Gyo Hyun Koo, Ph.D.
Hello, I am Gyo Hyun Koo! I am an Assistant Professor at Howard University's Department of Communication, Culture, and Media Studies. I received my Ph.D. in Journalism and Media from The University of Texas at Austin, with my dissertation focusing on the impact of news exemplifications on the perception of political polarization.
My research investigates the impact of communication technology on democracy and health, with the goal of fostering an inclusive information environment for informed and engaged citizenship. I am dedicated to advancing digital and health equity, especially for underserved communities.
You can connect with me on Twitter, Research Gate, and Google Scholar (link below):
My research concentrates on three pivotal areas.
I examine the role of communication technology in democracy, emphasizing its role in cultivating informed and engaged citizens. This encompasses an exploration of how news media contribute to political polarization, the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories through social media, and the prevalence of online hate speech targeting historically marginalized communities. Recent examples of my work include:
The link between (right-wing) political ideology and politically contested beliefs about COVID-19 (Mass Communication & Society)
Mobilizing the “Stop the Steal” Movement: Comparing Discourse in Facebook, Twitter, and Parler (Social Media + Society)
My research also explores news content and journalism practices, exploring their connections to people's emotions, cognitions, and behavioral intentions. This line of research aims to promote sustainable journalism and create a culturally responsible space. In my studies, I have analyzed news content to understand the relationship between journalists' role perceptions and reporting practices. Furthermore, I have explored how news perceptions, including trust in news, skepticism, and cynicism, relate to news literacy and influence people's susceptibility to misinformation.
Cross-national differences in journalistic role perceptions and COVID-19 news framing (International Journal of Communication)
Children’s cognitive and affective reactions to news coverage about school shootings (Mass Communication & Society)
I also address health-related misperceptions, aiming to comprehend what factors contribute to the widening gap in people's knowledge about health and their engagement in health-promoting behaviors. I am leading a survey project that evaluates the information-seeking habits of Black Generation Z, especially their reliance on social media algorithms and automated news curation. Our focus is on understanding how these information consumption patterns relate to their beliefs in health misinformation and vaccine hesitancy towards COVID-19 and HIV, aiming to identify strategies to rebuild trust in institutions among these populations and enhance their information consumption practices.
My primary research methods are quantitative (surveys, experiments, content analyses) and computational; I also have experience supplementing my research with qualitative textual analysis and interviews. I am capable of advanced statistical analyses, natural language processing, network analysis, and text mining.
Fun facts about me:
I have two and a half years of work experience as a reporter and editor-in-chief for college newspapers. I wrote the news, managed print and digital publications, and served as an editorial leader. I was recognized with a Best English College Newspapers award in 2014.
Apart from work, I enjoy practicing yoga, drawing, and listening to podcasts. I also play the flute, ukulele, and kalimba.
Name pronunciation: Gyo /kjo(ː)/ Hyun /hjʌn/