I study the causes and effects of media freedom. I am especially interested in the role of media in the repression-protest nexus. As a recovering journalist, I remain a news junkie, if not a news hound. My book, Historical Guide to World Media Freedom, a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015 (CQ Press/SAGE 2014, with Douglas Van Belle), analyzes the evolution and devolution of media freedom in 196 countries from 1948 to 2013. My articles have been published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and Political Communication, Political Science Research and Methods, The International Journal of Press/Politics and The Journal of Human Rights.



Historical Guide to World Media Freedom: A Country-by-Country Analysis, (with Douglas A. Van Belle). SAGE/CQ Press. 2014.

Listen to the Whitten-Woodring and Van Belle interview with Maria Armoudian on The Scholars' Circle Download


Published Articles

Whitten-Woodring, Jenifer. 2016. News About Her: The Effects of Media Freedom and Internet Access on Women’s Rights.” Journal of Human Rights, 15(3): 383-407.


Hutchison, Marc, Salvatore Schiano (UML undergraduate) and Jenifer Whitten-Woodring*. 2016. "When the Fourth Estate Becomes a Fifth Column: The Effect of Media Freedom and Social Tolerance on Domestic Conflict." International Journal of Press/Politics, 21 (2): 165-187.

*Names are listed in alphabetical order


Whitten-Woodring, Jenifer and Douglas Van Belle. 2015 “The Correlates of Media Freedom: An Introduction of the Global Media Freedom Dataset.” Political Science Research and Methods, FirstView Article/December 2015, DOI 10.1017/psrm.2015.68, Published online: 02 December 2015.


Kim, HeeMin, Jenifer Whitten-Woodring and Patrick James. 2015. “The Role of Media in the Repression-Protest Nexus: A Game Theoretic ModelThe Journal of Conflict Resolution, 59(6) 1017-1042.


Whitten-Woodring, Jenifer and Patrick James. 2012. “Fourth Estate or Mouthpiece? A Formal Model of the Relationship among Media, Regime Type and Government Respect for Human Rights,Political Communication. 29 (2): 113-136.


Whitten-Woodring, Jenifer. 2009. "Watchdog or Lapdog? Media Freedom, Regime Type and Government Respect for Human Rights International Studies Quarterly, 53: 595-625.


Works in Progress


“Holding the Sacred Accountable: the Effect of Government Involvement in Religion on Media Freedom” (with Nukhet Sandal)


“Should We be All A Twitter? #YBYA: The Effect of New Media and Media Freedom on Human Rights” (with Flavio Da Silva Souza)


“Media Freedom and Mass Killing” (with Gary Uzonyi)


"Connection Frames and Climate Change" (with Amy Below)


“Are Media at Work in Your Neighborhood?" (with Chris McKallagat, Flavio D.S. Souza and Cameron Wimpy)


“The Rainbow Effect: Media Freedom, Internet Access and Gay Rights" (with Celin Carlo-Gonzalez and Chris McKallagat)