Nicole Dahmen

Profile picture of Nicole Dahmen
Snowden Program Co-Coordinator
Clark Honors College, SOJC, SOJC-Journalism, SOJC-Journalism Master's, SOJC-Media Studies Master's, SOJC-Media Studies PhD, SOJC-Media Studies Undergrad
Phone: 541-346-2588
Office: 311D Allen Hall
Office Hours: By appointment


  • PhD, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007
  • MMC, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University, 2001

Areas of Expertise

  • Visual communication
  • News and publication design
  • Visual ethics
  • Photojournalism
  • Iconic photographs
  • Media technology
  • Social media
  • Eye-tracking
  • Contextual reporting
  • Solutions journalism

Honors and Awards

  • Scripps Howard Teacher of the Year (2021)
  • SOJC Petrone Faculty Fellowship
  • UO Williams Instructional Grant Faculty Research Award, UO (2016-2017)
  • Top Paper Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Newspaper and Online News Division, AEJMC (2016)
  • American Copy Editors Society Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Newspaper and Online News Division, AEJMC (2016)
  • Top Paper Award, Faculty Paper Competition, Visual Communication Studies Division, ICA (2016)
  • Faculty Seed Grant, UO (2015-2016)
  • Agora Journalism Center Faculty Fellowship, UO (2015-2016)
  • Bank One/John H. Bateman Professorship, LSU (2009-2013)
  • Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, LSU (2011)
  • Ranked number 11 for AEJMC top paper productivity, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator (2010)
  • Service-Learning Faculty Scholars Award, LSU (2009)
  • Doris Westmoreland Darden Professorship, LSU (2008-2009)
  • Summer Research Stipend, LSU (2008)
  • Eason Prize, Top Student Paper, SCIG, AEJMC (2007)
  • Roy H. Park Doctoral Fellowship, UNC-Chapel Hill (2004-2007)
  • Margaret Blanchard Dissertation Support Award, UNC-Chapel Hill (2007)
  • Top Student Paper Award, GLBT Interest Group, AEJMC (2006)
  • William Francis Clingman Jr. Ethics Award, UNC-Chapel Hill (2006)
  • John S. Clogston Award, Top Student Paper, MDIG, AEJMC (2005)


Dahmen, N. D., Walth, B., Miller, K. C. (2021). The power of images? Visual journalists’ assessment of the impact of imagery. Visual Communication Quarterly. DOI: 10.1080/15551393.2020.1862662
Dahmen, N. S. (2020). Behavior notwithstanding: Person perception and news photographs of the two leading candidates in the 2016 presidential election. Newspaper Research Journal, 41(2): 146-159. DOI:
Miller, K., & Dahmen, N. S. (2020). “This is still their lives:” Photojournalists’ ethical approach to capturing and publishing graphic or shocking images. Journal of Media Ethics. DOI:
Abdenour, J., McIntyre, K., & Dahmen, N. S. (2020). Seeing eye to eye: A comparison of audiences' and journalists' perceptions of professional roles. Journalism Practice.
Midberry, J., & Dahmen, N. S. (2019). Visual solutions journalism: A theoretical framework. Journalism Practice.  DOI:
Thier, K., Abdenour, J., Walth, B., & Dahmen, N. S. (2019). A narrative solution: The relationship between solutions journalism, narrative transportation, and news trust. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. DOI:
Dahmen, N. S., Abdenour, J., & McIntyre, K. (2019). Journalists’ perceptions of mass shooting coverage and factors influencing those perceptions. Journalism Practice, 13(8), 895-900. DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2019.1642131
Dahmen, N. S. (2019). Restorative narrative as contextual journalistic reporting. Newspaper Research Journal. DOI:
Walth, B., Dahmen, N. S., & Thier, K. (2019). A new reporting approach for journalistic impact: Bringing together investigative reporting and solutions journalism. Newspaper Research Journal. DOI:
Dahmen, N. S., Thier, K., & Walth, B. (2019). Creating engagement with solutions visuals: Testing the effects of problem-oriented versus solution-oriented photojournalism. Visual Communication. DOI:
Dahmen, N. S., Mielczarek, N., & Perlmutter, D. D. (2018). The influence-network model of the photojournalistic icon. Journalism & Communication Monographs, 20(4), 264-313.
McIntyre, K., Dahmen, N. S., & Abdenour, J. (2018). The contextualist function: U.S. newspaper journalists value social responsibility. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 19(12), 1657-1675. DOI: 10.1177/1464884916683553
Dahmen, N. S. (2018). Visually reporting mass shootings: U.S. newspaper photographic coverage of three mass school shootings. American Behavioral Scientist. DOI: 10.1177/0002764218756921
Dahmen, N. S., Mielczarek, N., & Morrison, D. D. (2018). The (in)disputable “power” of images of outrage: Public acknowledgement, emotional reaction, and image recognition. Visual Communication. DOI: 10.11470/134570732517721774794999
Dahmen, N. S., Abdenour, J., McIntyre, K., & Noga-Styron, K. (2018). Covering mass shootings: Journalists’ perceptions of coverage and factors influencing attitudes. Journalism Practice, 12(4), 456-476. DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2017.1326832
Dahmen, N. S., Miller, A., & Morris, D., II. (2018). The visual depth of Hurricane Katrina imagery: A longitudinal study through the lens of commemorative journalism and iconicity. Communication Reports, 31(3), 131-142. DOI: 10.1080/08934215.2017.1397722
Dahmen, N. S., & Coyle, E. K. (2017). Obama White House photos limited by access policies. Newspaper Research Journal. DOI: org/10.1177/0739532917739872DOI: 10.1177/0739532917739872
Abdenour, J., McIntyre, K., & Dahmen, N. S. (2017). Putting broadcast news in context: An analysis of U.S. television journalists’ role conceptions and contextual values. Electronic News. DOI: 1931243117734585
Coyle, E. K., & Dahmen, N. S. (2017). Filtering history: Photojournalists’ access to U.S. presidents, 1977 to 2009. American Journalism, 34(3), 333-352. DOI: 10.1080/08821127.2017.1344062
Dahmen, N. S. (2016). Images of resilience: The case for visual restorative narrative. Visual Communication Quarterly, 23(2), 93-107.


Nicole Smith Dahmen is a Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Dahmen approaches her scholarship through a normative lens, asking not just what journalism is, but what it should be. In a time of journalistic disruption, an overabundance of negative and sensational news, extreme political partisanship, and low levels of public trust in the news media, journalism can and should do better. Her research often illuminates journalism’s shortcomings, not to criticize unjustly, but to advocate for the principles of professional, credible, and ethical journalism in a democracy. Dahmen has gained a national and international reputation for her scholarship, which falls into three key areas, sometimes standing alone but more frequently intersecting: visual journalism, ethics, and contextual reporting. In sum, her research seeks to advance public-interest journalism—reporting that holds the powerful accountable, elevates underrepresented voices, and makes a positive impact in society. Her research, while academic in nature, has critical implications for the journalism profession, which is paramount in a professional discipline. When journalism is stronger and more just, society is better served.

Dahmen’s research is published in such diverse and leading journals as American Behavioral Scientist, Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, and Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. 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. Dahmen is co-director of The Catalyst Journalism Project and the co-coordinator of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. She is on the editorial boards of Visual Communication Quarterly and Newspaper Research Journal.

With more than 20 years of university teaching experience, Dahmen has developed and taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses—from large lectures to hands-on labs to doctoral seminars. At the SOJC, she regularly teaches honors courses, journalism courses, a doctoral seminar, and our core media ethics course. She's the developer and faculty leader of the GEO study abroad experience called Instagramming Paris: Media Unfiltered. She's the 2021 Scripps Howard Teacher of the Year, a prestigious award from AEJMC and Scripps Howard. 

Dahmen spent seven years at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University as an assistant and later as an associate professor prior to joining the faculty at the SOJC in 2014.