Jenifer Whitten-Woodring Image

Jenifer M. Whitten-Woodring, Ph.D.

Dean of the Honors College; Associate Professor of Political Science

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Political Science
(978) 934-4242
O'Leary 302


Media Freedom, Comparative and International Political Communication, Human Rights, Repression and Dissent, International Relations, Research Methods

Research Interests

Media & Politics; Human Rights; Repression & Dissent; International Communication; Political Communication and Research Methods.


  • Ph D: Politics and International Relations, (2010), University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: The Fabled Fourth Estate: Media Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights
  • MS: Radio, Television and Film, (1989), Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY
  • Other: Communication, (1987), Emerson College - Boston, MA

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Center for Women and Work Associate (2011) - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2010)
  • Best Paper in International Communication (2009) - Section of the International Studies Association
  • The Letty and Peter Toma Prize (2009), Scholarship/Research

Selected Publications

  • Whitten-Woodring, J.M., Kleinberg, M., Thawnghmung, A., Thitsar, M.T. (2020). Poison If You Don’t Know How to Use It: Facebook, Democracy, and Human Rights in Myanmar . International Journal of Press/Politics
  • Whitten-Woodring, J.M. (2016). News about Her: The Effects of Media Freedom and Internet Access on Women’s Rights. Journal of Human Rights, 15(3) 383–407.
  • Hutchison, M.L., Schiano, S., Whitten-Woodring, J.M. (2016). When the Fourth Estate Becomes a Fifth Column The Effect of Media Freedom and Social Intolerance on Civil Conflict. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 21(2) 165–187.
  • Whitten-Woodring, J.M., Van Belle, D. (2015). The Correlates of Media Freedom: An Introduction of the Global Media Freedom Dataset. Political Science Research and Methods.
  • Whitten-Woodring, J.M. (2015). The Role of Media in the Repression-Protest Nexus: A Game Theoretic Model. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 59(6) 1017-42.
  • Whitten-Woodring, J.M., A. Van Belle, D. (2014). Historical Guide to World Media Freedom a Country-by-Country Analysis. Sage Reference/CQ Press
  • Whitten-Woodring, J.M., James, P. (2012). Fourth Estate or Mouthpiece? A Formal Model of Media, Protest, and Government Repression. Political Communication, 29(2) 113-136.
  • Whitten-Woodring, J.M. (2009). Watchdog or Lapdog? Media Freedom, Regime Type, and Government Respect for Human Rights. International Studies Quarterly, (3) 595.

Selected Presentations

  • Effective Collaboration with Teaching and Learning Assistants - The Provost's Excellence in Learning & Teaching Virtual Seminar Series, July 2020