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by Dresden Romero

russellSince 2007, Adrienne Russell has been an engaged and innovative associate professor of media, film and journalism studies and emergent digital practices. In the classroom, she encourages students to develop a critical perspective of global media. As an author and international researcher, she engages in studying the evolving field of journalism.

At DU, Russell’s research and courses focus on critical approaches to digital media, networked, emerging forms of journalism and international activist communication. One of her more popular courses, Activist Media, follows world news events as they unfold.

“As people all over the world challenge corrupt governments and economic policies and call attention to dire issues like human rights and climate justice, they are also creating an amazing and ever-evolving flow of new forms of media - off the grid internet connections, live streams from the center of protest activity, apps to track police whereabouts and tools to keep data safe from prying eyes. This class is a great chance for us to explore how everyday people are exerting media power,” she said.

Earlier this year, she had the opportunity to serve as visiting senior fellow at The Department of Media and Communications at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

During her time at LSE, Russell explored the intersections among activists, publics and journalists. She focused on London-based media outlets and their coverage of social justice issues. “London is a hub of both the most traditional forms of journalism as well as innovative, experimental, media and everything in between. It’s a great place to get a sense of how political and cultural issues get played out in the media.”

She also presented at several conferences, facilitated the “New forms of political journalism” panel at the 2015 Polis Journalism Conference, met with fellow scholars, worked on her upcoming book on the intersection of journalism, technology and activist media, and gathered important feedback.

“The opportunity to engage with the work of scholars in London and to get feedback on my own research was valuable,” said Russell.

Her forthcoming book explores the ways in which global news media cover news leaks, as well as how different threats are legitimized or people are villainized or celebrated in unique cultural and political contexts. “There’s a lot of opportunity to discover how power dynamics in global media landscapes are shifting and playing out,” said Russell.  

Russell received a couple of DU grants, Professional Research for Faculty (PROF) Grant and Internationalization Grant, to allow her to travel and pursue her research. “It’s great to collaborate with colleagues and students, to exchange drafts, to research and to learn a lot from each others’ experiences.”

What’s next for Russell? “When you study emergent media it’s a constant race to keep up with the pace of change,” she said. “Climate justice and the issues of privacy and online civil liberties are on my mind and research agenda this year, as well as several collaborative projects that address these issues and how they are unfolding differently in different national contexts.”   

For more about Russell’s current project, visit

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Our archives go back to May 2010. If you'd like to see a story that's not listed here, please contact us.