Seth Lewis

Seth Lewis profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor, Shirley Papé Chair in Emerging Media
  • Phone: 541-346-7342
  • Office: 235 Allen Hall
  • City: Eugene
  • Interests: digital journalism, journalism studies, emerging media, news communities, algorithms and automation, media sociology, media work, social media
  • Website: Website
  • Research Website: Research


Seth C. Lewis is the founding holder of the Shirley Papé Chair in Emerging Media in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, and is an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Previously, he was an associate professor and Mitchell V. Charnley Faculty Fellow at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, held a visiting appointment with Stanford University’s Program in Science, Technology & Society, and was a Fulbright Scholar to Spain.

His research in journalism studies has examined the emergence of social media, audience metrics, user participation, open-source software, pro-social hacking, and big data in news production. He also has co-developed conceptual models for interpreting the boundary work of journalism as well as the interplay of social actors and technological actants in media organizations. His present work focuses on three areas: (1) the interplay of humans and machines in media work, as in the rise of algorithms, automation, and artificial intelligence; (2) the interplay of journalists, audiences, and communities, particularly on dimensions of engagement, reciprocity, and harassment; and (3) the role of news as knowledge in an era of disinformation (through 2020, he co-directs a project on the epistemologies of digital news production that is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences).

Lewis has published some 50 journal articles and book chapters, and 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 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 article on journalists’ use of Twitter is the most-cited piece in the 18-year history of Journalism Studies.




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


Lewis, S. C., Sanders, A. K., & Carmody, C. (forthcoming). Libel by algorithm? Automated journalism and the threat of legal liability. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

Carlson, M., Robinson, S., Lewis, S. C., & Berkowitz, D. (forthcoming). Journalism studies and its core commitments: The making of a communication field. Journal of Communication.

Carlson, M., & Lewis, S. C. (forthcoming). Temporal reflexivity in journalism studies: Making sense of change in a more timely fashion. Journalism.

Molyneux, L., Holton, A. E., Lewis, S. C. (2017). How journalists engage in branding on social media: Individual, organizational, and institutional levels. Information, Communication and Society. (online first)

Lewis, S. C., & Usher, N. (2016). Trading zones, boundary objects, and the pursuit of news innovation: A case study of journalists and programmers. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 22(5), 543-560. doi:10.1177/1354856515623865

Chyi, H. I., Lewis, S. C., & Zheng, N. (2016). Parasite or partner? Coverage of Google News in an era of news aggregation. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 93(4), 789-815. doi:10.1177/1077699016629370

Holton, A. E., Lewis, S. C., & Coddington, M. (2016). Interacting with audiences: Journalistic role conceptions, reciprocity, and perceptions about participation. Journalism Studies, 17(7), 849-859. doi:10.1080/1461670X.2016.1165139

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 AnalysisThe 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 EthicsDigital Journalism.

Lewis, S. C., & Westlund, O. (2015). Actors, actants, audiences, and activities in cross-media news work: A matrix and a research agendaDigital 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 NetworkDigital Journalism, 2(3), 383-393. doi:10.1080/21670811.2014.895504

Westlund, O., & Lewis, S. C. (2014). Agents of Media Innovations: Actors, Actants, and AudiencesThe 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 AudiencesJournalism 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 sitesDigital 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 JournalismCommunication 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

Areas of Expertise

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