Moses Shumow

From its origin, the Social Justice & Media Symposium is dedicated to the life and work of Dr. Moses Shumow, a transformative scholar, educator and activist, who worked at the intersection of media, narrative, and social justice.


After his death in 2019, SJ+M was launched to bring students, faculty, and community stakeholders together to honor the work of Moses and to continue bringing young emerging media storytellers together with educators, researchers, and the community to expand dialog, collaboration, and a network of action.

Moses Shumow was a dedicated scholar activist. This is a list of some of his more influential and important work, including his documentary, books, and select writings.

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Mediated communities: civic voices, empowerment and media literacy in the digital era, edited by Moses Shumow, 2015.
Mediated Communities brings together a diverse, global cohort of academics and professional communicators to assess the current state of democratic mobilizing around the world and the ways in which protest movements are being transformed in the midst of a communication revolution. Contributors draw on a variety of international settings - from Greece to Lebanon, China to Argentina - to demonstrate the ways in which community organizing in the digital age relies increasingly on digital media to communicate, help participants find common ground, and fight for change. Contributors acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead for creating real and lasting democratic change, but at the same time are able to draw attention to the potential that digital media hold for strengthening citizen voices around the globe.
News, Neoliberalism, and Miami's Fragmented Urban Space, by Moses Shumow and Robert E. Gutsche, Jr., 2016.
News, Neoliberalism, and Miami's Fragmented Urban Space examines cultural and social forces responsible for inequalities that have emerged in the rampant development of Miami as a “world city.” This book argues that neoliberal movements rely on the power of journalistic discourses to authorize and legitimize harmful social acts such as gentrification. Moses Shumow and Robert E. Gutsche Jr. provide original analyses of intersections among memory, race, capitalism, and journalistic power, particularly at a time of immense political and environmental change. The authors examine changes in neighborhoods and in public-private developments that are bound to widen an already-great divide between classes and races in South Florida.

Select Writings

“Why is it Here, of All Places?”: Debris cleanup, Black space, and narratives of marginalized geographies in post-Irma Miami-Dade, chapter by Moses Shumow in Climate Change, Media & Culture: Critical Issues in Global Environmental Communication, 2019.


By focusing on the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in a heavily urbanized region still bearing the markers of a segregated and racist past, this chapter examines three public narratives during a time of storm recovery and amid scenes of destruction and recovery that will become more familiar globally as climates, environments, and weather patterns continue to change. Narratives that are examined here include media coverage, official explanations from local governments for the decisions made related to debris placement, and outrage from citizens on social media.



When local is national: An analysis of interacting journalistic communities in the coverage of sea rise in Journalism Studies, by Robert E. Gutsche, Jr. and Moses Shumow, 2019.


This study explicates meanings of local journalism when what was traditionally treated as a local issue for local audiences—Miami’s rising seas—was thrust onto a national stage by national press and for wider audiences. Through a textual analysis of local news stories over a period of three years, this paper highlights how local journalists demarcated local and national journalistic boundaries, using national news to legitimize previous local coverage of sea-level rise, as news sources in local environmental journalism that strengthened presentations by local press as expertise on the issue, ultimately positioning national journalists as “outsiders.”



‘NO OUTLET’: A critical visual analysis of neoliberal narratives in mediated geographies in Visual Communication, by Robert E. Gutsche, Jr. and Moses Shumow, 2017.


This article turns to Miami, Florida’s (USA) Upper Eastside – an eclectic stretch of about 20 city blocks in one of the nation’s ‘global cities’ – for a critical visual analysis that uses mapping and photography to explore how neoliberalism is communicated. With an approach that considers geography as a visual ‘vernacular landscape’, this research further supports the role of visual communication as a means to reveal deeper meanings of geography, particularly in terms of identifying ideological qualities of the neoliberal project that are often hidden in plain view. The authors’ photographs and maps supply data for this article, which are then read through the process of ‘geosemiotics’.



Searching for a signal: Digital literacy, civic engagement, and the building of a community Wi‐Fi Network in Miami's urban core, chapter by Moses Shumow in International Handbook of Media Literacy Education, 2017.


This chapter investigates an attempt to development a community Wi-Fi network in Liberty Square, a public housing development with nearly 2,000 residents in Liberty City, a historically black neighborhood deep in the heart of Miami’s urban core.



Framing politics in transnational communities: Spanish-language immigrant media and election coverage in South Florida in Journalism, by Juliana Fernandes and Moses Shumow, 2016.


Miami-Dade County, Florida, has 2.5 million residents, with more than half (52%) born outside of the United States. Catering to these immigrant populations is a rich landscape of community media outlets focusing on the multiple Hispanic immigrant communities in this region. Drawing on the confluence of these geographic and socio-cultural factors, as well as the growing political influence of Hispanic populations, this study presents the results of a content analysis of election articles (N = 398) produced by four Hispanic immigrant media outlets in Miami-Dade over the course of a year. The results show an emphasis on covering elections in the home country, and contribute to the growing body of research on the increasingly transnational lives of immigrant populations and provide new insights into how these media outlets shape the coverage of elections that impact these communities.



Urban policy, press, and place: City-making in Florida’s Miami-Dade County in Journal of Urban Affairs, by Moses Shumow and Robert E. Gutsche, Jr., 2016.


This article enhances the notion of city-making by explicating its communicative processes and functions within the press. Through a quantitative content analysis and qualitative textual analysis of Miami Herald news coverage related to incorporation and annexation policies and practices over a period of 3 years, we argue for a stronger implication of the press in coverage of local policy- and place-making. Through a quantitative content analysis of 437 articles from the Miami Herald about communities affected by incorporation and annexation and a qualitative textual analysis of 51 articles related to general coverage of geographic policy making in Miami-Dade County over a 3-year period, we argue that this coverage reveals the press as being a central feature and function of policy-making through the lens of city-making.



News diversity and minority audiences: Using real simple syndication (RSS) to assess the democratic functions of Spanish-language media in the digital age in Journalism Practice, by Moses Shumow and Mercedes Vigon, 2016.


The rapid growth of Hispanics in the United States, the parallel growth of Spanish-language media, and the difficulties that this population continues to experience in terms of important socio-demographic indicators such as education, immigration, healthcare, and criminal justice, requires research that investigates the ways in which Spanish-language news outlets are delivering the information needed by this group in terms of providing a public service and contributing to democratic notions of the press. Democratic theories of the press posit that in order for a democracy to function properly, all groups should be provided with news coverage that reflects the voices, concerns, and interests of their communities. However, it has often proved difficult for news industries undergoing rapid growth and increasing corporate concentration to serve audiences with diverse news and information needs. In order to examine the extent to which Spanish-language news outlets are providing a diverse range of news and topics relevant to their audiences, researchers used software that gathers Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds to archive, organize, and analyze over 10,000 news stories posted to 28 Spanish-language news websites during October 2012. The results show some diversity in the range of topics covered, but the widespread duplication of content across platforms owned by a small handful of media conglomerates found in the results raises important questions about the impact of increasing news homogenization in the digital age and the potential implications for minority audiences.



Spanish‐language immigrant media in Miami‐Dade County, Florida: Discursive arenas for transnational civil societies in The Latin Americanist, by Moses Shumow and Juliet Pinto, 2014.


New discursive arenas among transnational communities are transforming communication processes both within and beyond national boundaries. Focusing on one of the most diverse and populous Spanish-speaking populations in the United States, we explore five community media publications in Miami-Dade County, Florida, created by and for several distinct Latin American immigrant communities. Through content analysis, we explore articulations of immigration and the environment, issues that are global in nature, but experienced locally. By asking how immigrant media cover environment and immigration, whether or not coverage reflects transnational dimensions, and what this implies for new forms of civic engagement and governance, the results provide insight into the new discursive arenas flowing across borders, critical implications for notions of citizenship, as well as conceptualizations of public opinion legitimacy and efficacy.



Media production in a transnational setting: Three models of immigrant journalism in Journalism, by Moses Shumow, 2014.


This study presents an empirical, qualitative investigation into the practices of Venezuelan journalists in South Florida. The Venezuelan population in the United States has more than doubled in the past decade, making it the fastest growing sub-population of Latinos in the country, and a majority of these new arrivals have settled in South Florida. Given the rapid changes this community has undergone in the previous 10 years, the results of this investigation provide a more complete picture of global journalism and transnational migration in the digital media era through the recognition of the complexities inherent in the work of immigrant journalists, offering new contributions to conceptualizations of immigrant assimilation as non-linear and providing an updated framework for understanding the production of Spanish-language, immigrant media in the United States. Three models of immigrant journalism are presented and discussed as a final result of the research.



Making ends (and bytes) meet: The challenges of teaching multimedia at an urban, underfunded university (3-U) in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, by Moses Shumow and Michael Scott Sheerin, 2013.


In a time of dynamic changes in mass communication and the restructuring of communication programs, and in the face of shrinking education budgets, educators are being pushed to update their programs to include a new emphasis on multimedia production while sustaining traditional modes of mass communication. Through surveys (N = 121) and focus groups (N = 40) with students, this research explores how to update pedagogy to keep pace with the changes in industry. It is built around the experience of launching a multimedia class required for all students enrolled in a journalism and mass communication school at a large, urban, state-funded university.



Immigrant journalism, ideology and the production of transnational media spaces in Media, Culture & Society, by Moses Shumow, 2012.


Since the election of Hugo Chávez in 1999 and the subsequent growth of Venezuelan immigration to the United States, there has been an explosion of Venezuelan media in South Florida. These media are focused on local issues confronting this expanding immigrant community. However, the mediated communication being produced among its members is also transnational in scope; events taking place in Venezuela heavily inform the content of these outlets. This research analyses 34 interviews with Venezuelan journalists in South Florida in order to further our understanding of the production of immigrant media within a transnational context. The results point to a hybrid form of journalism, one that draws on cultural background and national identity while also relying on ideology and connections to fellow immigrants. The outcome appears to be the production of transnational media spaces that represent new directions for the study of diasporic communication and the formation of transnational networks.



Theorizing Journalism Education, Citizenship, and New Media Technologies in a Global Media Age in Taiwan Journal of Democracy, by Paul Mihailidis and Moses Shumow, 2011.


This essay details the results of fifty-four open-ended interview questionnaires with university-level communication students from eleven countries, exploring the opportunities and challenges for journalism and news in participatory democracy. The study participants were enrolled in a three-week summer global media literacy program, at the end of which they were asked to complete an open-ended survey questionnaire, asking about the role digital media technologies and social media platforms have on journalism and its role in a participatory democracy. Results highlight a general negativity toward the growing influence of new media technologies in journalism with regard to objectivity, autonomy, balance, and depth, juxtaposed with the embrace of the same technologies in contributing to greater citizen participation, voice, and inclusion in journalism and news flow. This divide raises questions around the relationship between journalism, journalism education, and technology in the context of participatory citizenship. The study concludes by recommending a more integrative model for journalism education than presently followed that addresses the disjuncture evidenced in this study between professional notions of journalism and participatory citizenship in the digital age.



Representing fatherhood and male domesticity in American advertising in Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Business, by W.S. Tsai and Moses Shumow, 2011.


This study examines how advertising represents men as spouses and parents in the family context. A content analysis of American prime-time commercials across different networks and cable channels was conducted. Findings indicate that men are frequently depicted only in background and marginal roles in the family context and are much less likely than women to be shown performing domestic chores and childcare activities. In particular, men are rarely shown engaging in housework or caring for children without the presence of their wives, while over half of female characters with children are shown as the sole performers of most domestic chores and caregiver tasks. When fathers are depicted in commercials, they generally show a lower involvement with their children, and they are predominantly shown playing with children, instead of being responsible for childcare duties.



A foot in both worlds: Transnationalism and media use among Venezuelan immigrants in South Florida in International Journal of Communication, by Moses Shumow, 2010.


The Venezuelan population in the United States has grown over 90% in the past decade. Many of these arrivals have settled in South Florida, already home to a number of Venezuelan enclaves and a center for Spanish-language media. The context of departure and arrival of these immigrants presents an opportunity to investigate the role of the media in the ability of immigrants to live transnational lives. This study employs a series of semi-structured interviews with members of this community; the results are analyzed in order to draw out, describe, and explore the themes that emerge. The goal is a better understanding of the role of the media as these immigrants adjust to life in their new country while remaining attached to that which was left behind.

Social Justice + Media Symposium Partners


Social Justice + Media Symposium Partners