Tim Gibson

Tim Gibson

Tim Gibson

Associate Professor

Critical media studies, mass communication theory, and urban communication

Tim Gibson is an Associate Professor of Communication and Faculty Affiliate in the Cultural Studies PhD program at George Mason University.

Tim Gibson's research interests include critical media studies, the political economy of communication, and urban studies. He has published articles at the intersection of media and urban studies in a variety of communication and cultural studies journals. He is also author of Securing the Spectacular City: The Politics of Revitalization and Homelessness in Downtown Seattle, a book which explores issues of gentrification and urban poverty in Seattle during the 1990s, and co-editor (with Mark Lowes) of Urban Communication: Production, Text, Context. He is an active member of Mason's chapter of the American Association of University Professors (GMU-AAUP) and currently serves as chapter President. Together with other AAUP members, he has campaigned for donor transparency, faculty participation in the Presidential search, reduced workloads for term faculty, and for fair treatment of Mason's contract workers. Finally, he currently serves as the president of the Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Sciences (VACAS). You can follow Tim on Twitter @timgibson.

Selected Publications

Neilson T. and Gibson, T.A. (2022). Social media editors and the audience funnel: Tensions between commercial pressures and professional norms in the data-saturated newsroom. Digital Journalism, 10 (4), 556-578. Available online here.

Gibson, T.A. (2021). Good trouble in the time of COVID-19. Health Communication, available online here.

Gibson, T.A. (2018). The post-truth double helix: Reflexivity and mistrust in local politics. International Journal of Communication, 12, 3167-3185. Available online here.

Gibson, T.A. (2017).  Streetcar desires: The death of the Arlington Streetcar and the cultural politics of smart growth development, communication +1, 6, article 7. Available online here.

Gibson, T.A., Craig, R.T., Harper, A.C., Alpert, J.M. (2016). Covering global warming in dubious times: Environmental reporters in the new media ecosystem. Journalism, 17, 417-434. Available online here.

Gibson, T.A. (2015). The rise and fall of Adrian Fenty, Mayor-triathlete: Cycling, gentrification, and class politics in Washington, D.C. Leisure Studies, 34, 230-249.  Available online here.

Gibson, T.A. (2014). Property outlaws in cyberspace and meatspace? Examining the relationship between online peer production and support for property violations. Triple C: Communication, Capitalism and Critique, 12, 876-890. Available online here.

Gibson, T.A. (2013). Advertising empire: Reflections on defense contractor ads in Washington, D.C. Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, 9, 4, n.p. Available online here.

Grants and Fellowships

Faculty co-director, Race and ethnicity in Cultural Studies: New courses and new connections, Curriculum Impact Grant, George Mason University.

Courses Taught

COMM 302 Media Theory

CULT 320 Globalization and Culture

COMM 380 Media Criticism

COMM 400/490/491 Research Methods/Honors Research Methods

COMM 602 Research and Theory of Mass Communication

COMM 700 Building Social Science Theory

COMM 725 Qualitative Research Methods

COMM 798 Communication Research Projects

COMM 890/CULT 860 Political Economy of Media


PhD in Communication, Simon Fraser University (Canada), 2001

MA in Communication, The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1995

BA in Liberal Arts, The Evergreen State College, 1992



Dissertations Supervised

Sergei Samoilenko, Deconstructing Ad Hominem Attacks to Counter Contrarian Campaigns on Climate Scientists (2020)

Jacquelyn A. Poapst, Legal Lacuna, Sovereignty, and Deference: A Radical Critique of Liberalism and the Chevron Doctrine (2019)

Allison Harper, Implicit and Explicit Race and Gender Bias in Intercollegiate Policy Debate (2018)

Cecilia Uy-Tioco, Texting Capital: Mobile Phones, Social Transformation, and the Reproduction of Power in the Philippines (2013)

Kathalene Razzano, Who’s Your Daddy?: The Paternity Test and the Logic of Paternity (2012)

Gina Castle Bell, “I Still Have a Dream…": Exploring Black and White Communication Challenges in 21st Century America (2012)