Fred Vultee


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Fred Vultee (PhD, University of Missouri) is an associate professor in the journalism area of the Department of Communication. He teaches news editing, political communication, and content analysis, among other courses. His research looks at media content, media practice, and media effects, particularly in conflicts and crises, and he also coordinates the department’s research lab. His research appears in such journals as Journalism Studies; Media, War & Conflict; the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters; and the Journal of Media Ethics.

Before attending graduate school at the University of Missouri, Dr. Vultee was an editor at newspapers for 25 years.




Area of Expertise

I specialize in media framing, content analysis and news practice.

Degrees and Certifications

PhD, 2007, University of Missouri (journalism)

MA, 2004, University of Missouri (journalism)

BA, 1977, UNiversity of North Carolina (radio-TV-film/journalism)

Primary Research Interest

My main area of interest is media framing: both the way frames occur as organizing or storytelling devices in media accounts and the way frames affect media audiences. I study media content, the routines and rules that shape that content, and the audience attitudes that different kinds of content produce. I also coordinate the department's research participant pool.

Recent Publications

Vultee, F. (2014). Audience perceptions of editing quality: Assessing traditional news routines in the digital age. Digital Journalism. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2014.995938

Vultee, F., Ali, S.R., Stover, C., and Vultee, D.M. (2014). Searching, sharing, acting: How audiences assess and respond to social media messages about hazards. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters.

Vultee, F. (2013). “Spike the football”: Truth-telling, the press and the Bin Laden photos. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 28(4), 241-254.

Ali, S.R., James, D., and Vultee, F. (2013). Strike a pose: Comparing Associated Press and UNICEF visual representations of the children of Darfur. African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, 3(1), 1-20.

Vultee, F. (2012). A paleontology of style: Changing frames of the Arab and Muslim world in the Associated Press Stylebook, 1977-2010.Journalism Practice, 6, 450-464.

Kalyango, Y., and Vultee, F. (2012). Public attitudes toward media control and incitement of conflicts in Eastern Africa. Media, War & Conflict, 5, 119-137.

Vultee, F. (2011). Man-child in the White House: The discursive construction of Barack Obama in reader comments at Journalism Studies, 13, 54-70.

Vultee, F., and Vultee, D.M. (2011). What we tweet about when we tweet about disasters: The nature and sources of microblog comments during emergencies. International Journal of  Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 29, 221-242.

Vultee, F. (2011) Securitization as a media frame. In Balzacq, T. (ed) Securitization theory: How security problems emerge and dissolve, pp. 77-93. New York: Routledge.

Leshner, G., Vultee, F., Bolls, P. and Moore, J. (2010). When a fear appeal isn’t just a fear appeal: The effects of graphic anti-tobacco messages.Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

Vultee, F. (2010). Credibility as a strategic ritual: The Times, the interrogator, and the duty of naming. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 25, 3-18.

Vultee, F. (2010). Securitization: A new approach to the framing of the “war on terror.” Journalism Practice, 4(1), 33-47.

Vultee, F. (2009). Jump back Jack, Mohammed’s here: Fox News and the construction of Islamic peril. Journalism Studies, 10(5), 623-638.

Vultee, F. (2009). The second casualty: Effects of interstate conflict and civil war on press freedom. Media, War & Conflict, 2(2), 111-127.

Vultee, F. (2007). Dr. FDR and Baby War: The world through Chicago political cartoons before and after Pearl Harbor. Visual Communication Quarterly, 14, 58-175.

Vultee, F. (2006). “Fatwa on the bunny”: News language and the creation of meaning about the Middle East. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 30, 319-336.


As graduate director, I chair the departpemt Graduate Committee and work with our doctoral and master's programs. My graduate teaching focuses on political communication and on methods illuminating communication practices and effects.I also teach undergraduate courses in the journalism program, focusing on news presentation and on journalism as a source of public information.

I also serve on one of the campus Institutional Review Boards.

Courses Taught

Com3210, news editing: An undergraduate skills course that introduces students to the roles editors play in news content, from grammar to gatekeeping to graphics and on into ethics.

Com5080, history and law of American journalism: An undergraduate/graduate course that looks at how journalism developed in the US alongside the legal system in which it operates

Com5700, political reporting: An undergraduate/graduate course that emphasizes understanding and reporting events and processes that help people make sense of their political lives

Com7010, mass media in conflicts and crises: A graduate seminar examining different theoretical and practical ways of understanding the role media play in fanning or preventing conflicts and in helping the public cope with disasters and other forms of crisis.

Com7580, content analysis: A graduate seminar in the systematic examination of media content-- or any other artifacts of human communication that we can sample, catalog and measure.

Com7700, mass media and political communication: A graduate seminar in the roles played by traditional and social media in the policial process.

Com 8000, introduction to doctoral studies. A seminar for first-semester PhD students.