About Dr. Janet Johnson
My primary research focuses on:
- Social Media Communications
- Presidential Campaigns/Political Rhetoric and how technology has changed the political process
- Journalism: Past, Present, and Future
My research passion stems from my professional media career and intertwines with my background in academic journalism and rhetoric. Through my research, I seek to provide professional and academic communicators with a deeper understanding of how effective and powerful emerging media is to our political climate. The inspiration for my upcoming book comes from my dissertation, which is a rhetorical analysis over the 2008 Presidential candidates’ campaign blogs. I have since expanded my research to social media venues to track how technology has changed the way presidential candidates communicate to the electorate. In my book, I trace the history of technology in campaigns and analyze the rhetorical impact social media messages have on the overall story of a presidential campaign—the oldest American ritual. The media are our storytellers and for the first time the electorate can add to those stories. The narratives can get messy and my research is to try to make sense of the social media noise.
My career started in the newsroom where I was in charge of news production. I’ve had several media industry jobs.
My journalism, social media, and political research interests led to a demand for me as an expert in the field. I have had two invitations from the White House to live tweet the 2014 and 2015 State of the Union addresses. In addition, the State Department invited me to the 2015 International Women of Courage Awards. I am also sought after as an expert in the local media. On election night 2016, KTVT Channel 11 invited me to participate in a 6-hour Facebook live election results show. They asked me to share my insights on social media, and political communications. I am frequently interviewed about social media hot topics for local news outlets KTVT, WFAA, KDFW, KRLD, and Dallas Morning News, as well as national and international venues.
I hold a Master of Arts in Journalism and a PhD in Rhetoric. I currently teach at The University of Texas at Dallas. I have taught Professional and Technical Communications, Introduction to Web Writing, Introduction to Computer-Mediated Communications, and Reading Media Critically. Additionally, I’ve taught various journalism courses at The University of North Texas.