Hubbard School Welcomes Four New Faculty Members
The Hubbard School is pleased to welcome four new faculty members to the School this fall. These professionals will teach throughout the undergraduate and graduate programs, and join a growing faculty that is engaged in student development and research.
Matt Carlson will join the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication this fall as an associate professor in journalism studies. He previously taught at Saint Louis University as an associate professor of communication focusing on media and journalism studies. “I'm really excited to be joining HSJMC at such an exciting and important time to be studying news and media,” he said.
His work examines public discourse about journalism, with an interest in the cultural construction of journalistic norms and practices. Rather than view journalism as a stable, self-determining entity, Carlson examines how individuals and groups struggle over the definition of what journalism is, who is a journalist, and what direction journalism should take. This interest in definitional struggle culminated in his most recent book On the Condition of Anonymity: Unnamed Sources and the Battle for Journalism.
When it comes to the classroom, Carlson has taught a range of courses, from the introductory general communication course to graduate seminars in media research. He is excited to continue that work with the students at HSJMC.
“HSJMC provides so many opportunities to have conversations about where the journalism industry going,” Carlson said. “I hope to add to these conversations by raising questions about what we expect from news and journalism and fostering deeper considerations about the impact of the digital media environment on all us.”
Carlson received a Ph.D. (2007) and M.A. (2002) from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. in communication from Loyola University Chicago.
Before pursuing his doctorate, Carlson was a researcher and web editor at the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, D.C. During his time at PEJ, he helped shape the State of the News Media report, managed the journalism.org website, and compiled the Daily Briefing, an online compendium of stories about the news media.
Carlson has published widely in the areas of journalism and media studies. He published Journalistic Authority: Legitimating News in the Digital Era with Columbia University Press in 2017. He is co-editor with Bob Franklin of the edited volume Journalism, Sources, and Credibility: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2011), and co-editor with former HSJMC faculty member Seth Lewis of the forthcoming volume Boundaries of Journalism (Routledge). In addition, his work has appeared in several journalism publications.
Amelia Reigstad joins the School this fall as a lecturer in strategic communication. She brings years of experience from her work owning a public research consultancy and teaching internationally in places such as Croatia, Vienna, Austria and Scotland. She comes to HSJMC from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she’s been a faculty member since 2013.
“I hope to bring my passion, dedication and love of teaching to the students of HSJMC,” Reigstad said. “My teaching philosophy continues to be based on a passion for the public relations/communications industry and dedication in seeing students succeed in the same field.”
Reigstad draws on her own professional experiences to educate her students. In 2007, she developed Crosspoint Communications, a full-service consultancy agency from a grassroots level. The business specializes in event planning, strategic communications and media relations. “Because the industry can be demanding, I try to instill real-life experiences into my teaching and treat all students fairly with a focus on how things are in the ‘real-world’,” she said.
She is passionate about teaching and traveling the world, exploring new opportunities and being a positive role model for her students. Reigstad studied public relations, media and communications and completed her master's degree from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, where her dissertation studied gender in public relations and why the industry is predominantly female.
Matthew Weber will join the School this fall as an associate professor and the Cowles Endowed Fellow of Media Management. He has taught and completed research at several universities across the United States, including Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information, the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan.
“I’m excited to continue developing my research and teaching at HSJMC when I join the faculty this fall,” Weber said. “HSJMC is home to a unique blend of researchers and practitioners, creating a vibrant space for discussion about the impact of new technology on news media.”
Weber’s research examines organizational change in relation to the use of new information communication technologies, focusing specifically on the ongoing transformation of news media industries. He has also researched organizations from both an internal and external perspective, focusing on the interaction between macro- and micro-level changes.
His research has also covered organizations in a variety of contexts, including an examination of transformation of the news media industry in the United States, an analysis of local newspaper ecosystems, research on technology use in large multinational organizations, and work on social movements.
“I look forward to expanding my research on digital technology and news media production, especially with regards to algorithms and local news, and to working with the incredible colleagues and students at HSJMC,” Weber said.
He utilizes mixed methods in his research work, including social network analysis, archival research and interviews. Recently, he developed a new methodology for utilizing large-scale big data for tracing organizational change. The research has led to the development of a series of tools that enable researchers to access data made available by the Internet Archive.
Weber received his Ph.D. in 2010 from the Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California. His work is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Democracy Fund, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Knight Foundation.
Regina McCombs (M.A. ‘03) returns to the School this fall as a lecturer and fellow in visual communication and photojournalism. She was previously an adjunct faculty member and taught courses like advanced television news and electronic news gathering.
Before joining the School, she was the senior editor for visual news for Minnesota Public Radio, working with a team to develop photography, video and multimedia. Prior to that, she was a faculty member at the Poynter Institute, teaching multimedia, mobile and social media. She has also worked at the Star Tribune and KARE-TV.
“I’m looking forward to being back in Murphy Hall where I got my master’s degree, being an advocate for visual communication and a teacher and mentor to young photojournalists,” McCombs said. “Because I’ve worked at MPR, the Star Tribune and KARE-TV, I bring a broad perspective on the importance of good photojournalism. After teaching at the Poynter Institute, putting on seminars and conferences, I think the symposium we’ll host next spring will also be a great way to support photojournalists and to create stronger ties with our students.”
McCombs has won numerous Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year International awards for multimedia storytelling, as well as Emmys for her video work. In addition, she has presented at many industry conferences, including the National Press Photographers Association, the Online News Association, the Society for News Design, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association.
McCombs was also a 2007-08 recipient of the HSJMC Alumni Society Board’s Award for Excellence.