College Directory

Wayne Wanta, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus - Department of Journalism


Wayne Wanta is a professor emeritus in the Department of Journalism. He is internationally known for his research in political communication and media effects, with 200 refereed publications and convention papers. He has lectured and delivered research presentations in 50 different countries. He also has authored or co-authored eight books.

Much of Wanta’s research examines the agenda-setting function of the news media – how news coverage influences the public’s perceptions of issues and newsmakers. Wanta has also conducted research in sports journalism, visual communication, Internet use and effects, and negative political advertising.

Wanta also has played an important leadership role in journalism education, having served as the president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Wanta was a delegate for two meetings of the World Journalism Education Congress, in which 30 organizations from around the world agreed upon a series of journalistic principles. Previously with AEJMC, Wanta won the prestigious Krieghbaum Under-40 award for outstanding achievement in research, teaching and service. He also has served on the national journalism accrediting council and was twice elected to the AEJMC Teaching Standards Committee.

Wanta has taught courses in mass communication theory, research methodology, internet research, sports reporting, news editing and design. He previously served as chair of the Department of Journalism.

He received his Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of Texas. He also holds a master’s degree from the University of Texas and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Before entering the academic field, Wanta worked for eight years at several newspapers, including the Dallas Times Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Albuquerque Journal, Charleston (S.C.) Post Courier and Wisconsin State Journal. Wanta previously taught at Oklahoma State University, the University of Missouri, University of Oregon and Southern Illinois University.



Lee, Y., Wanta, W., & and Lee, H. (2015). Resource-based public relations efforts for university reputation from an agenda building and agenda-setting perspective. Corporate Reputation Review, 18(3), 195-209.

Alkazemi, M. F., & Wanta, W. (2015). Kuwaiti political cartoons during the Arab Spring: Agenda setting and self-censorship. Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 16(5), 630-653.

Brian J. Bowe, Shahira Fahmy and Wayne Wanta, “Missing Religion: Second Level Agenda Setting and Islam in American Newspapers, The International Communication Gazette, 2013, 75(7): 636-652

Shahira Fahmy, Wayne Wanta and Eric Nisbet, “Mediated Public Diplomacy, Satellite TV news in the Arab World and Perception Effects,” The International Communication Gazette, 2012, 74(8): 728-749.

Shahira Fahmy, Wayne Wanta, Thomas Johnson and Juyan Zhang, “The Path to War: Exploring a second-level agenda building analysis examining the relationship among the media, the public and the president. The International Communication Gazette, June 2011, 73(4): 322–342.

Hyun Jee Oh, Jongmin Park and Wayne Wanta, “Exploring Factors in the Hostile Media Perception: Partisanship, Electoral Engagement and Media Use Patterns, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Spring 2011, 88(1): 40-53.

Shahira Fahmy, Jeannine E. Reilly and Wayne Wanta, “President’s Power to Frame Stem Cell Views Limited” Newspaper Research Journal, Summer 2010: 31(3).

Jeesun Kim and Wayne Wanta, “Modern-Day Slavery: News Frames of Human Trafficking and Attributes of Trafficking Victims,” International Communication Bulletin, Fall 2009, 44(4): 8-31.

“Fox News and the Polarization of Attitudes in the U.S.,” Central European Journal of Communication, Fall 2008, 1(1): 111-121.

Sungwook Hwang and Wayne Wanta, “Use of Political Blogs: Comparison of Legislator Blogs,” Journal of Cybercommunication, Academic Society, 2008, 25 (3):179210.

“La Aplicacion de Investigacion que Pone orden del dia en un Contexto Internacional: Un Mapa de Carreteras para Futura Investigacion“(“Applying Agenda-Setting Research in an International Context: A Roadmap for Future Research), Ecos de la Comunicacion (Echoes of Communication, Argentine journal), October 2008

Kaye D. Sweetser Trammell, Guy J. Golan and Wayne Wanta, “Intermedia Agenda Setting in Television, Advertising and Blogs During the 2004 Election, Mass Communication & Society, Summer 2008, 11:1-20

“Trendy vo Vyskume Masovej Komunikacie v USA (“Trends in Mass Communication Research in the U.S.” Otazky Zurnalistiky (Problems in Journalism, Slovakian journal), 2007, 3-4:63-66

Yusuf Kalyango and Wayne Wanta, “Terrorism and Africa: A Study of Agenda-Building in the United States,” International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Winter 2007, 19(4), 409-433.

Shahira Fahmy and Wayne Wanta, “What Visual Journalists Think Others Think: The Perceived Impact of News Photographs on Public Opinion Formation,” Visual Communication Quarterly, Winter 2007, 14 (1), 16-31

Shahira Fahmy, Sooyoung Cho, Wayne Wanta and Yonghoi Song, “Visual Agenda Setting After 9-11: Emotions, Image Recall and Concern with Terrorism,” Visual Communication Quarterly, Winter 2006, 13(1), 4-15.


Syllabi from the current and three previous semesters: