Jeremy Littau

Jeremy Littau, Professor, Journalism and Communication, Lehigh University
Associate Professor
Ph.D. from Missouri School of Journalism, '09
Digital Media, Social Media, Online Communities, Online Activism, Participatory Journalism

Jeremy Littau is a former journalist who specializes in teaching and researching digital media as an associate professor of journalism and communication at Lehigh. He worked in newsrooms for 10 years as both a reporter and editor, most recently with the Los Angeles Daily News until 2004. He did his graduate work at the Missouri School of Journalism (PhD '09, MA '07) and undergraduate study at Biola University (BA '97).

Littau specializes in digital media. He teaches courses in multimedia that include components on audio and video production, web building, social media, and interactive media. Engagement via social media and interactive digital products is a common thread in all his classes, helping students understand the possibilities that come with the social web in terms of story generation, research, production, and dissemination. He also teaches seminars at the intersection of media and society, including seminars on digital culture and the role of science fiction in society.

The backbone of his classes is an education in the essential elements necessary to succeed in modern news environments. As a professor trained in "The Missouri Method" of combining theory and practice, students in his classes learn how to apply theoretical and conceptual thinking to their media creation within rigorous courses that challenge them to think creatively. He stresses flexibility and adaptability, treating emerging digital media as a tool to do better journalism while also forming a deep understanding about the "why" behind the tool. Finally, his classroom values are centered on open publishing and access, respect for diverse views and methods, and self-directed curiosity that sees experimentation rewarded over following convention. In spring 2012 he was awarded the Lehigh Early Career Award for Distinguished Teaching, the top teaching honor given to professors at the assistant-professor level.

As a researcher, Littau applies his interest in social forms of digital media. His work centers at the intersection of social media, community, social action, and political engagement. He has published work on Twitter, mobile video, participatory journalism, and digital communities in journals such as Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Electronic News, Community Journalism and Newspaper Research Journal. He was awarded the Frank Hook fellowship for 2015-17 for his research, teaching, and mentoring work at Lehigh, and his dissertation about digital communities and virtual "civic" life won the 2010 Nafziger-White-Salwen award for top dissertation from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

As an active scholar, Littau is known for his creative work in the digital journalism community. His Twitter account and professional blog have significant following and his thoughts on digital and social media have led to him being quoted by several media outlets producing stories on the latest in technology, society, and social media. He also is the co-host for the weekly Interchange Project podcast, which features weekly news and commentary on technology and the liberal arts.

Selected publications

Littau, J., Gardner, E., & Thorson, E. (2016). The Impact of News “Voice” on Adolescent Political Efficacy. In E. Thorson, M. McKinney, & D. Shah (Eds), Political Socialization in a Media Saturated World (pp. 431-449). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Stewart, D., Littau, J. (2016). Up, Periscope: Mobile Streaming Video Technologies, Privacy in Public, and the Right to Record. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 93(2), 312-331.

Littau, J., Jahng, M. (2016). Interactivity, Social Presence, and Journalistic Use of Twitter. #ISOJ, 6(1). 71-90.

Littau, J. (2016). Participatory news websites feature more opinion pieces. Newspaper Research Journal, 37(1), 70-81

Jahng, M., Littau, J. (2016). Interacting is believing: Interactivity, social cue, and perceptions of journalistic credibility on Twitter. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 93(1), 38-58.

Littau, J., Stewart, D. (2015). “Truthiness” and second-level agenda setting: Satire news and its influence on perceptions of television news credibility. Electronic News, 9(2), 122-136.

Littau, J. (2014). Web-network social capital: Exploring network actions and benefits for online community members. Community Journalism, 3(1), 46-71.

Department of Journalism and Communication |  Coppee Hall  |  33 Coppee Drive  |  Bethlehem, PA 18015  |  phone 610-758-4180  |  fax 610-758-6198