New MJ-school faculty member brings a different perspective to the school

The MJ-school is proud to welcome Deen Freelon to its faculty starting July 1, 2017. He will be working as an associate professor.

Freelon, a former associate professor at American University in Washington, D.C., is forging a new path in media and journalism. His primary areas of expertise are political expression through digital media and the use of computer programming and computational methods to extract, preprocess, analyze and visualize large digital datasets.

By exploring the intersection of data gathering and political expression, Freelon is able to explore how social media is used to pursue political goals. He also studies how communication between political candidates and citizens has changed in the age of social media, which a focus on the 2016 presidential election.

To aid his research endeavors, Freelon has also developed research-grade software. His first, and most widely-used, is ReCal, made in 2008. ReCal is currently one of the only free intercoder reliability calculators and is used to measure consistency within datasets. Freelon’s most recent software was released in 2014. Despite it’s name, TSM (Twitter Subgraph Manipulator) is able to process network data from any source and is used alongside the Python programming language.

Freelon is also the recipient of many awards in the fields of journalism and communication. Among them include: the top published research paper given by the AEJMC for his 2012 journal article, “Communicating citizenship online: Models of civic learning in the youth web sphere” and the Jack Child Teaching with Technology award from American University.

Freelon teaches by the motto, “learn by doing.” He believes in letting his students have autonomy over their own course-work and encourages students to apply concepts to media content they know and understand.

Read more about Deen Freelon and his research here.