Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Massachusetts Lowell
media freedom, human rights, internet, censorship, journalism, democratization, repression and dissent
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Personal Info

About Me

I study the effects of media free­dom on human rights and conflict, the causes of restrictions on media freedom, and the role of news media in repression and dissent. I am intrigued by  the effects of media freedom in non-democracies and the restrictions of media freedom in democracies.

In the Historical Guide to World Media Freedom: A Country-by-Country Analysis, Douglas Van Belle  and I analyzed the evolution and devolution of media freedom in 196 countries from 1948 to 2013.

Prior to becoming a political scientist, I worked as a journalist in print and broadcast media. I became interested in media freedom and the relationship between media and politics when I was a stu­dent newspaper adviser and journalism instructor.

I am Director of the Global Studies Doctoral Program and an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. As a recovering journalist, I remain a news junkie, if not a newshound.

Recent Publications

Historical Guide to World Media Freedom: A Country-by-Country Analysis. (with Douglas Van Belle). CQ Press/Sage. 2014. This book has been designated a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015.

“The Rainbow Effect: Media Freedom, Internet Access and Gay Rights” (with Celin Carlo-Gonzalez and Chris McKallagat) Social Sciences Quarterly (accepted and forthcoming).

“Are Media at Work in Your Neighborhood: The Effect of Media Freedom and Social Media on Workers’ Rights” (with Chris McKallagat, Flavio D.S. Souza, and Cameron Wimpy) Social Sciences Quarterly (accepted and forthcoming).

“News about Her: The Effects of Media Freedom and Internet Access on Women’s Rights.” Journal of Human Rights, 15(3): 383-407. 2016. Available at:

“When the Fourth Estate Becomes a Fifth Column: The Effect of Media Freedom and Social Tolerance on Domestic Conflict.” (with Marc Hutchison and Salvatore Schiano) International Journal of Press/Politics, 21 (2): 165-187. 2016. Available at:

“The Correlates of Media Freedom: An Introduction of the Global Media Freedom Dataset.” (with Douglas Van Belle) Political Science Research and Methods, FirstView Article/December 2015, DOI 10.1017/psrm.2015.68, Published online: 02 December 2015. Available at:

“The Role of Media in the Repression-Protest Nexus: A Game Theoretic Model” (with HeeMin Kim and Patrick James). The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 59(6): 1017-1042.  2015. Available at

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