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Johanna Dunaway

Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • American Politics
  • Public Administration and Public Policy
  • LASB 365
Professional Links
Personal Website

Research Interests

  • Media & American Politics
  • Political Communication
  • Public Policy


Johanna L. Dunaway received her Ph.D. from Rice University in 2006. Her areas of interest include news media and politics and political communication, with an emphasis on how the changing media environment is shaping news consumption and political knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Before coming to Texas A&M in Fall 2016, Johanna was a Joan Shorenstein Fellow in the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. From 2008-2015, she was a jointly appointed faculty member in LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and Department of Political Science. Before moving to LSU, she was appointed in the department of political science at Sam Houston State University. Her most recent and forthcoming articles focus on the attitudinal effects of Spanish-language media, a psychophysiological examination of cognitive dissonance, empathetic responses to mediated depictions of refugees, and the effects of hedge-fund media ownership.

Her publications appear in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Political Communication, Information, Communication & Society, Public Opinion Quarterly, PloS One, Social Science Quarterly, Political Behavior, American Politics Research and Political Research Quarterly. Two of her recent publications earned top paper awards, the Walter Lippmann Best Published Article Award for 2018, from the American Political Science Association’s Political Communication Division, and the 2018 Lynda Lee Kaid Best Published Article in Political Communication Award, from the Political Communication Division of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication.

She is currently working on three book manuscripts: News Attention in a Mobile Era, with Kathleen Searles, Home Style Opinion: How Local Newspapers Can Slow Polarization, with Joshua Darr and Matthew Hitt, and The House that Fox Built? Representation, Political Accountability, and the Rise of Cable News, with Kevin Arceneaux, Martin Johnson, & Ryan J. Vander Wielen.

Courses Taught

  • Media and Politics
  • Political Communication
  • Political Behavior
  • Research Design

Representative Publications

  • Arceneaux, K., Dunaway, J.L., Johnson, P.M., and Vander Wielen, R.J. (2020). “Strategic Candidate Entry and Congressional Elections in the Era of Fox News.” American Journal of Political Science64(2), 398-415,
  • Padgett, J., Dunaway, J.L. and Darr, J.P. (2019). “As Seen on TV? How Gatekeeping Makes the U.S. House Seem More Extreme.” Journal of Communication, Volume 69, Issue 6, 696-719,
  • Dunaway, J.L. and Soroka, S.N. (2019). “Smartphone-size screens constrain cognitive access to video news stories.” Information, Communication, & Society, June 25:1-16,
  • Darr, J. P., Hitt, M., and Dunaway, J.L. (2018). “Newspaper Closures Polarize Voting Behavior.” Journal of Communication, 68(6): 1007-1028,
  • Dunaway, J. L., Searles, K., Sui, M. and Paul, N. (2018). “News Attention in a Mobile Era.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 23(2):107-124,



Dunaway-MassMediaAndAmericanPoliticsGraber, Doris A. and Johanna Dunaway. 2017. Mass Media and American Politics, 10th edition. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press

Known for its readable introduction to the literature and theory of the field, Mass Media and American Politics is a trusted, comprehensive look at media’s impact on attitudes, behavior, elections, politics, and policymaking. This Tenth Edition is thoroughly updated to reflect major structural changes that have shaken the world of political news and examines the impact of the changing media landscape. It includes timely examples from the 2016 election cycle to illustrate the significance of these changes.

This classic text balances comprehensive coverage and cutting-edge theory, shows students how the media influence governmental institutions and the communication strategies of political elites, and illustrates how the government shapes the way the media disseminate information. Written by Doris A. Graber—a scholar who has played an enormous role in establishing and shaping the field of mass media and American politics—and Johanna Dunaway, this book sets the standard.