Skip to content

College of Humanities & Sciences

Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture

Dr. Marcus Messner

[View Image]

Professor, Journalism and Robertson School Director
(804) 828-2660

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

Office: Temple 2218 

Dr. Marcus Messner is director of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. He previously served as the School's associate director and as coordinator for research and innovation. He is also professor in the journalism sequence, teaching mobile and social media reporting as well as global communication classes. He was recognized as an Eminent Scholar by VCU's College of Humanities and Sciences in 2018 and received VCU's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017.

His main research focus is on the influence and adoption of social media in journalism, public relations and health communication and he has a scholarship record of more than 110 academic publications and presentations at academic conferences. He has published his research in academic journals such as Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 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 has taught 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 $1.3 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. The VCU College of Humanities and Sciences 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.

View graphic version