College Directory

Frank Waddell

Assistant Professor - Department of Journalism

Office: 3067 Weimer Phone: 352-294-1627 Email:


Dr. T. Franklin Waddell is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. Dr. Waddell received his doctorate in Mass Communication from Pennsylvania State University (2016), where his research focused on media effects and new communication technology.

His current research interests are at the intersection of new technology and online storytelling. His work typically examines how established media effects are moderated by the affordances of new communication technologies, with topics recently explored including machine automated news, the psychology of online comments, and the effects of social television.

Dr. Waddell’s research has been published in a variety of journals including the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Media Psychology, Computers in Human Behavior, International Journal of Communication, Psychology of Popular Media Culture, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, and ACM CHI, among other outlets. His work has also earned top paper honors at divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr, Waddell teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in research methods, communication theory, and mass communication statistics. In 2017, he was awarded for “Outstanding Service on Behalf of Graduate & Professional Students” by the University of Florida Graduate Student Council.


Ph.D., Mass Communication, Pennsylvania State University, 2016
M.A., Communication, Virginia Tech, 2012
B.A., Communication, Virginia Tech, 2010



Sample Publications

Waddell, T. F. (2018). The authentic (and angry) audience: How comment authenticity and sentiment impact news evaluation. Digital Journalism. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2018.1490656​

Waddell, T. F. (2018). A robot wrote this? How perceived machine authorship affects news credibility. Digital Journalism. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2017.1384319

Waddell, T. F. (2017). This tweet brought to you by a journalist: How comment gatekeeping influences online news credibility. Electronic News.

Waddell, T. F. (2017). What does the crowd think? How online comments and popularity metrics affect news credibility and issue importance. New Media & Society.

Waddell, T. F., & Bailey, A. (2017). Inspired by the crowd: The effect of online comments on elevation and universal orientation. Communication Monographs. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2017.1369137

Waddell, T. F. (2017). The effect of counter-exemplars and victim expectations on crime perceptions and hostile attitudes towards racial minorities. International Journal of Communication.

Waddell, T. F., & Bailey, E. (2017). Is social television the “anti-laugh track?” Testing the effect of negative comments and canned laughter on comedy reception. Psychology of Popular Media Culture.

Waddell, T. F., & Sundar, S. S. (2017). #thisshowsucks! The overpowering influence of negative social media comments on television viewers. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

Waddell, T. F., Bailey, E., & Davis, S. E. (2017). Does elevation reduce viewers’ enjoyment of media violence? Testing the intervention potential of inspiring media. Journal of Media Psychology. doi:

Waddell, T. F. (2016). The allure of privacy or the desire for self-expression? Identifying users’ gratifications for ephemeral, photograph-based communication. Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(7), 441-445. doi: doi:10.1089/cyber.2015.0677

Waddell, T. F., & Ivory, J. D. (2015). It’s not easy trying to be one of the guys: The effect of avatar attractiveness, avatar sex, and user sex on the success of help-seeking requests in an online game. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(1), 112-129. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2014.9982 21.

Waddell, T. F., Sundar, S. S., & Auriemma, J. (2015). Can customizing an avatar motivate exercise intentions and health behaviors among those with low health ideals? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18(11), 687-690. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2014.0356


Research Keywords

Online News, Automated Journalism, Social Television, Media Violence

Research Areas

  • Media Effects, Media Psychology


Syllabi from the current and three previous semesters: