Personal details

Name
Dr T.J. Thomson
Position(s)
Lecturer
Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Communication
Discipline *
Communication and Media Studies, Journalism and Professional Writing
Phone
+61 7 3138 5919
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles
ORCID iD Twitter LinkedIn
Qualifications

PhD, Journalism (University of Missouri), MA, Journalism (University of Missouri), Graduate Certificate, Qualitative Research (University of Missouri), BA, Communication Arts (Other)

Professional memberships
and associations
Keywords

visual communication, visual journalism, journalism, media production, self-representation, visual representation, visual depictions, image culture, visual literacy, visual sociology

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Dr T.J. Thomson, SFHEA, is a senior lecturer in visual communication and media and a chief investigator at the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. He recently published “To See and Be Seen: The Environments, Interactions, and Identities Behind News Images” (winner of the NCA 2020 Diane S. Hope Book of the Year Award) and is the 2019 Anne Dunn Scholar of the Year (jointly bestowed by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia and the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association). He sits on the editorial board of the journal Visual Communication Quarterly and has, since 2017, also served as its associate editor.

T.J. undertakes research, postgraduate supervision, and media commentary in the following areas:

  • visual communication
  • visual journalism
  • media production
  • visual culture
  • journalism studies

Google Scholar Profile — click here

Focus and approach

T.J.’s research focuses on how visual journalism is produced—by whom, in what environments, through which processes, and with what results. He also examines visual self-representation on social media and everyday image making. His approach is based on a combination of ethnography (both physical and virtual), interviews, textual analysis, and digital media methods.

His major publications include the following books and articles:

He is on the advisory board of the Society for Phenomenology and Media and is also an officer in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Visual Communication Division and the International Communication Association Visual Communication Studies Division.

This information has been contributed by Dr T.J. Thomson.

Teaching

In the classroom, Dr. T.J. Thomson, SFHEA, has helped students explore and deepen their understandings of multimedia reporting, multimedia planning and design, visual editing, photography, interviewing, and the principles of journalism.

This information has been contributed by Dr T.J. Thomson.

Experience

Dr. T.J. Thomson, SFHEA, has experience with both journalistic and corporate communication. Before entering academia, he worked as a freelance visual journalist and designer for a number of news outlets and organizations, including The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and the Omaha World-Herald. Corporate clients include QuickFire Networks, which was acquired by Facebook in 2015; Colorado Academy; and HotelTonight.

This information has been contributed by Dr T.J. Thomson.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2020
Details
The National Communication Association's Visual Communication Division recognised Dr T.J. Thomson, SFHEA, for his research monograph, 'To See and Be Seen: The Environments, Interactions, and Identities Behind News Images' (published in 2019 by Rowman & Littlefield International), and bestowed upon it the 2020 Diane S Hope Book of the Year Award. Thomson is the sixth winner of the annual award and the first from an institution beyond North America. The prize was established in 2015 to honour the memory of Dr Diane S Hope, professor emerita at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and to recognise excellence in visual communication research. NCA reviewers called the book 'a signature achievement in understanding the process of media production and the ethics of photojournalism' and commended Thomson's approach and the thoroughness of his research. The National Communication Association, headquartered in Washington, DC, USA, was founded in 1914 and stylizes itself as the preeminent schol
Type
Appointment to Prestigious Positions
Reference year
2020
Details
I was elected in 2019 by a body of my peers for a three-year term as the International Communication Association Visual Communication Division's International Liaison, a position charged with gathering opinions and feedback from members of the division, especially new members from less represented cultures; liaising across the divisions and interest groups on general issues that go beyond any given unit of ICA; assisting with the planning of ICA annual conferences; and taking initiative to suggest new ideas for improving ICA's overall internationalisation endeavours. ICA is the largest academic communication association of its kind with more than 4,500 members spread across 80 countries and I was one of 86 new individuals (and one of three living in Australia) elected to ICA leadership across its more than 30 divisions and interest groups.
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2019
Details
Recipient of the 2019 Anne Dunn Scholar of the Year Award, awarded by the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association and the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia. This internationally competitive award recognises critical research of high academic standard and excellence in research about the fields of communication and journalism and is accompanied by a $3,000 cash prize.
Type
Visiting Professorships/Fellowships
Reference year
2020
Details
The School of International Communications at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China selected me in 2019 through a competitive application process as the inaugural recipient of its fully funded visiting scholar fellowship to spearhead a research project, 'Investigating How Visual Social Media Are Remediating News Images', with its academic staff.
Type
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
2020
Details
I was invited in February 2020 as 'a leading researcher in the field' to participate in an industry panel during the 'Catchlight Visual Storytelling Summit' focussed on the importance of context in visual narratives. I was invited alongside several other panelists, such as Pamela Chen, former creative director of Instagram and JSK Fellow at Stanford.
Type
Editorial Role for an Academic Journal
Reference year
2017
Details
Named associate editor of Visual Communication Quarterly, an international, peer-reviewed journal of theory, research, practical criticism, and creative work in all areas of visual communication, in 2017.
Type
Advisor/Consultant for Community
Reference year
2018
Details
Nominated in March 2018 by Society for Phenomenology and Media founder Paul Majkut and confirmed the following month by the organisation's board of directors to serve as an advisor for the Society and provide insight on strategic priorities and operations.