Nicole Dahmen

Nicole Dahmen profile picture


Nicole Smith Dahmen is an Associate Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on ethical and technological issues in visual communication, with an emphasis on photojournalism in the Digital Age. She also has a special interest in contextual reporting, specifically solutions journalism and restorative narrative. Dahmen’s research is published in such diverse and leading journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, and Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. And due to the subject matter of her research, her work is also published in the two leading journals for visual scholarship, Visual Communication Quarterly and Visual Communication. She has presented more than 40 conference papers, with top paper awards at both the AEJMC and ICA conferences. Dahmen is co-director of The Catalyst Journalism Project and on the Board of Trustees of Images & Voices of Hope (ivoh). She is on the editorial boards of Visual Communication Quarterly and Newspaper Research Journal.

Dahmen also has extensive professional design experience, ranging from the development of content to design and production for multiple platforms. She has been working with desktop publishing software since the mid-1990s and has developed and executed extensive print and multimedia materials.

Dahmen spent seven years at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University as an assistant and later as an associate professor prior to joining the faculty at the SOJC. She blogs about visual communication in the digital age at

Meet the Faculty: Nicole Dahmen from UO SOJC on Vimeo.


  • PhD, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007
  • MMC, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University, 2001


Dahmen, N. S., Mielczarek, N., & Morrison, D. D. (forthcoming). The (in)disputable “power” of images of outrage: Public acknowledgement, emotional reaction, and image recognition. Visual Communication.

Dahmen, N. S., & Coyle, E. K. (forthcoming). ACCESS DENIED: Exploring the relationship between the Obama administration’s access policies and visual journalists’ ability to function as independent watchdogs. Newspaper Research Journal.

Dahmen, N. S., Miller, A. & Morris, D., II. (forthcoming). The visual depth of Hurricane Katrina imagery: A longitudinal study through the lens of commemorative journalism and iconicity. Communication Reports.

Dahmen, N. S., Abdenour, J., McIntyre, K. & Noga-Styron, K. (2017). Covering mass shootings: Journalists’ perceptions of coverage and factors influencing attitudes. Journalism Practice. DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2017.1326832

McIntyre, K., Dahmen, N. S., & Abdenour, J. (2016). The contextualist function: U.S. newspaper journalists value social responsibility. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. DOI: 10.1177/1464884916683553

Dahmen, N. S. (2016). Images of resilience: The case for visual restorative narrative. Visual Communication Quarterly, 23(2), 93-107.

Dahmen, N. S. (2016). Obama and Romney photos receive equal treatment. Newspaper Research Journal, 37(1), 21-33.

Dahmen, N. S., & Morrison, D. D. (2016). Place, space, time: Media gatekeeping and iconic imagery in the digital and social media age. Digital Journalism, 4(5), 658-678.

Dahmen, N. S. (2015). Watchdog, voyeur, or censure? An eye-tracking research study of graphic photographs in the news media. Journalism Practice, 9(3), 418-432.

Areas of Expertise

  • Visual communication
  • News and publication design
  • Visual ethics
  • Photojournalism
  • Iconic photographs
  • Media technology
  • Social media
  • Eye-tracking
  • Contextual reporting
  • Solutions journalism

Honors and Awards

  • SOJC Petrone Faculty Fellowship
  • UO Williams Instructional Grant Faculty Research Award, UO (2016-2017)
  • Top Paper Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Newspaper and Online News Division, AEJMC (2016)
  • American Copy Editors Society Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Newspaper and Online News Division, AEJMC (2016)
  • Top Paper Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Visual Communication Studies Division, ICA (2016)
  • Faculty Seed Grant, UO (2015-2016)
  • Agora Journalism Center Faculty Fellowship, UO (2015-2016)
  • Bank One/John H. Bateman Professorship, LSU (2009-2013)
  • Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, LSU (2011)
  • Ranked number 11 for AEJMC top paper productivity, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator (2010)
  • Service-Learning Faculty Scholars Award, LSU (2009)
  • Doris Westmoreland Darden Professorship, LSU (2008-2009)
  • Summer Research Stipend, LSU (2008)
  • Eason Prize, Top Student Paper, SCIG, AEJMC (2007)
  • Roy H. Park Doctoral Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill (2004-2007)
  • Margaret Blanchard Dissertation Support Award, UNC-Chapel Hill (2007)
  • Top Student Paper Award, GLBT Interest Group, AEJMC (2006)
  • William Francis Clingman Jr. Ethics Award, UNC-Chapel Hill (2006)
  • John S. Clogston Award, Top Student Paper, MDIG, AEJMC (2005)