Matt Carlson is Associate Professor of Communication at Saint Louis University where he teaches and researches in the area of media and journalism studies. His work examines public discourse about journalism, with an interest in the cultural construction of journalistic norms and practices. Rather than view journalism as a stable, self-determining entity, Carlson examines how individuals and groups struggle over the definition of what journalism is, who is a journalist, and what direction journalism should take. These are not subjects of idle speculation, but contests over the shape of the news we receive.
This interest in definitional struggle culminated in the book On the Condition of Anonymity: Unnamed Sources and the Battle for Journalism (University of Illinois Press, 2011). Learn more about the book here.
When it comes to the classroom, Carlson has taught a range of courses, from the introductory general communication course to graduate seminars in media research.
Carlson received a PhD (2007) and MA (2002) from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a BA in communication from Loyola University Chicago, where was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Before pursuing his doctorate, Carlson was a researcher and Web editor at the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, D.C. During his time at PEJ, he helped shape the State of the News Media report, managed the journalism.org Web site, and compiled the Daily Briefing, an online compendium of stories about the news media.
Carlson has published widely in the areas of journalism and media studies. He is co-editor with Bob Franklin of the edited volume Journalism, Sources, and Credibility: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2011), and co-editor with Seth Lewis of the forthcoming volume Boundaries of Journalism (Routledge). In addition, his work has appeared in the Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journalism, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, New Media & Society, Journal of Communication Inquiry and Media, Culture & Society, among others. He has presented conference papers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Carlson is Chair of the Journalism Studies division at the International Communication Association, through 2016.