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Allissa V. Richardson is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School. She researches how marginalized communities 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. The book explores the lives of 15 mobile journalist-activists who documented the Black Lives Matter movement using only their smartphones and Twitter, from 2013 to 2017.  

Richardson’s research is informed by her award-winning work as a journalism instructor. She is considered a pioneer in mobile journalism (MOJO), having launched the first smartphone-only college newsroom in 2010. The MOJO Lab, based on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, expanded globally in 2011 to include classes for allied nonprofit organizations in Morocco and South Africa.  

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) recognized Richardson as its 2012 Journalism Educator of the Year for her international work. She is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, and the recipient of the prestigious Harvard University Nieman Foundation Visiting Journalism Fellowship.  

Richardson’s research has been published in Journal of Communication, Journalism Studies, Convergence, The Black Scholar and many other venues. 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).  

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.


Start Making Sense

Black Cellphone Videos and Protest Journalism

Allissa Richardson talks protest journalism on the Start Making Sense podcast

Oct 14, 2020

Allissa Richardson thinks it’s time to shatter a few myths about citizen journalism

Allissa Richardson discusses her new book and the myth of objective journalism

Sep 28, 2020

Mental health and journalism

Allissa Richardson on mental health of Black journalists covering the anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests

Sep 11, 2020
The Atlantic

The Problem With Police-Shooting Videos

Smartphone footage of police brutality highlights a dire need to tell more humane stories about Black victims, Allissa Richardson says

Aug 30, 2020