Dr. Lee B. Becker

Retired Director, James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, Professor, Journalism

About: Dr. Becker teachers journalism writing and reporting and research methods. His research focuses on labor markets, on communication education and on media and development.

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Education

Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin
M.A., Communication, University of Kentucky
B.A., Journalism, University of Kentucky

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Becker’s research examines issues of supply and demand in the mass communication labor force, of salaries and other forms of compensation, and of inequalities in the labor market associated with race and gender. For more than 25 years, Dr. Becker directed the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, which provide basic data related to these issues. Dr. Becker also studies the role of the media in the process of democratization and has conducted research on the methodologies of assessing media freedom in nations around the world.

Dr. Becker’s research has appeared in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Communication Research, Gazette, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Public Opinion Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal and numerous other journals.

Exploring Linkages Between Perceptions of Freedom and Internet Use Globally Lee B. Becker and Tudor Vlad

Abstract: Different methods exist for measuring Internet access and use around the world. A widely used source of estimates of Internet penetration is the ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies. ITU gathers its data from a variety of sources, including commercial companies and government ministries This paper compares data gathered […]

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Trends In Public Support For Journalists And The Media Lee B. Becker

Abstract: The public is very critical of the journalists and of the news media, an extensive review of public opinion research over the last 40 years shows. The public has become more critical of journalists and of news organizations over time. What can be done–if anything–to reverse the trends in use and assessment isn’t clear […]

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Curricular Change and Citizen-Centered Journalism Lee B. Becker

Abstract: This report examines eight journalism programs at universities in the United States that have made efforts to change their curricula to embrace citizens in a new way. As such, they are at least to some extent critical of what has been done in the past. And they are suggestive of what might be done […]

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The Labor Market for University Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates Lee B. Becker, Ann Hollifield & Tudor Vlad

Abstract: The value of news content is determined by the knowledge, experience and talent of the individuals producing it. This paper examines changes in the labor market for journalists across a crucial period and concludes that the labor market from which media industries draw is largely a reflection of the overall economy. Changes in the […]

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Factors Influencing Journalism Performance in Developing and Transitional Countries Ann Hollifield, Lee B. Becker & Tudor Vlad

Abstract: In the past quarter century, governments, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have poured vast sums of money into emerging and transitional countries with the goal of developing  sustainable, high-quality news media.  The goal has been to encourage journalism that meets generally accepted international standards for professional journalism that supports transparent, democratic, non-corrupt government, and economic […]

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Factors Influencing Journalism Performance in Developing and Transitional Countries Ann Hollifield, Lee B. Becker & Tudor Vlad

Abstract: This study examines the economic, organizational, legal, and political factors in the ecology of news organizations that are related to the production of quality journalism in developing and transitional countries.  The study uses data generated by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) and ZenithOptimedia to examine the research question. Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative […]

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Public trust in journalism and media Lee B. Becker

Abstract: The public is very critical of journalists and of the news media. It hardly matters what question is asked. The actual performance of those in journalism and of their organizations is viewed critically by citizens. The public has become more critical of journalists and of news organizations over time. Trust and confidence have decreased, […]

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Connectivity and Freedom Lee B. Becker and Tudor Vlad

Abstract: This paper compares data on Internet connectivity gathered by the Gallup World Poll against data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication. The ITU indicator is an individual measure and is based on official governmental reports. The Gallup indicator from survey data asked about Internet access […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Becker’s teaching interests are mass communication research methods and journalism as practiced at the community level. He is a recipient of the Roland Page Outstanding Faculty Award For Excellence in Teaching at the Graduate Level in the Grady College.

Experience

Dr. Becker worked as a journalist at The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Wichita Eagle, The Lexington Herald, and The (Covington) Kentucky Post. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, Dr. Becker was a member of the faculty in the School of Journalism and in the Department of Communication at The Ohio State University and a member of the faculty of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Dr. Becker has been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands, the University of Goettingen in the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Academy for Music and Theater in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Awards and Fellowships

Dr. Becker was the 2013 recipient of the Paul J. Deutschmann for excellence in research by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He also has been honored as a Fellow of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, is a recipient of the Krieghbaurn Under 40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and is a recipient of the Harold L. Nelson Award for distinguished contributions to the study of journalism and mass communication by the School of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Becker has twice served as a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Becker, Lee
In the News

Grady College salutes three professors as they retire

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Journalists from North Africa and the Near East visit Grady College

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