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Dr. Seth Ashley


Seth Ashley


  • Media Literacy in the Digital Age
  • Digital Communication Lab
  • Media, Power & Politics
  • Research Methods
  • Environmental Communication

Teaching Specialties

Media literacy, news literacy, media and democracy, misinformation, fake news, journalism and media studies, digital media production, news writing and reporting, media sociology, media research, media ethics, student media

Research Interests/Activities

News literacy, media literacy, media and democracy, media sociology, communication law and policy, media history, political communication, civic engagement


Dr. Seth Ashley joined the faculty of the Department of Communication at Boise State University in 2011. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism as well as a B.F.A. in production design from the University of Southern California School of Theater. Prior to completing his Ph.D., Dr. Ashley taught print and digital journalism at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. He worked as a staff writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune and as a freelance writer, editor, photographer and video producer. His experience also includes many years as a production designer and audio technician for live music, including touring work in a dozen countries. Outside of work, he spends time exploring scenic Idaho and spending time with his family.

Dr. Ashley’s work centers on an examination of the role of media in democracy. His research on news literacy has helped define the emerging field, and his study of media institutions examines the social forces and economic realities that shape the media landscape. Sociological theory informs his study of communication policy and media literacy education. Dr. Ashley’s broad aim is to help facilitate and preserve vibrant journalism and to educate and empower individuals in becoming engaged as news consumers and democratic citizens. He is the author of News Literacy and Democracy (Routledge, 2020), and his academic work has been published in a range of peer-reviewed outlets, including Communication Theory; Journal of Media Literacy Education; Communication Law & Policy; Journalism and Mass Communication Educator; Electronic News; Media, War & Conflict; the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media; and Journalism: Theory, Practice, & Criticism.

Contact Information

Office: COMB 101
Phone: (208) 426-4495
Office Hours: By appointment