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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.


Community

Harvard Law Today

How ‘digital witnesses’ are documenting history and challenging the status quo

Three community members discuss how young Black people use technology for activism around the world

Mar 18, 2021
Harvard Law Today

Deconstructing the ‘Karen’ meme

Apryl Williams puts memes in historical, cultural context

Feb 3, 2021
Start Making Sense

Black Cellphone Videos and Protest Journalism

Allissa Richardson talks protest journalism on the Start Making Sense podcast

Oct 14, 2020
NiemanLab

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
IJNotes

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

Events

Mar 3, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

Digital Witnesses: The Power of Looking

Video & Podcast: Featuring Allissa Richardson, Nana Mgbechikwere Nwachukwu, and Hannane Ferdjani

Video & Podcast: A panel exploring how Black people around the world are using digital technology to bear witness to human rights injustices—from the Black Lives Matter movement,…

Event
Feb 2, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

White Surveillance and Black Digital Publics

Video & Podcast: A Conversation with Dr. Apryl A. Williams and Dr. Allissa V. Richardson

Video & Podcast: Dr. Apryl A. Williams and Dr. Allissa V. Richardson will address the long-standing history of White vigilante-style surveillance of Black people in public spaces