The School of Journalism and Mass Communication has research strengths in the following areas:
Critical and Cultural Studies
Critical and cultural studies of communication are focused on the analysis of cultural artifacts and practices in relation to the social formations in which they exist. The interrelationships of cultural signs, their conditions of production, and their reception by audiences are at the core of such studies. This research area has a broad scope, including theories of race, class, gender, sexuality, political economy, digital media, popular culture, journalism, political communication, globalization, and many other topics and fields.
Digital media research examines at the many ways contemporary life is experienced on and through digital and social media. This broad area of research includes studies of emerging technologies, media effects, platform studies, self-expression and meaning-making, digital campaigns by activists and organizations, mis/disinformation and information-sharing, and more. We employ quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to better understand our digitally mediated lives.
Global media scholarship focuses on the production, distribution, and consumption of media in comparative international contexts. It encompasses a wide range of traditional and contemporary theories involving international media flows and counterflows, development communication, media and social change, cultural hybridity, and transnational popular culture. Our work is guided by postcolonial and decolonial efforts to de-center the Global North in journalism and mass communication research.
Health communication examines how health information contributes to the beliefs, behaviors, policies, and practices that promote health and well-being for individuals and the public. As an interdisciplinary field, health communication includes studies within the media effects tradition; health promotion efforts within public health; and critical studies that analyze health representation and stigma. Our work is guided by a pragmatic approach to selecting the research methods and theories best suited to urgent health questions. We also prioritize research in consultation with the communities most affected by health inequities.
Journalism studies is concerned with the study of news and information within its historical, social, cultural, and epistemological contexts. It draws from the fields of sociology, media studies, and technology studies to study journalism as a practice, a cultural form, and an institution. It both embraces the vital importance of journalism in democratic society while interrogating many of the professional and normative assumptions that dominate journalism practice.
Sports media research considers the deep and symbiotic relationship between commercialized media and commercialized sports in the United States and globally. It centers power and cultural struggle, seeking to better understand the institutional histories that have shaped sports media, and how dominant ideas about identity, institutions, and other cultural arrangements are justified, naturalized, and sometimes challenged in sports media. Critical theory and cultural studies approaches guide our inquiry.