Adrienne Russell

Mary Laird Wood Professor of Communication, Co-director of the Center for Journalism, Media and Democracy, University of Washington

About Adrienne

Russell studies communication technologies, digital-era publics, and pressing social problems. Her most recent book, The Mediated Climate (Columbia University Press 2023), explores the overlapping climate and information crises and examines the battle to influence the public being waged by journalists, activists, corporate interests, and Big Tech.


In the News

Opinion: "Changing the Media Environment to Protect Climate Activists," Adrienne Russell, Columbia University Press Blog, April 15, 2024.
Interviewed in "Q&A: New Book Examines Intersection Between Climate and Information Crises," (with Lauren Kirschman) UW News, September 11, 2023.
Quoted by Monica Melton in "AI Has a Big, Dirty Problem That Is Tarnishing Big Tech’s Environmental Image," Business Insider, September 2, 2023.
Opinion: "COP21: In a Time of Terror, Democracy and Climate Lose," Adrienne Russell, Climate Home News, November 12, 2015.


"The Mediated Climate" (Columbia University Press, 2023).

Explores the places where the climate and information crises meet, and examines how journalism, activism, corporations, and Big Tech compete to influence the public. Russell argues that the inadequate response to climate change is intertwined with the profound challenges facing the communications environment.

"Niche Climate News Sites and the Changing Context of Covering Catastrophe" (with Jarkko Kangas, Risto Kunelius, and James Painter). Journalism 24, no. 7 (2022): 1387-1405.

Documents the burgeoning field of climate journalism, including an emerging interplay between climate journalism and other actors in the broader information environment.

"Coming to Terms With Dysfunctional Hybridity: A Conversation With Andrew Chadwick on the Challenges to Liberal Democracy in the Second-Wave Networked Era" Studies in Communication Sciences 20, no. 2 (2020): 211–225.

Discussion of “dysfunctional hybridity” and the urgency that kind of hybridity brings to the need to update our thinking about media, power and society.

"Rethinking Media Research for Changing Societies" (with Matt Powers) (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Brings together leading scholars of media and public life to grapple with how media research can make sense of the massive changes rocking politics and the media world. 

"News Flashpoints: Networked Journalism and Waves of Coverage of Social Problems" (with Silvio Waisbord). Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 97, no. 2 (2020): 376-392.

Study of news flashpoints, bursts of news attention around social issues in which various forces vie to influence public discourse, blurring traditional boundaries between journalists, publics, activists, and various other forms of strategic communication.

"Beyond the Boundaries of Science: Resistance to Misinformation by Scientist Citizens" (with Matt Tegelberg). Journalism: Theory Practice Criticism 21, no. 3 (2019): 327-344.

Details the work of Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, a group of coders, climate scientists, scholars, journalists, and activists organized to resist the Trump administration’s attacks on environmental protections and offers an expanded understanding of the misinformation ecosystem.

"Journalism as Activism: Recoding Media Power" (Polity Press, 2016).

Highlights ways media activists adept at using and creating new communication tools are taking up the work of journalists, expanding the field in significant ways, and shaping on a new level traditional news stories and genres.

"Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition" (Polity Press, 2013).

Explores the transformations tied to the proliferation of the web and mobile technologies since the early 1990s