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In my career, I have studied the role of tech and politico-cultural factors in news production and what it means for who is a journalism and what journalism means for publics. With a background in sociology, I have explored the changing roles of professions and working conditions. I am increasingly focused on who gets a voice in the process and its related power relations, especially in the context in which journalism seeks to report truth and knowledge to a public that is increasingly skeptic as demonstrated by research on trust and news. While I have mainly used interviews and ethnographic observations in my research, I have also used insights from quantitative methods including surveys. I have also sought to make these findings accessible to a larger public. Here are a few examples of ongoing projects.

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon is Associate Professor and Cowles Fellow in Media Management at the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication. She also is a McKnight Presidential Fellow at the University of Minnesota and visiting researcher at the Oslo Metropolitan University Department of Journalism and Media. From 2017-2022 she was Director of the Minnesota Journalism Center based at the Hubbard School.

Trained in sociologist and as a journalism studies scholar, she has 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. Her research interests include: 1) journalism, professions, knowledge production and identity; 2) digital labor and engagement; 3) business and future of journalism; and 4) well-being in work.

She is the author of The Paradox of Connection (forthcoming 2024, Illinois University Press, with Diana Bossio, Holton and Logan Molyneux), Happiness in Journalism (2023, Routledge, edited with Holton, Mark Deuze and Claudia Mellado), Journalism Research that Matters (2021, Oxford University Press, edited with Nikki Usher), and Social Media at BBC News (2015, Routledge). Her articles can be found on Google Scholar.

Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, she 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. She also worked in communications in corporate and non-profit environments. Born in Montréal (Québec, Canada), she earned her BA (McGill), MSc (Université de Montréal), and PhD (City, University of London) in Sociology. You can also find her on eBird since late 2020. 

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