headshots-1-7I am an assistant professor in the Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University. I received my PhD from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2017), and my bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2014) degrees from the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. I specialize in broadcast and multimedia journalism and have worked as a producer for KOMU-TV and for mobile video news company, Newsy.

My research focuses on understanding why public trust in news media is at an all-time low.  I use experimental and survey methods to look at news from the perspective of the audience, and by doing so, my research helps explain why people are so often frustrated with news coverage. My dissertation looked at 2016 election news from the perspective of Hillary Clinton voters and Donald Trump voters – opposing groups who had very different impressions of what news did right (and wrong) in covering the presidential race.

My teaching strikes a balance between the newsroom and the classroom. The classroom gives students the opportunity to develop foundational skills; to dive into the theory, history and ethics of journalism; a place to try, and fail, and try again. The classroom is where students learn–not what to think–but how to think. They discover how to find information, evaluate it, question it, and present it in a clear and engaging way. They sharpen both their critical thinking and practical skillsets.

The newsroom is where students begin to understand why those skills matter. They feel the pressure of a profession that demands accuracy and fairness; the rush of being a part of a ceaseless quest for truth; the privilege of telling the public’s story. The newsroom connects students to the community– their first chance to exercise their role as a public servant– and to ultimately see why the lessons they learned inside the classroom are so critical outside of it.

The best way to reach me is via email: mrperryman@vcu.edu

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