Marie K. Shanahan is an associate professor at the University of Connecticut who also serves as head of the Department of Journalism. Her academic research and teaching focus on the intersection of journalism and digital communication technology.
Prof. Shanahan studies trends in digital discourse, online commenting on news sites and on social media, online reputation, digital news ethics and local news engagement. She is the author of Journalism, Online Comments, and the Future of Public Discourse (Routledge, 2018).
Her research has been published by The Poynter Institute, Nieman Journalism Lab, Columbia Journalism Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Conversation and The Hartford Courant. Her writing has also appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Christian Science Monitor and Editor & Publisher.
As a journalism instructor, Prof. Shanahan helps students gain proficiency in the evolving areas of digital news production and consumption. Her courses provide a practical and theoretical foundation in interactive communications, multimedia reporting, online storytelling and data visualization. She has launched and directed two student-driven online publications: a weekly email newsletter called ‘Crash Course,’ and a podcast called ‘Behind the Stories.’
Prof. Shanahan’s interest in the possibilities of interactive media led her away from an early career as a print newspaper reporter to the digital side of news. After working for five years as a city desk reporter at The Hartford Courant, she transitioned into a digital news producer and online editor. Her award-winning work at courant.com and ctnow.com involved expanding the presentation, interactivity and usability of online news content, training members of the newsroom in best practices of digital journalism and engaging audiences through social networking.
Prior to UConn, Prof. Shanahan taught online journalism as an adjunct for Quinnipiac University’s Graduate Journalism Program. She also worked for AOL.com for one year 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.
Prof. Shanahan serves on the non-profit board of directors of the Connecticut Health Investigative Team, Connecticut Foundation for Open Government and The Connecticut Mirror. She is a former regional judge for the prestigious Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. She also has served as a national judge for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards and the EPPY Awards, and as an evaluator for the Online Journalism Awards.
Prof. Shanahan is a UConn alumna (’94) with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and History. She earned a master’s degree in Interactive Communications from Quinnipiac University.
She is currently a member of the Asian American Journalists Association, Online News Association, Investigative Reporters & Editors, JAWS, and AEJMC. She has also held memberships in SPJ, Association of Opinion Journalists and American Society of Journalists & Authors.
In 2020, Prof. Shanahan was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar. In January 2022, she will work with faculty and students at Leyte Normal University in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines to study how local news organizations are combating – or contributing to – the online spread of inaccurate or deliberately deceptive information under the guise of news.
Online Journalism, Introduction to Podcasting, Publication Practice: Newsletter, and Honors Thesis.