Dr. Ralph Hanson

Professor

Office: LIBR MC 124   |    Phone: (308) 865-8737   |    Email: hansonre@unk.edu

Dr. Ralph Hanson

Background

I have a bachelor's degree in journalism and anthropology from Iowa State University, a master's in journalism from Iowa State, and a doctorate in sociology from Arizona State University. Before coming to Kearney, I was on the faculty at West Virginia University and Northern Arizona University. I am the author of the textbook Mass Communication: Living in a Media World for CQ Press. I have worked extensively on developing online curriculum, and I've been blogging on mass communication issues since March 2004 at ralphehanson.com.

Philosophy

"When I got my first job as a college professor, I was teaching a course in media effects. On the first day of class, a student raised his hand and asked, "When do we get to the part where we talk about how television turns people into zombies?" His question has stayed with me through the years because it represents the view of many people about the media. The student's attitude is one that has been fostered by media critics who start with an agenda of one sort or another--getting elected to office, getting a regulation approved, promoting a product, or even pushing a moral choice. I have long taken the view that the successful study of mass communication is also a journey of self-awareness. We are students of media and also players in a media world."

Classes

Over the years I have taught classes covering ethics, reporting, new media, mass media and society, research methods, editorial page writing, and introduction to mass communication.