Richard G. Johnson, PhD
Richard G. Johnson, PhD

Richard G. Johnson, PhD

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Appointments

Department

  • Journalism, Media & Computing

Position

  • Assistant Professor

Biography

Dr. Rich Johnson, Ph.D., is a native of St. George, Utah. He has loved journalism since he used to steal his father's newspaper for the sports section and the comics.
Immediately after high school and while attending a local community college, Dr. Johnson began his journalism career by working as a part-time sports clerk at The Spectrum & Daily News, Gannett-owned community newspaper with a daily circulation of about 25,000.

Dr. Johnson attended Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah, where he earned a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in journalism. Following graduation, Dr. Johnson returned to The Spectrum and Daily News, working as a copy editor, a bureau chief and a sports reporter.

Dr. Johnson later worked for four years at Brigham Young University as an adviser for its student newspaper, The Daily Universe. At BYU, he mostly oversaw the student newspaper's website and multimedia production. Dr. Johnson also earned an M.A. in Mass Communications at BYU. Beginning in 2012, Dr. Johnson attended Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. While a student at ASU, Dr. Johnson taught Cronkite School classes in online media and social media. His dissertation focused on journalists and interaction with followers on the social media site Twitter.

Since Fall 2014, Dr. Johnson has worked as an assistant professor at Creighton University in the Department of Journalism, Media, and Computing. He has taught courses in media research, newswriting, and sportswriting at Creighton. He also is the adviser for the student newspaper, the Creightonian. He also works as a part-time copy editor in the sports department of the Omaha-World Herald.

His research interests include community and sports journalism, sports television network practices, and digital journalism.

Dr. Johnson and his wife, Kira, have four children. He is a fan of BYU and ASU football, the Vegas Golden Knights, the San Diego Padres and the Utah Jazz. He also loves nerd stuff, like Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and superhero movies. He is an avid fly fisherman and loves camping.

Publications and Presentations

Articles

  • The ball game is for the boys: The visual framing of female athletes on national sports networks’ Instagram accounts., Communication and Sport, 2019
  • Life in Black and White: Racial framing by sports networks on Instagram, Journal of Sports Media, 13(2), 1-18, 2018
  • Show me a story: Narrative, image, and audience engagement on sports network Instagram accounts. (Published online, print publication forthcoming), Information, Communication & Society, 2018
  • Romney, M., Johnson, R. G., & Roschke, K. Narratives of life experience in the digital space: a case study of the images in Richard Deitsch’s single best moment project., Information, Communication & Society, 20(7), 1040-1056, 2017
  • Boosterism or audience interest? An examination of self-promotion on sports network highlight shows, Journal of Sports Media, 12(2), 1-23, 2017
  • How the west was lost: Geographic bias on sports network highlight shows, Journal of Sports Media, 13(1), 99-121, 2017

Publications

  • It “breaks down this wall”: Dualities in Journalists’ Engagement with Twitter Followers. Doctoral dissertation, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 2015
  • Johnson, R. G. Community journalists and personal relationships with sources and community organizations. Master’s Thesis, Brigham Young University., 2012

Presentations

  • Panel co-organizer, Journalists in the hot seat: Staying safe in a hostile political climate. Joint panel session for the Community Journalism Interest Group and the Newspaper and Online Division. At the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 9, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Helped with the recruitment of two members of the panel. The panel was broadcast by CSPAN2., 2018
  • Panel moderator, Refereed research paper session: “New Media, TV and the Olympics.” Research panel for the Sports Communication Interest Group at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 6, 2018, in Washington, D.C., 2018
  • Research Discussant, Scholar-to-scholar refereed research poster paper session. Community Journalism Interest Group poster presentations. At the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 6, 2018, in Washington, D.C., 2018
  • Panel organizer, Faith in the Beltway: Creating and maintaining community bonds through religious-themed news organizations. Joint panel session for the Community Journalism Interest Group and Religion in Media Interesting Group. At the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 6, 2018, in Washington, D.C., 2018
  • Romney, M. & Johnson, R. G. (2018). The ballgame is for the boys: The visual framing of female athletes on national sports networks’ Instagram accounts.Presented at the annual convention of the Broadcast Education Association on April 10, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Earned second place in the Open Paper Competition for the BEA Sports Division., 2018
  • Panel member, Challenges and opportunities for student media at Religious-affiliated universities. At the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 10, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois., 2017
  • Panel moderator, Helping students build community outside and inside campus newsrooms. At the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 10, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois., 2017
  • Romney, M., & Johnson, R. G. (2017). Show me a story: Narrative, image, and audience engagement on sports network Instagram accounts. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 9, 2017, in Chicago Illinois., 2017
  • Johnson, R. G., & Romney, M. (2017). Life in Black and White: Racial framing by sports networks on Instagram. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 9, 2017, in Chicago Illinois. Earned first place faculty paper award for the Sports Communication Interest Group., 2017
  • Romney, M., & Johnson, R. G. (2017). Narrative, image, and social network engagement. Presented at the faculty Research in Progress session on April 24, 2017, at the annual conference of the Broadcast Education Association in Las Vegas, Nevada., 2017
  • Johnson, R. G. (2016). “It's Like a Bar Journalists Hang Out At:" Social Media's Erosion of Walls Between Journalists and Their Twitter followers. Presented at the annual conference for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication., 2016
  • Panel member. E-crowding the gridiron: Balancing journalism practices and online community building in local sports journalism. Professional freedom and responsibility panel on August 6, 2016, at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2016
  • Johnson, R. G. (2016). Dualities in journalists' engagement with Twitter followers. Presented at the annual conference for the Association For Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on August 5, 2016, in Minneapolis, Minnesota., 2016
  • Johnson, R. G., & Romney, M. (2016). How the West was lost: Geographic bias on sports network highlight shows. Presented at the annual conference for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on August 5, 2016, in Minneapolis, Minnesota., 2016
  • Panel moderator, Workshop session: Putting the "hyper" in hyperlocal: Teaching students to get excited about and involved in community journalism. Pre-conference workshop at the annual conference for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on August 3, 2016, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2016
  • Johnson, R. G., Romney, M. (2016). East versus West: An examination of geographic bias on sports network highlight shows. Presented April 2016 at the Research in Progress session of the annual conference of the Broadcast Education Association in Las Vegas, Nevada., 2016
  • Romney, M., Johnson, R. G., & Roschke, K. (2015). Life experience narratives in the digital space: Images in Richard Deitsch’s Single Best Moment project.” Paper accepted for presentation at the annual convention of the International Communication Association from May 21-25, 2015, in San Juan, Puerto Rico., 2015
  • Johnson, R. G., & Romney, M. (2014). Setting the agenda through hybrid messages: A study of SportsCenter and Fox Sports Live. Presented April 8, 2014, at the Student Research in Progress session at the annual conference of the Broadcast Education Association in Las Vegas, Nevada., 2014
  • Johnson, R. G., & Romney, M. (2014). Promoting sports network’s interests through hybrid messages: A study of SportsCenter and Fox Sports Live. Presented at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on August 6, 2014, in Montreal, Canada., 2014
  • Johnson, R. G, (2013). “Just because you’re a journalist doesn’t mean you aren’t a citizen.” Community journalists and relationships with sources and community organizations. Presented at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on August 10, 2013, in Washington, D.C., 2013
  • Panel member, “Big Ideas and Best Practices For Student-Produced News,” (2013). Pre-conference workshop at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on August 10, 2013, in Washington, D.C., 2013
  • Johnson, R. G., & Randle, Q. (2011). A new community journalism? The Deseret News’ shift toward Gemeinschaft and a values-centered audience. Presented at the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on August 11, 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri., 2011

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • ·      Community storytelling
    ·      Journalistic identity
    ·      Narrative imagery and interactivity on social media posts
    ·      Sports journalism practices
    ·      Gender, racial, geographic and professional biases of sports network Instagram accounts
    ·      Sports reporters’ practices
    ·      Quantitative content analysis

Grant Funding Received

  • John Savage Visual Communications Scholarship Omaha Press Club Spring 2018 Applied for and was granted $1,000 to use to buy mobile journalism equipment for use in the new JRM 419 Online Storytelling course. I was the primary investigator for this panel proposal and oversaw the purchase of the equipment with the funds we were granted.