Lars Willnat, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, UK School of Journalism and Media


lwillnatI’m Professor and Director of the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky. Before joining UK in 2016, I taught at Indiana University in Bloomington, the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Throughout my career I have been primarily interested in linking theoretical aspects of political and cultural issues with the study of international media effects. As a result, most of my research is comparative in nature.

AJ DigitalIn progress: At the moment, I am working with David H. Weaver on The American Journalist in the Digital Age, a large-scale survey of U.S. journalists that focuses on how journalists think about their roles in society and their profession overall. The study, which is based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,080 U.S. journalists, updates the findings of the last survey of U.S. journalists conducted in 2002 with new questions about the perceived impact of new communication technologies and social media in the newsroom.


Done: My most recent book is Social Media, Culture and Politics in Asia (Peter Lang, 2014), which I co-edited with Annette Aw. The book, which is based on a cross-national survey of 3,500 young adults in nine Asian nations, focuses on the interaction of cultural, social, and political factors in explaining links between social media use and political participation in each country. We conclude that social media use is associated with political participation in most nations, independent from the respondents’ demographic backgrounds or the political systems they live in.

Global Journalist

Done: Another recent book is The Global Journalist in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2012), which I co-edited with David H. Weaver. The collection of studies systematically assess the demographics, socialization, professional attitudes and working conditions of journalists in 31 countries around the world. The book updates the original Global Journalist (Hampton Press, 1998) volume with new data, adding more than a dozen countries, and provides material on comparative research about journalists that will be useful to those interested in doing their own studies.

What’s new?

Christine Ogan, Lars Willnat, Rosemary Pennington, and Manaf Bashir (2013). The Rise of Anti-Muslim Prejudice: Media and Islamophobia in Europe and the United States. International Communication Gazette, 76(1), 27-46.

Lars Willnat, David Weaver, and Jihyang Choi (2013). The Global Journalist in the 21st Century: A Cross-national Study of Journalistic Competencies. Journalism Practice, 7(2), 163-183.

Lars Willnat, Ezhar Tamam, Joann Wong, and Annette Aw (2013). Online Media and Political Participation: The Case of Malaysia. Mass Communication and Society, 16(4), 1-29.

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