Beth Olson - University of Houston
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Faculty Bio

Beth Olson

Associate Professor
Office: Communications Bldg
Phone: 713-743-2881

Dr. Olson's research areas include the psychological and sociological effects of media consumption. She has published articles in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Sex Roles, Mass Comm Review, and Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, contributed to two books on broadcast news and performance and written a book for Media & Society courses. Teaching areas include media and society, electronic news, media effects, and gender and media Dr. Olson worked in radio and television news for six years as a reporter, producer, and on-air talent. She served as the "voice" of the university's voice information processing system (V.I.P.) for student enrollment services. Dr. Olson was director of the Valenti School from 2003 - 2015. She is a faculty affiliate in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She holds degrees from Bemidji State University, Texas Tech University and Indiana University.



  • B.S. at Bemidji State University
  • M.A. at Texas Tech University
  • Ph.D. at Indiana University


  • COMM 1301- Media & Society
  • COMM 3316 Electronic News
  • COMM 4316 Adv. Electronic News
  • COMM 3372 - Gender & Media
  • COMM 3376 - Media Effects
  • COMM 6310 - Mass Communication Theory and Research
  • COMM 6317 - Media Effects

Selected Publications

  • Hawes, W. & Olson, B. (2009). The Performer in the Mass Media: Connecting with Television and On-Line Audiences. 2nd ed. (Scottsdale, AZ: Holcombe Hathaway Publishers).
  • Stephens, M. with Olson, B. (2005). Broadcast News. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth).
  • Ashley, L., & Olson, B. (1998). Constructing reality: Print media’s framing of the women’s movement, 1966-1986. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 75(2), 263-277. (peer reviewed)
  • Olson, B.M. & Douglas, W. (1997). The family on television: Evaluation of gender roles in situation comedy. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 36(5/6), 409-437. (peer reviewed)
  • 1996 Douglas, W. & Olson, B. Subversion of the American family? An examination of children and parents in television families. Communication Research, 23(1), 73-99. (peer reviewed)
  • Douglas, W. & Olson, B. Beyond family structure: The family in domestic comedy 1948-1992. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 39(2), 236-261. (peer reviewed)
  • Olson, B. (1994). Sex and the soaps: A comparative content analysis of health issues. Journalism Quarterly, 71(4), 840-850. (peer reviewed)
  • Olson, B. (1994). Soaps, sex, and the cultivation effect: A methodological approach. Mass Communications Review, 21(1-2), 106-113. (peer reviewed)