Marie K. Shanahan is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut. Her academic research and teaching focus on the intersection of journalism and digital communication technology.
Shanahan studies trends in digital discourse, online commenting on news sites and social media, online reputation, digital news ethics and local news engagement. In September 2017, her academic book, Journalism, Online Comments, and the Future of Public Discourse was published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Shanahan’s research has also been published by The Poynter Institute, Columbia Journalism Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Hartford Courant, and The Conversation. Her writing has also appeared in Newsweek, Salon and Christian Science Monitor.
As an journalism instructor, Shanahan helps students gain proficiency in modern digital news making. Her courses provide a practical and theoretical foundation in interactive communication, multimedia reporting, online storytelling, data visualization and digital content production.
It was a burgeoning interest in the possibilities of interactive media that led Shanahan away from an early career as a print journalist to the digital side of news. After five years as a city desk reporter at The Hartford Courant, Shanahan transitioned into a digital news producer and online editor. Her award-winning work at courant.com and ctnow.com for the next dozen years involved expanding the presentation, interactivity and usability of online news content, training members of the newsroom in best practices of digital journalism, and building audiences through social networking.
She served as a volunteer editor for many years with the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) student newspaper project, and she taught online journalism as an adjunct for Quinnipiac University’s Graduate Journalism Program. In July 2010, AOL hired Shanahan as a Connecticut Regional Editor for Patch.com, where she was responsible for recruitment, development and management of a dozen local news websites in north central Connecticut.
Shanahan was appointed to the journalism faculty at UConn as a tenure-track assistant professor in August 2011. She currently serves on the non-profit board of directors of the Connecticut Health Investigative Team, Connecticut Foundation for Open Government and The Connecticut News Project. She is a former regional judge for the prestigious Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, and served as a national judge for the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Awards and an evaluator for Online Journalism Awards.
Shanahan holds a bachelors degree in journalism and history from UConn, and a masters degree in interactive communications from Quinnipiac. She is member of AAJA, SPJ, Online News Association, Association of Opinion Journalists and American Society of Journalists & Authors.