Dr. Marcus Messner

Associate Professor, Journalism and Robertson School Associate Director
(804) 827-0252

B.A., Angelo State University, Texas
M.A., Ph.D., University of Miami, Florida

Office: Temple 1110 

Website: http://www.marcusmessner.com/

Dr. Marcus Messner has been an associate professor in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture since 2007, teaching journalism and mass communications classes. In summer 2018 he became the School's associate director. He previously served as the School’s coordinator for research and innovation. His main research focus is on the influence and adoption of social media in journalism, public relations and health communication.

He has presented more than 70 research papers at national and international conferences and has published more than 30 articles in academic journals such as Newspaper Research Journal, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Mass Communication & SocietyCorporate Communications, and Public Relations Journal as well as in various books. His research studies have won top paper awards at the conferences of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the International Communication Association (ICA) as well as at the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC).

Dr. Messner is a regular speaker on social media issues at professional meetings and events. He is also regularly interviewed by news media on social media issues. Interviews with him have appeared in various international and national media, such asthe Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Dr. Messner is teaching in the undergraduate digital journalism program as well as in the graduate multimedia journalism program. He regularly teaches the following classes: Mobile and Social Media Journalism, Global Communication, Social Media Research and Global Health and Social Media. His "iPadJournos" mobile and social media reporting project with WTVR-CBS 6 has spearheaded the use of mobile devices as multimedia reporting tools in the School of Media and Culture.


From 2010 to 2016, Dr. Messner served as co-Academic Director of the Social Media Institute of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, which was sponsored by the U.S. State Department. He has secured more than $1 million in grant funding for various teaching and research projects. He is a member of the teaching committee of AEJMC and past head of its Communication Technology Division.

He has been named a "Promising Professor" and "Emerging Scholar" by AEJMC and won its national first-place award in the Best Practices in Teaching Competition in 2015. He also won the university-wide VCU Community Engagement Award for Teaching in 2015 for his “Global Health and Social Media” open online course. In addition, he won the 2014 and 2013 VCU Community Engagement Awards for his students’ “VCU Votes” social media campaign and the VCU Social Media Institute.

VCU honored Dr. Messner with its Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017. The College of Humanities and Sciences had already awarded him its Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2014 and its Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.

Dr. Messner earned his Ph.D. in Communication and his M.A. in Journalism from the University of Miami in Florida and his B.A. in English Literature from Angelo State University in Texas. Before entering academia, Dr. Messner worked as a journalist in his native Germany and the U.S., covering politics and business.