Gina M. Masullo is an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Associate Director of the Center for Media Engagement in the Moody College of Communication at UT Austin.
Dr. Masullo’s research focuses on how the digital space both connects and divides people and how that influences society, individuals, and journalism. She is the author of Online Incivility and Public Debate: Nasty Talk and The New Town Hall: Why We Engage Personally with Politicians and co-editor of Scandal in a Digital Age.
Before entering academia Dr. Masullo spent 20 years as a newspaper and online reporter and editor, with most of her professional experience at The Post-Standard in Syracuse, NY. During her tenure as a journalist, she covered crime, courts, prisons, and state and local government, as well as served as an assistant city editor, bureau chief, and copy editor. Near the end of her journalistic career, she wrote and blogged about parenting and young children for the newspaper. She holds a B.A. in communication from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in mass communication from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Before coming to UT, she spent two years as an Assistant Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
In her work at the grant-funded Center for Media Engagement, she conducts theoretically drive and empirically rigorous solutions to news organizations’ challenges. Currently, she and her CME colleagues are working on a connective democracy initiative, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The initiative seeks to develop practical solutions to the problem of societal division.
Dr. Masullo teaches a variety of undergraduate courses, including Gender and the News, Social Media Journalism, Reporting Words, and Online Incivility and Public Debate. She also teaches graduate courses, such as Fundamentals of Statistics. Follow her on Twitter at @ginamchen.
Masullo, G.M., Riedl, M.J., & Huang, Q.E. (2020). Engagement moderation: What journalists should say to improve online discussions. Journalism Practice, Online First Advance Publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2020.1808858
Sobieraj, S., Masullo, G.M., Cohen, P.N., Gillespie, T., & Jackson S. (2020). Politicians, social media, and digital publics: Old rights, new terrain. American Behavioral Scientist. Online First Advance Publication. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0002764220945357
Kim, J., & Chen, G.M. (2020) Exploring the influence of comment tone and content in response to misinformation in social media news. Journalism Practice. Online First Advance Publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2020.1739550
Riedl, M.J., Masullo, G.M., Whipple, K.N. (2020). The downsides of digital labor: Exploring the toll incivility takes on online comment moderators. Computers in Human Behavior, 107, 1-9 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106262
Chen, G.M., Pain, P., Chen, V.Y., Mekelburg, M., Springer, N., & Troger, F. (2020). “You really have to have a thick skin”: A cross-cultural perspective on how online harassment influences female journalists. Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, 20(7), 877-895. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884918768500
Chen, G.M., Ng, Y.M.M., Riedl, M.J., & V.Y. Chen. (2020). Exploring how online political quizzes boost interest in politics, political news, and political engagement. Journal of Information, Technology, & Politics, 17(1), 33-47. https://doi.org/10.1080/19331681.2019.1680475
Chen, G.M., Riedl, M.J., Shermak, J., Brown, J., & Tenenboim, O. (2019). Breakdown of democratic norms? Understanding the 2016 U.S. presidential election through online comments. Social Media + Society, 5(2), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305119843637
Oz, M., Zheng, P., & Chen, G.M. (2018). Twitter versus Facebook: Comparing incivility, impoliteness, and deliberative attributes. New Media & Society, 20(9), 3400-3419. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444817749516
Chen, G.M., & Lu, S. (2017). Online political discourse: Exploring differences in effects of civil and uncivil disagreement in news website comments. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61(1), 108-125. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2016.1273922