DAA 2012: David H. Weaver, BA’68, MA’69

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David H. Weaver, BA’68, MA’69

IU journalism Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Weaver has been connected with IU nearly all of his academic life, but acclaim for his work comes from across the globe.

A native Hoosier, Weaver, BA’68, MA’69, left the state briefly to earn his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of North Carolina. He returned that same year to join the IU journalism faculty, embarking on a 38-year career as a researcher and professor.

Weaver quickly gained recognition for his work, especially in agenda setting, which explores media’s effects on the public, and studies the influence of news sources, other media and journalistic traditions on the news agenda. He has applied the theory to such topics as the relationship among media bias, public opinion and Congressional policy in one 58-year time span.

Weaver is author of more than a dozen books, including the award-winning American Journalists series, which he initiated in the 1970s with his mentor, journalism Professor Emeritus Cleve Wilhoit. Taking the pulse of journalists to gauge what they think about their jobs and their industry produced information no one else was collecting.

Collaborating with other professors at the school, he conducted subsequent surveys in 1982, 1992 and 2002. The most recent, The Global Journalist in the 21st Century, was published this year with journalism professor Lars Willnat, one of Weaver’s former students.

From 1988 until his retirement in 2011, Weaver was the IU Roy W. Howard Professor. In 2009, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, an organization he had served as president. Weaver also has served as president of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research.

In 2010, IU named him Distinguished Professor, the first journalism faculty member to achieve this honor. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.