Faculty & Staff

Seth Lewis 2017

Seth Lewis

Shirley Papé Chair in Emerging Media, Associate Professor

235 Allen Hall

Seth C. Lewis is an associate professor and the founding holder of the Shirley Papé Chair in Emerging Media. Before joining the UO in 2016, he was associate professor and Mitchell V. Charnley Faculty Fellow in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. He has held visiting appointments with Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and Stanford University’s Program in Science, Technology & Society, and is a former US Fulbright Scholar to Spain.

His award-winning research explores the digital transformation of journalism, with emphasis on the social implications of media technologies for the dynamics of media work and innovation. His present work focuses on three areas: the interplay of humans and machines in news, such as in the rise of artificial intelligence and automation in journalism; the role of reciprocity in the changing dynamics among journalists, audiences, and communities; and the social dimensions of journalism and its boundaries. Drawing on a variety of disciplines, theories, and methods, Lewis has published some 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, covering a range of sociotechnical phenomena—from big data and open-source software, to social media and digital audience analytics.

Lewis is a two-time winner of the International Communication Association’s award for Outstanding Article of the Year in Journalism Studies — in 2016 for the article “Actors, Actants, Audiences, and Activities in Cross-Media News Work,” and in 2013 for “The Tension Between Professional Control and Open Participation: Journalism and its Boundaries,” as well as an honorable mention distinction in 2014 for “Open Source and Journalism: Toward New Frameworks for Imagining News Innovation.”

He edited a 2015 special issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Digital Journalism on the subject of “Journalism in an Era of Big Data,” co-edited the 2015 book Boundaries of Journalism: Professionalism, Practices and Participation (published by Routledge), and his 2012 co-authored article on journalists’ use of Twitter is the most-cited article in the 16-year history of Journalism Studies.

Lewis is on the editorial board of New Media & Society, the top-ranked journal in Communication (according to Google Scholar), as well as the editorial boards of Journalism & Mass Communication QuarterlySocial Media + Society, and Digital Journalism, among several others. He reviews grant proposals for funding agencies internationally, and has given invited lectures at a number of leading universities.

Beginning as a 16-year-old reporter for The Outlook in Gresham, Oregon, Lewis previously worked as a journalist for several news organizations, including as Assistant Sports Editor at The Miami Herald.


PhD, University of Texas at Austin
MBA, Barry University
BA in Communications, Brigham Young University

Areas of Expertise

  • Journalism studies
  • Media innovation
  • Emerging technologies
  • Social media
  • Digital culture
  • Technology and society


Lewis, Seth Corwin (2015). Journalism in an Era of Big Data: Cases, Concepts, and Critiques.  Digital Journalism.

Zamith, R., & Lewis, S. C. (forthcoming in 2015). Content Analysis and the Algorithmic Coder: What Computational Social Science Means for Traditional Modes of Media Analysis. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. (Published in a special issue, “Toward Computational Social Science: Big Data in Digital Environments.”)

Lewis, S. C., & Westlund, O. (2015). Big Data and Journalism: Epistemology, Expertise, Economics, and Ethics. Digital Journalism.

Lewis, S. C., & Westlund, O. (2015). Actors, actants, audiences, and activities in cross-media news work: A matrix and a research agenda. Digital Journalism, 3(1), 19-37. doi:10.1080/21670811.2014.92798

Lewis, S. C., & Usher, N. (2014). Code, Collaboration, and the Future of Journalism: A Case Study of the Hacks/Hackers Global Network. Digital Journalism, 2(3), 383-393. doi:10.1080/21670811.2014.895504

Westlund, O., & Lewis, S. C. (2014). Agents of Media Innovations: Actors, Actants, and Audiences. The Journal of Media Innovations, 1(2), 10-35. doi:10.5617/jmi.v1i2.856

Lewis, S. C., Holton, A. E., & Coddington, M. (2014). Reciprocal Journalism: A Concept of Mutual Exchange Between Journalists and Audiences. Journalism Practice, 8(2), 229-241. doi:10.1080/17512786.2013.859840

Zamith, R., & Lewis, S. C. (2014). From public spaces to public sphere: Rethinking systems for reader comments on online news sites. Digital Journalism, 2(4), 558-574. doi:10.1080/21670811.2014.882066

Hermida, A., Lewis, S. C., & Zamith, R. (2014). Sourcing the Arab Spring: A Case Study of Andy Carvin’s Sources on Twitter During the Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(3), 479-499. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12074 Download

Lee, A., Lewis, S. C., & Powers, M. J. (2014). Audience Clicks and News Placement: A Study of Time-Lagged Influence in Online Journalism. Communication Research, 41(4), 505-530. doi:10.1177/0093650212467031

Lewis, S. C., & Usher, N. (2013). Open Source and Journalism: Toward New Frameworks for Imagining News InnovationMedia, Culture & Society, 35(5), 602-619. doi:10.1177/016344371348549

Lewis, S. C., Zamith, R., & Hermida, A. (2013). Content Analysis in an Era of Big Data: A Hybrid Approach to Computational and Manual MethodsJournal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57(1), 34–52. doi:10.1080/08838151.2012.76170

Aitamurto, T., &Lewis, S. C. (2013). Open Innovation in Digital Journalism: Examining the Impact of Open APIs at Four News OrganizationsNew Media & Society, 15(2), 314-331. doi:10.1177/1461444812450682

Lewis, S. C. (2012). The Tension Between Professional Control and Open Participation: Journalism and its BoundariesInformation, Communication & Society, 15(6), 836-866. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2012.674150

Lewis, S. C. (2012). From Journalism to Information: The Transformation of the Knight Foundation and News InnovationMass Communication and Society, 15(3), 309-334. doi:10.1080/15205436.2011.611607

Chyi, H. I., Lewis, S. C., & Zheng, N. (2012). A Matter of Life and Death? Examining How Newspapers Covered the Newspaper CrisisJournalism Studies, 13(3), 305-324. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2011.629090

Lasorsa, D. L., Lewis, S. C., & Holton, A. E. (2012). Normalizing Twitter: Journalism Practice in an Emerging Communication SpaceJournalism Studies, 13(1), 19-36. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2011.571825

Lewis, S. C. (2011). Journalism Innovation and Participation: An Analysis of the Knight News ChallengeInternational Journal of Communication, 5, 1623-1648.

Holton, A., & Lewis, S. C. (2011). Journalists, Social Media, and the Use of Humor on TwitterThe Electronic Journal of Communication / La Revue Electronic de Communication, 21(1-2).

Gil de Zúñiga, H., Lewis, S. C., Hinsley, A. W., Valenzuela, S., Lee, J. K., & Baresch, B. (2011). Blogging as a Journalistic Practice: A Model Linking Perception, Motivation, and BehaviorJournalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism, 12(5), 586-606. doi:10.1177/1464884910388230

Lewis, S. C., Kaufhold, K., & Lasorsa, D. L. (2010). Thinking about Citizen Journalism: The Philosophical and Practical Challenges of User-Generated Content for Community NewspapersJournalism Practice, 4(2), 163-179. doi:10.1080/14616700903156919