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Valérie Bélair-Gagnon

I am a researcher, author, and professor. As a journalism studies scholar and media sociologist, I focus on digital media work, coordination of tech actors such as in countering misinformation, and the consequences of tech/platforms as infrastructure particularly regarding the mental health and well-being of journalists.

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New book out!

Journalism Research that Matters

Journalism Research that Matters provides a comprehensive overview of the most pressing and exciting areas for journalism research, from news and data literacy to changing news audiences to shifting business models for news. It includes contributions from academics and journalists to understand the most pressing problems facing the news industry today. And it gives a blueprint for overcoming the research-practice gap.

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A little more about me

I am a journalism studies researcher who is associate professor, Cowles fellow in media management at the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication, and McKnight presidential fellow at the University of Minnesota. I am also a visiting researcher at the Oslo Metropolitan University Department of Journalism and Media.

Trained in sociologist and as a journalism studies scholar, I have been researching and teaching journalism and the business of news, digital and social media, and qualitative methods at the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication since 2016.


My research interests include:

  • Journalism, professions, knowledge production and identity

  • Digital labor and engagement

  • Business and future of journalism

  • Happiness and well-being in work

Currently, I am working on a book on the mental health and well-being crisis in journalism tentatively titled Exhausted: Reimagining Journalism through the Mental Health Reckoning (with Avery E. Holton). I am also the author of Happiness in Journalism (under contract, Routledge with Holton, Mark Deuze and Claudia Mellado), The Paradox of Connection (forthcoming, Illinois University Press, with Diana Bossio, Holton and Logan Molyneux), Journalism Research that Matters (2021, Oxford University Press with Nikki Usher), and Social Media at BBC News (2015, Routledge). My articles published in journals including in New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, Digital Journalism, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, International Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication can be found on Google Scholar.

I was executive director and research scholar at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and fellow at Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. I also worked in communications in corporate and non-profit environments.


Born in Montréal (Québec, Canada), I earned my BA (McGill), MSc (Université de Montréal) and PhD (City, University of London) in Sociology.


I am not a bad birder (you can find me on eBird since late 2020) and love traveling, cooking, restaurants, art, home decor, among other things. 


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.
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