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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; CMP3312: Screenwriting; CMP4410: Mass Media History, Law, & Ethics; CMP4418: Feature Writing; CMP6630: Media and Culture

The range of courses I teach reflects how media necessarily intersect with our lives — economically, technologically, and politically. From newspapers and magazines to social media, 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 also exciting and full of opportunities. 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 creativity, knowledge, and responsibility.

Research-wise, I examine journalism, media, and politics. I recently co-authored a book, The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion, published by the University of Chicago Press.

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 used to host a monthly program, Know Your Media, on our campus NPR affiliate, KISU-FM, and serve as one of the college’s pre-law advisors as well as a liaison for our exchange program with Karlstad University, in Sweden, where students can attend with a department scholarship.


Recent Publications:

Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing, The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022).

Zac Gershberg and D. Jasun Carr, “Media in North America,” in Global Journalism: Understanding World Medis Systems, ed. Daniela V. Dimitrova (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021), 177-186.