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Everette Dennis

Everette E. Dennis

Professor Emeritus

Everette E. Dennis is professor of journalism at Medill and professor (by courtesy) in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Communication at Northwestern University.

On sabbatical for the 2020-21 academic year, he served as dean and CEO of Northwestern University in Qatar for nine years while concurrently a tenured professor at Medill.

An author, institution-builder and leader in education, philanthropy, foreign affairs and media research, he was founding executive director of the Gannett/Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University where he was editor in chief of the Media Studies Journal as well as a senior vice president and head of the International Consortium on Media Studies for the Gannett and Freedom Forum foundations. In those roles, he engaged with major figures in U.S. and international media and became one of the most widely quoted authorities on media topics.

At Columbia, he developed a media technology laboratory, an advanced studies fellowship program, high profile conferences and major research projects. Subsequently, he was founding president of the American Academy in Berlin working closely with Richard Holbrooke and Henry Kissinger.

Prior to joining Northwestern in 2011, he was Felix E. Larkin Distinguished Professor at Fordham’s Graduate School of Business in New York where he headed the program in communication and media management and directed the Center for Communication. Concurrent with his Fordham appointment, he was executive director of the International Longevity Center, a population aging think tank, associated with Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and now based at Columbia University.

Previously, he was dean and professor of the School of Journalism & Communication at the University of Oregon and taught at the University of Minnesota where he advanced from instructor to full professor in six years.

Early in his career he served on the faculty at Kansas State with short term appointments at Oregon and Northwestern and was a public information officer for state mental health agencies in New York and Illinois. The focus of his academic work is in media and society, journalistic practice, media economics and management, media technology and digital disruption, media law/ ethics and global communication.

The author, co-author or editor of some 45 books and more than 200 scholarly and professional articles and various monographs, his work has been translated into several languages including Chinese, Farsi, French, Lithuanian, Malaysian, Malaysian, Persian, Russian, Spanish and others. He also edited three book series for Oxford University Press, Sage Publications and West publishing companies.

He led research projects on media credibility and trust, coverage of the Presidency, media use in the Middle East as well as several policy initiatives on media in Eastern Europe, East Asia and Latin America which produced major prescriptive monographs.

Active as a leader and critic in journalism education, he served as president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Education and received several of the organization’s top honors while authoring a national project on curriculum reform in journalism schools with grants from two foundations.

Most recently at NU-Q, he is credited with developing a global and digital academic program, creating an active research culture and hiring world class faculty and staff while enhancing and increasing the student body and engaging in outreach with media and other institutional partners. He originated and led the Media Use in the Middle East project in 8 countries that produced six major monographs and an award-wining interactive website while establishing itself as a partner of the World Internet Project.

Other achievements on his watch at NU-Q included completion of one of the most advanced media education buildings in the world, creation of a museum, The Media Majlis at NU-Q, a robotic newsroom and a Media Innovation Lab. In Qatar he served on the board of governors of AmCham and of the Academic Bridge Program.

His service contributions include a decade as chair of the national advisory committee for the Fred Rogers Center for Children’s Media and Early Childhood Education and a board member/trustee of the International Center for Journalists, International Communications Institute, International Institute of Photography at Eastman House, American Antiquarian Society and others.

Inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2017, he is an elected life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Antiquarian Society and a member of the Century Association and the Harvard Club of New York City. He was the first journalism educator to receive a Liberal Arts Fellowship in law at Harvard Law School and had other fellowships at the Institute of Politics and Nieman Foundation.

Dr. Dennis is married to Emily Thompson Smith, an author, consultant and, formerly science writer and technology editor at BusinessWeek where her work won several National Magazine Awards. Their permanent home address is in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, mass communication
  • M.A, Syracuse University, mass communication, specialty in behavioral science communication
  • B.S., University of Oregon, journalism, minor in political science
  • Liberal Arts Fellow in Law, Harvard Law School
  • Research Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Special Nieman Fellow, Harvard University
  • Summer Law and Ethics Fellowship, Stanford University
  • Popular Culture Fellowship, East-West Center, University of Hawaii

Authored Works


  • Trust in U.S. News Media with Klaus Schoenbach, a 60-page report, (Northwestern Medill-Harris Poll, 2020)
  • Mobile Disruptions in the Middle East with John V. Pavlik, Rachel Davis Mersey and Justin Gengler (Routledge, 2018)
  • Media Use in the Middle East, longitudinal studies with published reports in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, see also interactive website at
  • Other Voices: The New Journalism in America with William L. Rivers (Transaction, 2011, new edition; first edition, Canfield Press of Harper & Row, 1974)
  • “Maturation of the New Journalism in the 1970s,” in American Literature in Transition, 1970-80, edited by Kurt Curnutt (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • “Beginnings: Origins of Mediated Communication Research,” in Mediated Communication, Handbooks of Communication Science, Vol. 7, edited by Philip Napoli (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018)
  • Understanding Media in the Digital Age with Melvin L. DeFleur (Allyn & Bacon, 2010)
  • Understanding Mass Communication with Melvin L. DeFleur, 9 editions 1984-2010 (Houghton-Mifflin)
  • Media Debates with John Merrill, 5 editions (MacMillan, Longman, Wadsworth)
  • Finding the Best Business School with Sharon P. Smith (Greenwood, 2005)

Earlier Books on Media and Society, related topics

  • The Magic Writing Machine, Student Probes of the New Journalism (University of Oregon)
  • The Media Society (William C. Brown Publishers)
  • New Strategies for Public Affairs Reporting with George Hage, et. al (Prentice-Hall)
  • Reporting Processes and Practices with Arnold Ismach (William C. Brown)
  • Enduring Issues in Mass Communication with Donald Gillmor and Arnold Ismach (West)
  • Media Freedom and Accountability with Donald M. Gillmor, Theodore Glasser (Greenwood)
  • The Cost of Libel with Eli M. Noam (Columbia University Press)
  • American Communication Research: The Remembered History with Ellen Wartella (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates)
  • Demystifying Media Technology with John V. Pavlik (Mayfield Publishing Co.)
  • Beyond the Cold War with George Gerbner & Yassin Zassoursky (Sage)
  • Higher Education in the Information Age with Craig LaMay (Sage)
  • America’s Schools and the Mass Media with Craig LaMay
  • Justice Hugo Black & the First Amendment (Iowa State University Press)
  • Of Media and People (Sage)
  • Reshaping the Media (Sage)
  • The Media in Black and White with Edward Pease (Sage)
  • Publishing Books with Craig LaMay and Edward Pease (Sage)
  • Radio: The Forgotten Medium with Craig LaMay (Sage)
  • The Culture of Crime with Craig LaMay (Sage)
  • Covering Congress with Robert Snider (Sage)
  • Media & Democracy with Robert Snider (Sage)
  • Media and Public Life with Robert Snider (Sage)
  • La Sociedad de la Información with Michael Dertouzos, Robert Nozick, Anthony Smith (Editorial Complutense)

International Monographs

  • Emerging Voices: East European Media in Transition with Jon Vanden Heuvel (Gannett Center, Columbia University)
  • The Unfolding Lotus: East Asia’s Changing Media with Jon Vanden Heuvel (Freedom Forum Center, Columbia University)
  • Changing Patterns: Latin America’s Vital Media with Jon Vanden Heuvel (Freedom Forum Center, Columbia University)

Major Invited Lectures

  • Keynoter, Smithsonian Institution celebration of the anniversary of the Constitution of the United States
  • Carol Burnett Lecture on Media Ethics, University of Hawaii
  • Silha Lecture in Media Ethics and Law, University of Minnesota
  • Nafziger Lecture, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Awards And Honors

  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Hillier Kreighbaum Award, Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Eleanor Blum Award for Service to Research (AEJMC)
  • Edward Trayes Media & Society Award (AEJMC)
  • Global Media Studies Association Award
  • John Henry Newman Fellow, Fordham University
  • Distinguished service Award, University of Oregon
  • Oregon Journalism Hall of Achievement