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Thomas Terry

Thomas Terry

Educational Background:

  • PhD - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - 2007
  • MA - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - 2003
  • BA - University of Iowa
  • Other - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - 2008

Contact Information

Go to Office LocationOffice Location: AGRS 318

CallPhone: 435-797-3002
Send an EmailEmail: thomas.terry@usu.edu

Professor Thomas C. Terry, Ph.D. is a recovering journalist and remains an unapologetic and enthusiastic supporter of the First Amendment. He owned and edited a small group of community newspapers in Western Illinois. Dr. Terry earned his B.A. in journalism from the University of Iowa at Iowa City and both his M.A. and Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a student of Dr. Donald L. Shaw. Dr. Terry spent a year on a Defense Department Intelligence Community post-doctoral fellowship looking at the implications of a changing media environment on American overseas information strategies.

Dr. Terry has published in Communication Law and Policy, Military Review, Newspaper Research Journal, National Security and Armed Conflict Law Review, and others. His research has been presented and won awards at academic conferences in the U.S. and in Europe and the Middle East. His academic research interests include agenda setting, constitutional rights of access, and the role of black and white community newspapers in the early civil rights era and their intersections with race, religion, and liberalism, which was the subject of his dissertation. He teaches media law and reporting of public affairs courses at USU. Professionally, he captured numerous state and national newspaper association awards for reporting, photography, and advertising. Dr. Terry is the past president of the Illinois Press Association, the largest in the U.S. He also founded a Shakespearean Festival.

Dr. Terry belongs to numerous academic and professional organizations, but is most proud of his contributions to Amnesty International’s Urgent Action Network and has written personal appeals to governments and prisons worldwide for the release of nonviolent prisoners of conscience.

Dr. Terry collects presidential campaign buttons (a Ulysses Grant is his oldest), plays the Scottish smallpipes with more enthusiasm than talent, and flies small airplanes with considerably more skill than his struggles with the smallpipes might predict. His ideal dawn or dusk activity is lifting off a grass runway into cool air and light winds in an antique airplane, pursuing the perfect and elusive $150 cheeseburger. He is married to Cathy, and they have three children, Elizabeth, James, and William, and a grandson on the way. Heather, a somewhat domesticated Standard Schnauzer, prowls their home and allows them to cater to her many whims, including warmed-up dinner in the microwave.

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Media history, free expression and censorship, editorial writing, mass communication effects ( emphasis on agenda setting), photojournalism, magazine writing, media law, reporting, editing, news writing and mass communication and society ( introductory and advanced).

Race and the media, First Amendment rights of free expression and acces, agenda setting and media history.
  • Keynote Speech for international conference in Turkey. Titled : Towards a Fourth Level of Agenda Setting in a Post-Mass Media World. - June 2014.
  • Keynote Dinner Presentation - November 2013.
  • Top Paper Award - November 2010
  • Scholarly - In Thunder, Lightning or Rain :Three North Carolina Editorial Voices Against the Ku Klux Klan, 1950-1953.
  • Non - Scholarly - Photolio : Photographs 1970-1983  - 1983
  • Non - Scholarly - The Champions : A Pictorial History of Geneseo's 1976 & 1977 3A State Football Champions - 1977.
  • Book, Chapter in Scholarly Book - "A Tremendous and Baleful Aspect : Conscription in the Civil War through the Pages of Federal and Confederate Newspapers in 1863." - Co-authored by : Donald Shaw.
  • Book Review - " Censors at Work : How States Shaped Literature" by Robert Darnton - Co-authored by: Donald Shaw.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal -"Communication is Community : How We ( Soldiers, too ) Mix Traditional and Social Media Messages to Connect with Each Other" - Co-authored by : Donald Shaw and Milad Minooie. 
  • Rest Under the Shade of the Trees : Fourth Level Agenda Setting and Framing the Civil War and the Lost Cause through Obituaries of Union and Confederate Generals, 1863-1904 - $500 - 2015-11-30
  • Shards and Prisms : Neville Chamberlain and the Agenda Settinf Effect of the Press on Appeasement in the Wake of munich, 1938-1939 - 2012-12-31
  • Rebel Yells and Idle Vaporings : The Lost Cause Rises and Dissipates in The Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Constitution and The New York Times, 1860-1914 - 2012-11-08