Brendan R. Watson

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University School of Journalism

Resaerch Projects with Students

Both as a graduate student and now a faculty member, collaborative student-faculty research projects have been the most rewarding academic experiences of my career. I occasionally have research projects on which I need research assistance. However, I prefer to work with students on truly collaborative projects that we develop together as equal research partners.

At the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, I've worked with individual students on research projects and have helped start semi-formal research groups organized around students' interests. Below is a list of completed projects that have come out of these collaborations. Additional projects are ongoing.

If you're a prospective graduate student and would like to know more about student-faculty research collaborations in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, I encourage you to read this article in the school's magazine, the Murphy Reporter, or email me for more information.

Watson, B.R., & Cavanah, S.(advanced online publication). Community Information Needs: A Theory and Methodological Framework Mass Communication & Society.doi: 10.1080/15205436.2015.1059948

Watson, B.R., Zamith, R., Cavanah, S., & Lewis, S.C. (advanced online publication). Are Demographics Adequate Controls for Cell Phone-Only Coverage Bias in Mass Communication Research? Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

Watson, B.R. & Chen, M. (advanced online publication). @todayin1963: Commemorative Journalism, Digital Collective Remembering, and the March on Washington. Journalism Studies.

Housholder, L.*, Watson, B.R., LoRusso, S.*, Dolbin, J.*, & Adhikari, S.R.*(2014). Does political advertising lead to online information seeking?: A real-world test using Google search data.. Paper accepted for presentation at the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, Montreal, Canada.

*Denotes graduate student authors.


  • Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • M.A., Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • B.A., English Literature & American Culture Studies, Washington University in St. Louis

Research Interests

  • Community information needs
  • Public affairs news/information
  • Social and participatory media
  • Community composition/structure
  • Public opinion
  • Digital research methods
>>Published research


Watson, B.R. and Cavanah, S. (2015).Community information needs: A theory and methodological framework. Mass Communication & Society, 18, 651-673. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2015.1059948



School of Journalism
College of Commmunication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University
404 Wilson Road, Room 302
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 884-4487