Nicole Smith Dahmen is an Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on ethical and technological issues in visual communication, with an emphasis on photojournalism in the Digital Age. Dahmen’s research is published in such diverse and leading journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, and Newspaper Research Journal. And due to the subject matter of her research, her work is also published in the two leading journals for visual scholarship, Visual Communication Quarterly and Visual Communication. She has presented more than 40 conference papers, with top paper awards at both the AEJMC and ICA conferences. She is on the editorial boards of Visual Communication Quarterly and Newspaper Research Journal.
Her research in visual ethics collectively considers the moral responsibilities of visual communicators, with recent scholarship on the acceptability and effects of graphic news media photographs and visual framing studies of critical issues in the news media, such as marriage equality; science communication, including Hurricane Katrina and stem cell research; and political communication, including recent U.S. elections and 9/11. In regard to technology, it is paramount that scholars have a clear understanding of the visual presentation of mass-mediated information and associated technologies—both from a content and effects perspective. Collectively, her scholarship in this area investigates the theoretical tenets of photographic icons and the understanding of iconic image formation in the age of digital news and social media.
Dahmen also has extensive professional design experience, ranging from the development of content to design and production for multiple platforms. She has been working with desktop publishing software since the mid-1990s and has developed and executed extensive print materials and digital images. Her design experience also crosses into research, writing, and content-development with public relations and strategic communication. She has been working with multimedia design since the infancy of the web, gaining experience in all stages of web development, from information architecture to content and usability. And with the rapid-evolution of media technologies, her content and design experience includes video and social media.
Dahmen spent seven years at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University as an Assistant and later Associate Professor prior to joining the faculty at the SOJC at the University of Oregon. She received her M.M.C. degree from the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU and her Ph.D. from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Watch a short video about Dahmen’s teaching and research.