Morales, D., Wasserman, H., Gondwe, G., Ndlovu, K., Sikanku, E., Tully, M., Umejei, E. L., & Uzuegbunam, C. (2021). Audience motivations for sharing misinformation: A comparative study in six Sub-Saharan African countries. International Journal of Communication, 15, 1200­–1219.
  • Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2021). News literacy, social media behaviors, and skepticism toward information on social media. Information, Communication & Society, 24(2), 150–166. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2019.1637445
  • Tully, M., Bode, L., & Vraga, E. K. (2020). Mobilizing users: Does exposure to misinformation and its correction affect users’ responses to a health misinformation post? Social Media + Society, October-December 2020, 1–12. doi: 10.1177/2056305120978377
  • Bolenbaugh, M., Foley-Nicpon, M., Young, R., Tully, M., Ramirez, M., & Grunewald, N. (2020). Parental perceptions of gender differences in child technology use and cyberbullying. Psychology in the Schools, 57, 1657–1679. doi: 10.1002/pits.22430
  • Bode, L., Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2020). Do the right thing: Tone may not affect correction of misinformation on social media. The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review. doi: 10.37016/mr-2020-026
  • Vraga, E. K., Bode, L., & Tully, M. (2020). Creating news literacy messages to enhance expert corrections of misinformation on Twitter. Communication Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0093650219898094
  • Tully, M., Vraga, E. K., & Smithson, A. B. (2020). News media literacy, perceptions of bias, and interpretation of news. Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, 21(2), 209–226. doi: 10.1177/1464884918805262
  • Tully, M., Vraga, E. K., & Bode, L. (2020). Designing and testing news literacy messages for social media. Mass Communication and Society, 23(1), 22–46. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2019.1604970
  • Wellman, M., Stoldt, R., Tully, M., & Ekdale, B. (2020). Ethics of authenticity: Influencers and the production of sponsored content. Journal of Media Ethics, 38(2), 68­–82. doi: 10.1080/23736992.2020.1736078
  • Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2020). Who is exposed to news? It depends on how you measure: Examining self-reported versus behavioral news exposure measures. Social Science Computer Review, 38(5), 550­–566. doi: 10.1177/0894439318812050
  • Ekdale, B., & Tully, M. (2019). African elections as a testing ground: Comparing coverage of Cambridge Analytica in Nigerian and Kenyan newspapers. African Journalism Studies, 40(4), 27–43. doi: 10.1080/23743670.2019.1679208
  • Ismail, A., Torosyan, G., & Tully, M. (2019). Social media, legacy media and gatekeeping: The protest paradigm in news of Ferguson and Charlottesville. The Communication Review, 22(3), 169–195. doi: 10.1080/10714421.2019.1651153
  • Young, R., & Tully, M. (2019). ‘Nobody wants the parents involved’: Social norms in parent and adolescent responses to cyberbullying. Journal of Youth Studies, 22(6), 856­–872. doi: 10.1080/13676261.2018.1546838
  • Tully, M., Dalrymple, K. E., & Young, R. (2019). Contextualizing nonprofits’ use of links on Twitter during the West African Ebola virus epidemic. Communication Studies, 70(3), 313­–331. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2018.1539021
  • Stoldt, R., Wellman, M., Ekdale, B., & Tully, M. (2019). Professionalizing and profiting: The rise of intermediaries in the social media influencer industry. Social Media + Society, 5, 1–11. doi: 10.1177/2056305119832587
  • Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2019). Engaging with the other side: Using news media literacy messages to reduce selective exposure and avoidance. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 16(1), 77–86. doi: 10.1080/19331681.2019.1572565
  • Weare, A. M., Walkner, T. J., & Tully, M. (2019). State of Intervention: Community stakeholder discourse on teen childbearing in Iowa. Critical Public Health, 29(2), 205–219. doi: 10.1080/09581596.2018.1440069
  • For a complete list of publications, visit:

    Recent Grants and Funded Research

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Mapping Impactful Media Literacy Practice in the United States,” National Association of Media Literacy Education, 2020­–2021.
  • Principal Investigator, “Measurement of Consumer Protection Complaints on Social Media,” Innovations for Poverty Action/Gates Foundation, 2020­–2021.
  • Principal Investigator, “Effective Strategies to Counter the Spread of Misinformation on WhatsApp: An Experiment in Kenya and Senegal,” Waterhouse Family Institute Research Grant, 2020–2021.
  • “Testing News Literacy Measures to Predict News and Misinformation Behaviors,” Mass Communication & Society Research Award Recipient, 2020–2021, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • “Misinformation and News Literacy in Kenya,” AEJMC Senior Scholar Award Recipient, 2020, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Melissa Tully
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011
Contact Information

E305B Adler Journalism Building (AJB)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States