Lea Hellmueller - University of Houston
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Faculty Bio

Lea Hellmueller

Assistant Professor
Communication Bldg
Phone: 713-743-9515
Email: lchellmu@central.uh.edu

Lea Hellmueller is an assistant professor at the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston and also worked as a visiting professor at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) in 2017. In fall 2019, she was a visiting fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford in the U.K.

She currently serves on the editorial board of Journalism Practice and on the editorial advisory board of International Communication Gazette.

Her research in journalism studies encompasses several research projects on digital news innovations from a global perspective; political polarization on digital news platforms; right-wing populist journalism as transnational phenomena; media & terrorism.

She is the author of The Washington, DC Media Corps in the 21st Century (Palgrave, 2014), co-editor of Journalistic Role Performance: Concepts, Contexts, and Methods (Routledge, 2017). She is a former Fulbright researcher, recipient of two Swiss NSF fellowships, and her research has been recognized with top paper awards by the International Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) as well as by the Global Communication and Social Change Division at the International Communication Association (ICA) and her dissertation project won best student paper in Intercultural Communication at the World Communication Association conference. Lea Hellmueller grew up in Switzerland and prior to joining academia, she worked as a journalist in Switzerland, South Africa and the United States.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Fribourg (Switzerland), 2012 Dissertation co-supervision with University of Missouri-Columbia, USA. Graduated Summa cum laude (with highest honors).
  • Fulbright Researcher, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2010-2012
  • M.A. / B.A. University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in Media and Communication with minors in Journalism & Educational Psychology 

Teaching

  • Global Journalism
  • Digital Journalism
  • Data-driven Reporting on Diversity
  • Media & Terrorism
  • Media & Populism
  • Comparative Communication Methodology
  • Media Effects

Selected Publications

  • Humprecht, E., Hellmueller, L., & Lischka, J. (2020). Hostile Emotions in News Comments: A Cross-National Analysis of Facebook Discussions. Social Media + Society.
  • Eko, L & Hellmueller, L. (2020). One Meta-Media Event, Two Forms of Censorship: The Charlie Hebdo Affair in the United Kingdom and Turkey. Global Media and Communication.
  • Hellmueller, L., & Arias, S. (2019). Decisión 2016: Comparative Analysis of Journalistic Role Performance on Spanish- and English-language TV Networks During U.S. Election. Journalism Practice.
  • Hellmueller, L., & Zhang, J. (2019). Shifting Toward a Humanized Perspective? Visual framing analysis of the coverage of refugees on CNN and Spiegel Online before and after the iconic photo publication of Alan Kurdi. Visual Communication.
  • Hellmueller, L., Cheema, S., & Zhang, X. (2019). The Networks of Global Journalism: Global news construction through the collaboration of startups with freelancers. Reprint of 2017 article (Journalism Studies) in What Journalists Are Owed: How Structures, Systems and Audiences Enable News Work Today (Vultee, F., & Wilkins, L. eds.). New York: Routledge.
  • Hellmueller, L. & Konow-Lund, M. (2019) Transnational journalism. International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. Wiley.
  • Eko, L., & Hellmueller, L. (2019). The Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attack and European Journalistic Solidarity (pp. 157-179). In Eko, L. (Ed.) The Charlie Hebdo Affair and Comparative Journalistic Cultures: Human Rights Versus Religious Rites. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Blumell, L. & Hellmueller, L (2019). Celebrity Journalism. International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. Wiley.
  • Raemy, P., Beck, D., & Hellmueller, L. (2019). Swiss Journalists’ Role Performance. The relationship between conceptualized, narrated, and practiced roles. Journalism Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2018.1423631.
  • Raemy, P., Hellmueller, L., & Beck, D. (2018). Journalists’ Contributions to Political Life in Switzerland: Professional Role Conceptions and Perceptions of Role Enactment. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism.
  • Mellado, C., Hellmueller, L., Marquez, M., Humanes, M., Sparks, C., et al. (2017). The Hybridization of Journalistic Cultures: A Comparative Study of Journalistic Role Performance.
    Journal of Communication, 67(6), 944-967.
    *Honorary Mention for best Article in 2017, ICA conference 2018
  • Hellmueller, L. (2017). Beyond geographical borders: developing an analytical model of transnational journalism cultures. International Communication Gazette, 79(1), 3-25. 
    *Lead article.
  • Hellmueller, L. Cheema, S.*, & Zhang, X.* (2017). The Networks of Global Journalism: Global news construction through the collaboration of startups with freelancers. Journalism Studies, 18(1), 45-64.
  • Eko, L., & Hellmueller, L. (2017). To Republish or Not to Republish: The “Je Suis Charlie” Mohammed Cartoon and Journalistic Paradigms in a Global Context.
    International Communication Gazette. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748048517727220
  • Izawan, M.; Waheed, M., & Hellmueller, L. (2017). The Impact of Digital Media Platforms on the Ethnic-Based Political System in Malaysia. Communication Research Trends, 36(3).
  • Zhang, X., & Hellmueller, L. (2017). Visual Framing of the European Refugee Crisis in Der Spiegel and CNN International: Global journalism in visual reporting. International Communication Gazette. Published online before print. doi: 10.1177/1748048516688134.
  • Hellmueller, L., Mellado, C., Blumell, L.*, & Huemmer, J.* (2016). The Contextualization of the Watchdog and Civic Journalistic Roles: Reevaluating Journalistic Role Performance in U.S. Newspapers. Palabra Clave, 19(4), 1072-1100.
  • Hellmueller, L., & Mellado, C. (2016). Watchdogs in Chile and the US: Comparing the Networks of Sources and Journalistic Role Performances. International Journal of Communication, 10(2016), 3261-3280.

Honors

  • 2020: Research Progress Grant, University of Houston, Early Career, $ 7,670 (principal PI, co-PI’s Drs. Lindita Camaj and Peggy Lindner), Title: Televised political debates 2020: an analysis of the quality of real-time political discussions on news media’s Facebook pages via supervised machine learning.
  • 2019: Faculty Research Award. Mass Communication & Society Research (MCS) Award from AEJMC for project: The Rise of Populist Journalism: Challenges to Journali
  • stic Authority in Germany, Austria, UK and US
  • 2019: Visiting Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford (UK), Visiting Fellow, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford
  • 2018: Wolfgang Donsbach Outstanding Journal Article of the Year (Honorary Mention) ICA / Journalism Studies Division:
    Article: Mellado, C., Hellmueller, L., Marquez, M., Humanes, M., Sparks, C., et al. The Hybridization of Journalistic Cultures: A Comparative Study of Journalistic Role Performance. Journal of Communication.
  • 2018: Outstanding Research Award. School of Communication, University of Houston, April 25, 2018
  • 2018: Swiss NSF Short-Term Visiting Researcher Grant for Research Project on Media and Terrorism, University of Zurich (Switzerland) ($6,000)
  • 2015-18: International Collaborator, Swiss NSF Grant on Journalistic Role Performance in Switzerland ($350,000)
  • 2016: First Place Teaching Contest. International Communication Division Teaching Contest, AEJMC, 2016
  • 2016: Top Faculty Paper. Third place in the 2016 Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition of the International Communication Division (ICD) of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
  • 2016: Nominee, Global Vision Award (Office of International Affairs in order to recognize the extraordinary internationalization efforts of individuals at TTU).
  • 2016: Top Paper Award, International Communication Association 2016, Fukuoka (Japan) (Global Communication and Social Change Division)
  • 2014: LU Kaiser Teaching Innovation Award (1st place)
    Texas Tech University
  • 2013: Recipient of 2013 Swiss NSF Early Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Funded Postdoc Position at University of Texas-Austin ($24,675)
  • 2011: Recipient of Swiss NSF Fellowship for Prospective Researcher ($28,880)
  • 2010: Recipient of Fulbright Scholarship ($20,000)
  • 2009: Best Graduate Student Paper Award in Intercultural Communication, Myung Seok Park Award, World Communication Association Conference, Ireland, Maynooth