Douglas McLeod

Evjue Centennial Professor


Doug McLeod headshot

Douglas McLeod is the Evjue Centennial Professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Before coming to the University of Wisconsin in 2000, he taught for 11 years in the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware. An alumnus of the University of Wisconsin, he majored in journalism and psychology. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in mass communication and sociology from the University of Minnesota.

McLeod has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, law reviews, and other publications. McLeod’s research develops two lines of inquiry into the antecedents and consequences of mass communication: 1) social conflicts and the mass media; and 2) media content and effects. The first program of research focuses on the role of the media in both domestic and international conflicts, including media coverage of social protest and its impact on the audience. McLeod’s second line of research studies that factors shape the content of mass media and audience outcomes in terms of knowledge, attitudes, judgments and behaviors, particularly in the area of framing and priming effects.

McLeod is currently publishing a book with Cambridge University Press examining how the framing of news stories about the USA Patriot Act influences audience assessments of issues related to national security and civil liberties. His recent research has been published in such journals as Communication Research, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journal of Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, and Mass Communication and Society.

McLeod teaches several courses in strategic communication for undergraduate students. Journalism 345: Principles of Strategic Communication is a course that introduces students to all facets of strategic communication campaigns, beginning with research and strategy, and moving on to the production of creative messages, media planning, and public relations. Journalism 445: Creative Messages for Media focuses on the product of strategic communication messages for a variety of advertising media, giving students the opportunity to develop messages for a real-world client. J564: Media and the Consumer is a course that examines various dimensions of the impact of mediated messages on the consumer public. At the graduate level, McLeod teaches various seminars and courses on mass communication theory and research.