Marie K. Shanahan is an associate professor at the University of Connecticut and 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 — particularly, online commenting on news sites and social media, news literacy, misinformation and local news engagement. She is the author of Journalism, Online Comments, and the Future of Public Discourse (Routledge, 2018). She holds a research affiliation with UConn’s Center for mHealth and Social Media.
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.
Prof. Shanahan was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in the 2020-21 class. In Summer 2022, she worked with faculty and students at Leyte Normal University in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines to study pathways to news, trust in journalism, concerns about misinformation on social media, and the challenges faced by local journalists in Eastern Visayas.
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 and online storytelling. 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 at The Hartford Courant to the digital side of news. She worked as a news reporter, online producer and digital editor for 17 years. Prior to UConn, she taught online journalism at Quinnipiac University’s Graduate Journalism Program.
Prof. Shanahan serves on the board of directors of three non-profit organizations: 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, Journalism & Women’s Symposium, Society for Professional Journalists, and AEJMC. She has previously held memberships in the Association of Opinion Journalists and American Society of Journalists & Authors.
Online Journalism, Podcasting, Publication Practice: Newsletter, Journalism Portfolio III: Professional Presentation, and Honors Thesis.