Ph.D., Journalism and Mass Communication, Indiana University Bloomington, 2001.

M.S., Media Studies, Stanford University, 1995.

B.A., World Literature and Cultural Studies, University of California Santa Cruz, 1993.

Adrienne Russell is Mary Laird Wood Professor of Journalism and the Environment. Her research and teaching focus on the changing field of journalism. She studies the intersection of emerging technologies and pressing social problems, with an eye toward how these changes can cultivate innovation and new practices and values that bolster democratic and participatory publics. She has written on media producers in countries around the world. She spotlights ways national and transnational media systems in the networked era are evolving and explores the ways different media systems influence content and practice. Russell’s work includes study of activists, technologists, media publics and others who shape information products and spaces.

Her first book, Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition (Polity 2011), explores the transformations tied to the wide proliferation of the Web and mobile technologies since the early 1990s. The book argues that new journalism tools and practices have improved journalism by reviving past core values, such as dialogue and pluralism, and by strengthening existing core values, such as watchdogging authority. Her most recent book, Journalism as Activism: Recoding Media Power (Polity 2016), extends that argument by exploring the ways social actors are leveraging new media tools and new media publics to expand democratic power. The book highlights ways media activists adept at using and creating new communication tools are taking up the work of journalists, expanding the field in significant ways and shaping on a new level traditional news stories and genres.

As part of the larger exploration of journalism and activism, Russell’s work explores several specific contemporary issues, including the climate crisis, surveillance, and protest movements. Since 2008, Russell has conducted research as part of MediaClimate, a team of international scholars conducting comparative studies on transnational coverage of the annual United Nations Climate Summits and of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. MediaClimate has published empirical work on the way climate discourse is being constructed and that provides insight into the dynamic between local and global media practices and genres. Russell also has contributed to an international research project on coverage of the National Security Agency surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden. The work completed so far is compiled in Journalism and the NSA Revelations: Privacy, Security, and the Press (I.B. Tauris 2017), a volume she co-edited. She has also published a number of articles and book chapters on protest movements and their use of media (see below).

Russell has served as a consultant to a number of start-up media projects and as an evaluator for Denver’s Open Media Project—a public media initiative funded by the Knight Foundation aimed at implementing digital tools in public access television stations throughout the country. She is a member of the editorial board at Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism; Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media; Kaleidoscope: The Journal of Alternative Media and Social Movements, and Mimesis International publishing house.

Before joining the Department of Communication faculty at the University of Washington, Russell was Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Media, Film, and Journalism Studies and associate professor with a joint appointment in Media, Film, and Journalism and Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver. Before that, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Global Communication at the American University of Paris.  She has also held fellowships with the Annenberg Center at University of Southern California and the Department of Media and Communication at London School of Economics. You can read more about her work here.


Networked Journalism/Networked Publics

Journalism as Activism: Recoding Media Power, Polity Press, 2016.

“Networked Journalism,” in Tamara Witschge, C. W. Anderson, David Domingo, Alfred Hermida, eds. The Sage Handbook of Digital Journalism. New York: Sage, 2015.

Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition, Polity Press, 2011.

Climate Change

“Climate Justice Movement, Hacktivist Sensibilities, and Prototyping Change,” in Graham Meikle ed. Routledge Companion to Media and Activism, London: Routledge, forthcoming 2017.

Something Old, Something New: Digital Media and the Coverage of Climate Change, co-authored with James Painter, María Carmen Erviti, Richard Fletcher, Candice Howarth, Silje Kristiansen, Bienvenido León, Alan Ouakrat, and Mike S. Schäfer, Oxford Reuters Institute/I.B. Tauris book series, 2016.

“Following the Tweets: What happened to the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report on Twitter?” co-author with Matt Tegelberg, Dmitry Yagodin, and Débora Medeiros, in Elisabeth Eide, Risto Kunelius, Matthew Tegelberg and Dmitry Yagodin, eds. Media and Global Climate Knowledge: Climate Journalism and “#ClimateNews,” co-author with Dmitry Yagodin and Matt Tegelberg, in Deserai A. Crow and Max Boykoff, eds. Culture, Politics & Climate Change: How Information Shapes our Common Future. New York: Routledge, 2014.

“Digital Networks and Shifting Climate News,” co-author with Dmitry Yagodin, Matt Tegelberg, Ville Kumpu and Mofizur Rhaman, in Risto Kunelius, Elisabeth Eide, eds. Transnational Media Events: The Global Media Landscape and News of the Climate. Nordicom: Gothenburg, Sweden, 2012.

“Innovation in Hybrid Spaces: The 2011 UN Climate Summit and the Changing Journalism Field,” Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, Vol. 14 no. 7, October 2013.


Journalism and the NSA Revelations: Privacy, Security and the Press, co-editor with Risto Kunelius, Heikki Heikkilä, and Dmitry Yagodin, Oxford Reuters Institute/I.B. Tauris book series, forthcoming 2016.

“The Snowden Revelations and the Networked Fourth Estate,” co-author with Silvio Waisbord, International Journal of Communication, accepted for publication in Pspecial issue on Digital Citizenship and the Surveillance Society, forthcoming 2016.

Media Activism

Nuit Debout: Representations, Affect and Prototyping Change, International Journal of Communication, forthcoming 2017.

Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, editor of issue on global media activism, October 2013.

New Media and Society, editor of issue on new media and global political resistance, August 2005.