Suzannah Evans Comfort
Research and Creative Interests
- journalism practice
- environmental communication
- climate change
- non-profit communications
- science communication
Dr. Suzannah Evans Comfort (Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 2016) is an associate professor in the Media School at Indiana University. Her research focuses on environmental communication practices from the traditional newsroom to advocacy by environmental NGOs to Shark Week.
Her current work explores the development of environmental journalism in the U.S. and asks questions like: Who counts as an environmental journalist? Why have news organizations both hyped and ignored environmental issues over the decades? And what is the future for this niche news topic in an era of rapid environmental and technological change?
Dr. Comfort’s work has been published in numerous journals, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism, Science Communication, and Environmental Communication. She is a co-editor of The Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication.
At IU, Dr. Comfort teaches courses related to journalistic ethics, media literacy, international journalism, and environmental and science communication.
Recent publications include:
Comfort, S.E., & Ulrich, L. From distant to devastating: The newsworthiness of environmental controversies at the New York Times, 1950s-1970s. Forthcoming in Journalism History.
Comfort, S. E., Gruszczynski, M., & Browning, N. (2022). Building the Science News Agenda: The Permeability of Science Journalism to Public Relations. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 10776990211047949.
Takahashi, B., Metag, J., Thaker, J., & Comfort, S. E. (Eds.). (2021). The Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication. Routledge.
Comfort, S. E. (2021). ‘Audubon is not Audubon’: Journalism as communicative logic in the pages of an NGO-produced magazine, 1960–1976. Journalism, 22(8), 2107-2121.
Comfort, S. E., & Blankenship, J. (2021). Curated journalism: A field theory approach to journalistic production by environmental non-governmental organizations. Journalism, 22(2), 501-518. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884918786402
Comfort, S. (2020). Journalism as an advocacy tool: Negotiating boundaries of professionalism in the 20th-century American environmental movement. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(4), 1080-1100. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699020911076
Comfort, S.E., Tandoc, E. & Gruszczynski, M. (2020). Who is heard in climate change journalism? Sourcing patterns in climate change news in China, India, Singapore, and Thailand. Climatic Change, 158, 327–343. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02597-1
Myrick, J. and Comfort, S.E. (2020). The Pope may not be enough: How emotions, populist beliefs, and perceptions of an elite messenger interact to influence responses to climate change messaging. Mass Communication and Society 23(1): 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2019.1639758
Myrick, J. G., & Comfort, S. E. (2019). The Pope, politics, and climate change: An experimental test of the influence of news about Pope Francis on American climate change attitudes and intentions. Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, 8(2), 226-245.
Comfort, S.E. and Hester, J. (2019). Three dimensions of social media message success by environmental NGOs. Environmental Communication 13(3): 281-286. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2019.1579746
Comfort, S. E. (2019). From ignored to banner story: The role of natural disasters in influencing the newsworthiness of climate change in the Philippines. Journalism, 20(12), 1630-1647. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884917727426
Comfort, S.E. and Park, Y.E. (2018). On the Field of Environmental Communication: A Systematic Review of the Peer-Reviewed Literature. Environmental Communication 12(7): 862-875. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2018.1514315
Evans, S. (2016). Journalistic norms, cultural values, and coverage of climate change in the Philippines. Environmental Communication 10(4), 492-507. doi:10.1080/17524032.2015.1088459
Evans, S. (2015). Shark Week and the rise of infotainment in science documentaries.Communication Research Reports 32(3), 265-271.
Myrick, J. & Evans, S. (2014). Do PSAs take a bite out of Shark Week? The effects of juxtaposing environmental messages with violent images of shark attacks. Science Communication 36(5), 544-569. doi: 10.1177/1075547014547159