Faculty Work

Tar Heel Talks

Tar Heel Talks is a series produced by the UNC School of Media and Journalism to showcase faculty creative activity and research.

History Research

  • More than 40 years after Kenan Professor Donald Shaw and colleague Maxwell McCombs (now at the University of Texas-Austin) conducted the first modern agenda setting study in Chapel Hill, Shaw is leading the development of a new theory of "agenda melding." This current study examines the power of the media to shape voters’ views about presidential candidates and issues during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Media Industry and Society

  • Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Abernathy studies the potential paths for renewal for traditional news organizations struggling to survive and thrive in the digital age. Abernathy focuses on practical research that can be shared widely online and person-to-person to help journalists and media industry managers take on the industry's economic challenges. Her recent research highlights the necessity of shedding legacy costs, identifying and pursuing new communities, and building new online revenue streams.

Seeing the Unseen Appalachia: Overburden, a Documentary Film

Chad A. Stevens writes about his journey in making "Overburden" — a documentary film that tells the complex stories of people in West Virginia's coal country — for National Geographic's Proof blog.

Research with Impact: N.C. attitudes on immigration

2012 Ph.D. graduate Brendan Watson and Richard Cole Eminent Professor Dan Riffe release study examining the effects of media coverage on immigration policies.

Photo by Steve Rhodes, Creative Commons

Media Law and Policy Research

  • Associate professor Michael Hoefges' research interests include First Amendment commercial and corporate speech issues, freedom of information, commercial access to government records and databases, privacy law for advertisers and marketers, class action notice plans, and advertising and marketing regulation for various products and services including alcohol and tobacco products, gambling, licensed professional services, and regulated drugs and medical devices.

Health Communication Research

Joan Cates, Senior Lecturer and Ph.D. alumna, is addressing racial and gender disparities in HPV vaccine acceptability in North Carolina with an inaugural grant from the N.C. Translational and Clinical Science Institute.