Sue Robinson

Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, UW-Madison

Sue Robinson
A former journalist, Dr. Sue Robinson joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in January 2007 and now holds the Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor of Journalism endowed research chair. As a scholar, she explores how journalists and news organizations adopt new information communication technologies to report on public affairs in new forms and formats as well as how audiences and individuals can use the technologies for civic engagement. Central to her work is the consideration of power dynamics such as race, class and areas of marginalization in information flows as content moves through media ecologies at the local community level.
Her third book, titled, “How Journalists Engage: A theory of trust building, identity, and care,” will be out in April 2023 with Oxford University Press. She worked with Hearken, Trusting News, the Membership Puzzle Project and Democracy Fund as well as a consortium of about 90 professors across the country on creating and implementing trust-building models for newsrooms and journalism college curriculum, in addition to other fieldwork since 2018.
Her next book project is about rethinking journalism school and newsroom training curriculum and protocol, tentatively called Disrupting Journalism and still in the early stages. She is working with 8 universities, their local media partners, and the nonprofit Cortico on developing training and skills about community conversation facilitations. In addition, she is proud to partner with research partners Dr. Josh Darr of Louisiana State University and Patrick Johnson of the University of Iowa as well as Trusting News, Hearken, and Solutions Journalism Network and their partner newsrooms to implement these evidence-based practices and then learn from those interventions.
She is a consultant for a number of news organizations and has had collaborations with the Aspen Institute, the Kettering Foundation and the Minority Student Achievement Network. She advises The Black Voice and the National Association for Black Journalists. She also volunteer, works closely with, or has had collaborations with the following non-profits in Madison: Goodman Community Center, Urban Triage, Dear Diary, Cultural Connections, Freedom Inc., Simpson Street Free Press, Lussier Community Education Center, Centro Hispano, and LEAP 2 College. A former business, technology, agriculture and seafood writer for a dozen years, Sue earned her BA in journalism from the University of New Hampshire in 1994, her MA in journalism from Northeastern University in 2000, and her PhD in mass media and communication from Temple University in 2007.