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People  •  Journalism  •  Associate Professor

John P. Wihbey

John P. Wihbey is an associate professor of media innovation and technology in the College of Arts, Media and Design at Northeastern University, a faculty researcher at the Ethics Institute, and a founder of Northeastern’s Internet Democracy Initiative. He directs the graduate programs in Media Innovation and Data Communication, Journalism, and Media Advocacy. John is the author of The Social Fact: News and Knowledge in a Networked World (MIT Press, 2019), and he has served as a research consultant for Twitter, Inc., John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

John’s research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of news and social media; emerging media technologies; public knowledge levels and media consumption; computational journalism and visualization; misinformation and media literacy; and policy issues relating to social media platforms. He serves as Lead Investigator for the Ethics of Content Moderation Project at the Ethics Institute, which is exploring social media, misinformation, and governance issues.

His writing and research have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, as well as New Media & Society, Yale Journal of Law and Technology, The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, Journalism Practice, Newspaper Research JournalJournal of the International Symposium on Online JournalismThe International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies, Oxford Research Encyclopedias, International Conference on Web and Social Media, and International Conference on Social Media and Society. He is also a media analyst whose commentary has appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, CBC, NPR, Wired, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Politico, Associated Press (AP), Agence France-Presse (AFP), and Caixin Global.

John has worked in news media, including for The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) and the NPR show “On Point” (WBUR-Boston), served as an advisor to social media companies, and was an assistant director at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, where he helped found the Journalist’s Resource project. He has also served on the advisory board of Project Information Literacy. An affiliate of the Northeastern School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, John co-founded Northeastern’s Co-Lab for Data ImpactJohn is also a faculty affiliate with the Global Resilience Institute and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. He was general co-chair of the Computation + Journalism Symposium in 2020 and 2021. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College (magna cum laude); and holds an M.A. from Middlebury College, an M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from Northeastern University, with a research concentration in higher education administration and organizational communication and learning. 

Research/Publications Highlights

Selected media publications:




  • International Communication Association (ICA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC; awarded twice), International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ), and Kantar Information Is Beautiful
  • Excellence in Research and Creative Practice, College of Arts Media and Design, 2024
  • Research support from: Twitter, Inc., Stanton Foundation, Barr Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Knight Foundation, Facebook, Inc., CAMD’s Dean’s Office, NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, and Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute.

Research Focus

  • digital storytelling
  • journalism/media entrepreneurship
  • social media
  • information and communication technologies
  • media industries


  • Ed.D., Northeastern University
  • M.S., Columbia University
  • M.A., Middlebury College
  • B.A., Bowdoin College

Courses Taught

  • Telling Your Story with Data
  • Digital Storytelling and Social Media
  • Fundamentals of Digital Journalism
  • Understanding Today’s News (honors)
  • Media and Advocacy in Theory and Practice