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Jesse Abdenour (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communication.

His research focuses on the production of quality nonfiction information and how it can be effectively communicated to audiences. Abdenour is interested in the entire path of communication, including the elements that constitute quality nonfiction messages, how these messages are produced, the ways in which consumers process such content, and how message quality can be maintained in the face of financial, institutional, and governmental challenges.

Abdenour is a leading researcher in the field of investigative journalism. He provided the first comprehensive analysis of investigative reporting at U.S. local television stations by developing a quantifiable definition of investigative news quality (Abdenour, 2018) and showed widespread evidence that high-quality investigative television reporting can increase audiences (Abdenour & Riffe, 2019).

His present work examines how ownership affects news quality and how nonfiction content can impact trust and message efficacy. Abdenour and colleagues were the first to show empirically that high-quality and engaging journalism stories can increase audience trust (Thier, Abdenour, Walth, & Dahmen, 2019). Abdenour explained the significance of these findings on a statewide Oregon radio program, Think Out Loud.

Abdenour has also examined journalists’ roles and social media use, news market competition, coverage of mass shootings, and the fair use of copyrighted material. His scholarly work draws from disciplines including communication, sociology, psychology, organizational theory and media law, and primarily employs quantitative methods such as content analysis, experiments, and surveys (see Abdenour’s Google Scholar profile for a complete list of papers).

A Seattle native, Abdenour worked in the Midwest and South for nine years as a television reporter, anchor, and videographer. He also produced several award-winning documentaries that appeared at film festivals across the country. His teaching interests include video production, reporting, documentary film, and quantitative research methods. Before coming to the University of Oregon, Abdenour taught communication classes at the University of North Carolina, Arkansas State University, and the University of Arkansas.