Allissa V. Richardson is an associate professor of journalism at USC Annenberg. She researches how African Americans use mobile and social media to produce innovative forms of journalism — especially in times of crisis.
Richardson is the author of Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones and the New Protest #Journalism (Oxford University Press, 2020). The book explores the lives of 15 mobile journalist-activists who have documented the Black Lives Matter movement using only their smartphones and Twitter.
Richardson’s research is informed by her award-winning work as a journalism innovator. She is considered a pioneer in mobile journalism (MOJO), having launched the world’s first smartphone-only college newsrooms in 2010, in the U.S., Morocco and South Africa.
Richardson won the National Association of Black Journalists’ prestigious Journalism Educator of the Year (‘12) award for her international work. Richardson is an inductee into Apple’s elite Distinguished Educator program. She is the recipient of two esteemed Harvard University posts: the Nieman Foundation Visiting Journalism Fellowship (‘14) and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society Fellowship (‘20). Lastly, she is a fellow in Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism (‘20).
Richardson’s research has been published in Convergence, Journal of Communication, Digital Journalism, Journalism Studies and The Black Scholar. Richardson serves on the editorial boards of Digital Journalism and the International Journal of Communication. She is an affiliated researcher with New York University’s Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies (CR + DS) as well.
Richardson holds a PhD in journalism studies from the University of Maryland College Park; a master’s degree in magazine publishing from Northwestern University’s Medill School; and a bachelor of science in biology from Xavier University of Louisiana, where she was named a “Top 40 Under 40” alumna.