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Zac Gershberg 2021

Zac Gershberg

Associate Professor

Office: Frazier 310

(208) 282-3272


BS, Cinema, Sports Communication, Ithaca College; MA, Communication, Hawaii Pacific University; PhD, Communication Studies, Louisiana State University


Journalism, Media Studies

Courses Taught:

CMP1110: Media Writing; CMP2203: Media Literacy; CMP3310: Multiplatform Storytelling; CMP3311: Business and Political Reporting; CMP3382: Political Communication; CMP3399: Screenwriting; CMP4410: Mass Media History, Law, & Ethics; CMP4418: Feature Writing; CMP6630: Media and Culture

The range of courses I teach reflects my enthusiasm for practicing and thinking about all the ways media necessarily intersect with our lives -- economically, technologically, and politically. From newspapers and magazines to blogs and the Twitter-sphere, as well as movies and television, we shouldn't just be consumers. We are, first and foremost, citizens of a democracy who must critically process and effectively negotiate the contemporary frenzy of communication all around us. That can be challenging. But for students in my courses -- and multiplatform journalism majors, in particular (who often go on to work across the media landscape spanning news, entertainment, sports, and politics) -- that means nurturing a creative, polished professionalism armed with expert knowledge and an ethic of responsibility.

Research-wise, I examine the history of media, the ethics of journalism, and political communication. Currently, I'm working a book project with Sean Illing, a reporter for, entitled "The Paradox of Democracy: How open media distinguish and disrupt free societies."

I have experience working as a journalist in Hawaii covering news, sports, and travel, and I spent some time in script development in Hollywood. I serve as a host for our NPR affiliate, KISU-FM, and its monthly program, Know Your Media, and conduct scholarly interview chats as the Web and Publications editor for The Gatekeeper, the website and newsletter for the [National Communication Association's Mass Comm] (link to division. I also created, and work as, the department liaison for our exchange program with Karlstad University, in Sweden, where students can attend with a scholarship.

My own personal interests include frequenting food trucks, traveling overseas, hiking around Poky, playing pick-up basketball, reading espionage fiction, watching (what's left of) the golden-age of television, and cheering on my hometown Buffalo Bills. You can follow me on Twitter at @DrGersh.

Selected Publications:

Gershberg, Z. (2017). Rhetoric in a Transmedia Storytelling Campaign. In D. Schill and J. Hendricks (Eds.), The Presidency and Social Media: Discourse, disruption, and digital democracy in the 2016 presidential election (pp. 174-188). New York, NY: Routledge.

Gershberg, Z. (2017). The Epideictic Imperative of Inaugural Addresses. In A. Kall (Ed.), I Do Solemnly Swear: Presidential inaugural addresses of the last forty years (pp. 47-60). Ann Arbor, MI: CreateSpace.

Gershberg, Z. (2017). Communication Geography. In Mike Allen (Ed.), The SAGE
Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. New York, NY: Sage.

Gershberg, Z. (2017). Multiplatform Journalism. In Mike Allen (Ed.), The SAGE
Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. New York, NY: Sage.

Gershberg, Z. (Ed.). (2014). COMM 365: Celebrating 100 Years of Communication Research. Washington, DC: National Communication Association.

Awards & Honors:

2016 Reynolds Business Journalism Fellow, Arizona State University