Barbie Zelizer

Barbie Zelizer, Ph.D.

Barbie Zelizer
  • Raymond Williams Professor of Communication
  • Director, Center for Media at Risk

A former journalist, Barbie Zelizer’s work focuses on the cultural dimensions of journalism, with a specific interest in journalistic authority, collective memory, and journalistic images in times of crisis and war.

Barbie Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and Director of the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. A former journalist, Zelizer is known for her work on journalism, culture, memory, and images, particularly in times of crisis. She has authored or edited fifteen books, including the award-winning About To Die: How News Images Move the Public (Oxford, 2010) and Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory Through the Camera's Eye (Chicago, 1998), and over 150 articles, book chapters, and essays. Her latest book, The Journalism Manifesto (co-authored with Pablo Boczkowski and C.W. Anderson), was published by Polity Press in 2021.

Zelizer is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, in 2021, she was elected as a fellow of the British Academy. She is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship; a Freedom Forum Center Research Fellowship; a Fellowship from Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy; a Fellowship from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies; a Fulbright Senior Scholar; a Fellowship from Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; and an ACLS Fellowship. Zelizer is also a media critic, whose work has appeared in The Nation, PBS News Hour, CNN, The Huffington Post, Newsday, Liberation, and other media organizations.

Coeditor of Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism and former Director of the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication, she is a past President of the International Communication Association, where she is also a Fellow, and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. She is a former Judge of the Peabody Awards for Excellence in Electronic Media, and her work has been translated into French, Korean, Turkish, Romanian, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, and Portuguese. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled How the Cold War Drives the News.


  • B.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1976
  • M.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1981
  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1990

Selected Publications

“Communication in the Fan of Disciplines.” Communication Theory, 2016.

“Journalism's Deep Memory: Cold War Mindedness and Coverage of Islamic State.” International Journal of Communication, 2016.

“Terms of Choice: Uncertainty, Journalism, and Crisis.” Journal of Communication, 2015.

Journalism and Memory. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

“Tools for the Future of Journalism.” Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies, 2013.

“On the Shelf Life of Democracy in Journalism Scholarship.” Journalism, 2013.

“Why Journalism Has Always Pushed Perception Alongside Reality,” in Assessing Evidence in a Postmodern World. Marquette University Press, 2013.

“When Practice is Undercut by Ethics,” in Ethics of Media. Palgrave MacMillan, 2013.

Making the University Matter. Routledge, 2011.

Journalism After September 11. Second Edition. Routledge, 2011.

“Journalism in the Service of Communication.” Journal of Communication, 2011.

Keywords in News and Journalism Studies. Open University Press, 2010.

About to Die: How News Images Move the Public. Oxford University Press, 2010.

The Changing Faces of Journalism: Tabloidization, Technology and Truthiness. Routledge, 2009.

Explorations in Communication and History. Routledge, 2008.

Taking Journalism Seriously: News and the Academy. Sage, 2004.

Reporting War: Journalism in Wartime. Routledge, 2004.

Visual Culture and the Holocaust. Rutgers University Press, 2001.

Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory through the Camera's Eye. University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Covering the Body: The Kennedy Assassination, the Media, and the Shaping of Collective Memory. University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Almost Midnight: Reforming the Late Night News. Sage, 1980.