Media Research

The Indiana University Media School is proud of the diversity and range of research and creative activities carried out by its faculty and students. These efforts employ traditional methods using interviews and observation, as well as more academic approaches of content and textual analysis, experiments, surveys, and legal and historical methods.

Our faculty are leaders in research through their work in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and several are editors of esteemed research publications.

IU’s graduate students also benefit in this research climate. In two separate studies that analyzed the frequency of student publications in peer-reviewed mass communications journals, IU ranked first out of 15 and second out of 13.

The school fosters a research environment with an emphasis on collaboration through weekly sessions at which faculty and students present their work and receive feedback.

Here’s Media School Dean James Shanahan talking about research at the school, including his own:

Research resources

The school also offers labs and other spaces dedicated to research efforts. The Institute for Communication Research supports a wide range of research including content analysis, online survey, and psychophysiological measurement.

It also is home to several collections of materials highly prized by researchers from around the world, including:

  • The Black Film Center/Archive, the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people.
  • The Center for Documentary Research and Practice, a multidisciplinary unit that brings together scholars and artists from across Indiana University who are working on an array on nonfiction media projects.
  • The Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies, which  focuses on studying the legal protection for media rights in Indiana, the United States and the world.
  • The Roy W. Howard Archive, a wealth of correspondence and other communication to and from Roy W. Howard, leader of Scripps Howard newspapers for four decades and an early proponent of encouraging journalists to travel the world to fully report on international events.
  • The Ernie Pyle Digital Archive includes columns by the Pulitzer Prize-winning World War II correspondent, IU journalism alumnus and former Daily Student editor. An early “embedded” journalist who lived with soldiers in the field, Pyle told the story of war through their experiences.

The Ethics Case Studies collection features examples of ethical dilemmas and how they were handled by a variety of news sources, all categorized by topic.

Future growth

The Media School will enhance this strong tradition of scholarly research by looking for future opportunities for growth. The school’s research “incubator” for new academic opportunities will provide ways for faculty to submit proposals for research that may not be within the school’s current curriculum, or to bring to campus visiting researchers whose work extends beyond specialties currently represented at the school.

Research talks

The school hosts research talks most Fridays during each semester to give scholars, including guest, faculty and students, a venue to present their ongoing research projects.

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