Dr. Karin Assmann
About: Dr. Karin Assmann teaches video journalism, multimedia production, reporting and storytelling, as well as graduate courses on journalism and mass communication theory. She studies the sociology and business of news production as well as rural and local news consumption and production in the U.S. and in Germany.
Ph.D., Journalism Studies, University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of Journalism
M.Sc., History of Political Thought, London School of Economics and Political Science
B.S., School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Research Interests and Activities
Dr. Assmann studies news production with a focus on how journalists and news organizations respond to change. Her areas of interest include newsroom unionization, gender quotas and representation, as well as individual and institutional responses to physical and discursive attacks on reporters, their outlets and the news media in general. She also studies how rural communities define their information needs and the strategies they use to meet these needs. Assmann’s interest in local news deserts reaches across the Atlantic to her native Germany where she conducts research about local and regional media, as well as public broadcasting. She has presented her work at various regional, national and international conferences including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) national conference, the Southeast Colloquium and Midwinter conference, the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), the Broadcast Educators Association (BEA), the International Communication Association (ICA), the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and the Future of Journalism Conference. She has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed articles published in Feminist Media Studies, ISOJ, Journalism, Journalism Practice, Media and Communication and the DGPuK Jahrbuch, as well as the SAGE Encyclopedia of Journalism.
Assmann has served as research chair for the AEJMC Newspaper and Online News Division’s Southeast Colloquium, as vice head and head of AEJMC’s Cultural and Critical Studies Division.
Graduate and undergraduate students are welcome in Assmann’s Qualitative Research Lab where they can collaborate with her and with each other on their research projects and theses. Dr. Assmann has mentored several undergraduate students whose work has been presented at the University of Georgia’s CURO Symposia and at AEJMC’s regional conferences. She has also co-authored studies with graduate students that have been accepted for presentation at AEJMC’s regional and national conferences.
Dr. Assmann is the former U.S. correspondent for Spiegel television and has written, reported and produced for radio, broadcast and online publications before turning to academia. She has covered a wide range of beats and has won several awards for her reporting about the U.S. military. Her extensive professional experience supports both her teaching and her research; it takes her into newsrooms for ethnographic studies and has her interviewing journalists, editors and news directors about evolving norms and practices.
Active learning is a natural extension of Dr. Assmann’s career as a professional journalist. She completed the University of Georgia’s Active Learning Summer Institute in June 2022 and embraces the philosophies of active and experiential learning in all of her classes.
Fellowships and Awards
- Sarah Moss Fellowship Award. Support for research conducted outside of the University of Georgia ($10,000), 2023-2024
- AEJMC’s Baskett Mosse Award for Faculty Development for proposed project, ‘AmeriCorps’for Student Journalists in Georgia: A Program to Bring News Coverage to Rural Communities; August 2021 ($1,000)
- Teaching Faculty Academy Fellow, 2021- 2022; University of Georgia
- Top Extended Abstract Award, Community Journalism Interest Group: “Communication rituals, alternative media regimes and enactments of participatory journalism in rural ‘news deserts’ in Georgia; August 2020
- Mary Ann Yodelis Smith Award for Feminist Scholarship for: “A quota for women in online newsroom leadership? Lessons from the ProQuote initiative in Germany;” Commission on the Status of Women, AEJMC 2019
- Kopenhaver Fellow; Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication; University of Florida; 2019
- Stevenson open research competition; top paper award (third place) for “ProQuote: A German woman journalists’ initiative to revolutionize newsroom leadership” International Communication Division, AEJMC 2018