109 Holmes Hall
Assistant Professor; Faculty Graduate Programs Advisor
John Wihbey is an assistant professor of journalism and media innovation at Northeastern University, where he serves as the faculty graduate programs advisor and as a faculty affiliate with the Global Resilience Institute and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. A Dean’s Research Fellow in the CAMD Data Storytelling Initiative, he is currently writing a book for MIT Press about the future of news in a networked world.
Previously, he was a lecturer at Boston University and an assistant director at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, where he helped found and oversee the Journalist’s Resource project. Under a Stanton Foundation grant, he has co-led a project investigating patterns of state-level financial disclosure and government transparency issues. Currently, he is working on research relating to the reinvention of local television for the digital age, and on a project examining patterns of foundation funding for the nonprofit news sector. An advisory board member of Project Information Literacy, he is a co-researcher on a national study of college students’ news consumption habits.
John has published commentaries and articles in media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, USA Today, Pacific Standard, National Geographic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nieman Journalism Lab and Yale Climate Connections. His research has been published in Journalism Practice, Journal of the International Symposium on Online Journalism, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science. His professional media background includes stints as a reporter for the Star-Ledger (N.J.) and as a producer and digital editor for the NPR-syndicated show “On Point,” from WBUR-Boston.
John taught at the Roxbury Latin School in Boston after college. He is a graduate, magna cum laude, of Bowdoin College; he studied abroad at Lady Margaret Hall College, Oxford University, and holds master’s degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. He lives with his family in Arlington, Mass.
- “Mobile Site Experience and Local News: Missed Innovation Opportunities?” (co-author) Conference Paper, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Media Management, Economics and Entrepreneurship Division, March 2018
- “Credentialing Issues,” International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. International Communication Association, Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2018
- “Predicting News Coverage of Scientific Articles,” (co-author) Conference Proceeding, The 12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-18), June 2018
- “Exploring the Ideological Nature of Journalists’ Social Networks on Twitter and Associations with News Story Content,” (co-author) KDD Data Science + Journalism Workshop, Aug. 2017
- “State-level Policies for Personal Financial Disclosure: Exploring the Potential for Public Knowledge on Conflict-of-Interest Issues,” (co-author) Conference Paper, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Law and Policy Division, Aug. 2017
- “Collaborative, Open, Mobile: A Thematic Exploration of Best Practices at the Forefront of Digital Journalism,” (co-author) Working Paper, Storybench Project, Northeastern University School of Journalism, May 26, 2017
- “Knowing the Numbers: Assessing Attitudes among Journalists and Educators about Using and Interpreting Data, Statistics, and Research,” (co-author) #ISOJ — The Official Journal of the International Symposium on Online Journalism, April 2017
- “Transparency, Corruption, and the Information Needs of Communities: The Case of Personal Financial Disclosure,” (co-author) Northeastern Public Law and Theory Faculty Research Series, Dec. 8, 2016
- “Journalists’ Use of Knowledge in an Online World,” Journalism Practice, Nov. 3, 2016
- “Journalists’ Use of Knowledge in an Online World: Examining Reporting Habits, Sourcing, and Institutional Norms,” Conference Paper, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Aug. 2016
- “Communicating about Climate Change with Journalists and Media Producers,” (co-author) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science, Jan. 2016
- “Making Federal Data More Useful and Accessible to Fuel Media and Democracy: A Report for the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology,” Journalist’s Resource/Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School, Dec. 12, 2014
- “The Challenges of Democratizing News and Information: Examining Data on Social Media, Viral Patterns and Digital Influence,” Discussion Paper Series, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, June 6, 2014
- “Who Gets a Press Pass? Media Credentialing Practices in the United States,” (co-author) Berkman Center Research Publication, Harvard University, June 5, 2014
Select media publications:
- “The Drone Revolution: UAV-Generated Geodata Drives Policy Innovation,” Land Lines: Quarterly Magazine of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Oct. 2017
- “Pros and Cons of Fracking: Research Updates,” Yale Climate Connections, June 6, 2017
- “The Importance of Truth Workers in an Era of Factual Recession,” Medium.com, April 8, 2017
- “The Syrian Migrant Crisis You’ve Never Heard of—and Why It Matters Today,” Pacific Standard, March 9, 2017
- “There Are Huge Holes in How the U.S. States Investigate Politicians’ Conflicts of Interest,” The Washington Post, “Monkey Cage,” Jan. 12, 2017
“Why It’s So Hard to See Politicians’ Financial Data,” The New York Times, Oct. 4, 2016
- “Pros and Cons of a Carbon Tax: Key Issues,” Yale Climate Connections, July 20, 2016
- “Big Data’s Impending Struggle to Combat Climate Change,” Pacific Standard, April 23, 2016
- “Let’s Fix Math Education By Redefining Math,” National Geographic, March 24, 2016
- “The Closing of American’s Open Road: The Connected Car Brings Efficiency — and the End of a Long Cultural Romance,” Cognoscenti, WBUR, Jan. 1, 2016
- “From ‘Facebook Revolution’ to ‘Twitter Jihad’: Five Years on, How We Got from Tunisia and the Arab Spring to Where We are Now,” Pacific Standard, Dec. 17, 2015
- “Nuancing ‘Climate Refugee’ Language and Images: Migration, Climate Change and a Complex Reality,” Yale Climate Connections, Dec. 14, 2015
- “Investigating the Network: The Top 10 Articles from the Year in Digital News and Social Media Research,” Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard University, Dec. 11, 2015
- “The Looming Battle for Clean Data,” Boston Globe “Ideas,” Nov. 22, 2015
- “Does the Secret to Social Networking Lie in the Remote Jungle?” Boston Globe “Ideas,” Oct. 4, 2015
- “Agricultural Drones May Change the Way We Farm,” Boston Globe “Ideas,” Aug. 22, 2015.
- “At Sea in a Deluge of Data,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 7, 2014
- “Rethinking Viral: Why the Digital World is Not as Democratic as We Think,” Pacific Standard, June 9, 2014
- “Aaron Swartz and the Cause of Openness,” Boston Globe, Jan. 8, 2014