Jennifer Rauch
P u r v e y o r o f F i n e E r u d i t i o n i n J o u r n a l i s m , C o m m u n i c a t i o n & C u l t u r e

Jennifer Rauch

I grew up in Amish Country, watching plain-clothed farmers bring vegetables to market by horse and buggy. And I’ve lived in far-flung places from Beijing to Bloomington, from Marseilles to Manchester. Diverse environments like these shaped my perspective as a writer, scholar and educator. I view cultures from the outside, question assumptions about how things “should” be done, and know that another way of life is possible.

Before earning a Ph.D, I was a soup-to-nuts journalist: a writer, editor, photographer and page designer for alternative newsweeklies, daily papers, nonprofit organizations, and universities. As a teenager, I got involved with community broadcasting at WMUH 91.7 FM (“the only station that matters”) and later interned with Tony Michaelides, a British music promoter who plugged for 4AD, Factory and other indie labels.

My research on interactions between alternative media, social activism and new technologies has appeared in academic and popular venues, including peer-reviewed journals and books from Routledge and Wiley-Blackwell. I’ve written for HuffPost, Medium, and Urban Audubon along with the blog “Slow Media” and online guide “Unplug Your Class.”

I get inspiration from the musings of Marshall McLuhan and Neil Postman. Scholars like James Carey, George Gerbner and Robert McChesney have left indelible marks, too. Another source is Slow Food, where I found a framework for thinking about the influence of media on human well-being and environmental sustainability that spurred my book, Slow Media: Why Slow is Satisfying, Sustainable & Smart (Oxford University Press, 2018).

I split the year between Brooklyn and Portland with my husband, Michael Fanuzzi — a musician and gardener who moonlights as a creative technologist. We are endlessly entertained by our cat Violet as well as Hannah, the Anna’s hummingbird who visits our nectar feeder. She’s like part of the family and doesn’t know it.


“I always await the scholar with a distinctive perspective, whose work has the potential to add something innovative and important to our studies. Rauch is one such scholar. She is one of those rare academics who [combines] insights gained from practical journalism with the theories and methodologies of the academy.” – Chris Atton, author, Alternative Media and An Alternative Internet

“Her research is remarkably valuable to the fields of journalism, new media, and popular culture because it not only asks important questions about the audience as consumer and producer of media, [but also] answers these questions in a manner that is engaging, insightful, and accessible to scholars and students alike.” – Lynne Edwards, author, “Slaying in Black and White: Kendra as Tragic Mulatta in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Rauch’s research addresses extremely important questions. A handful of scholars have studied the producers of alternative media; her distinction in the field is her attention to audiences. I know of no other scholar who addresses this need with the same depth and sophistication.” – James F. Hamilton, author, Democratic Communications: Formations, Projects, Possibilities and co-author of Alternative Journalism

“She brings an encompassing historical perspective to her work that draws connections across time and concepts. Rauch’s studies unfailing offer thoughtful insights and new ways of approaching and imagining journalism.” – Jack Lule, author, Daily News, Eternal Stories: The Mythological Role of Journalism

“Rauch is smart, creative, energetic (…) In the study of journalism and social-movement activism, she is a leader.” – David P. Nord, author, Communities of Journalism: A History of American Newspapers & Their Readers