Brian Ekdale

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Portrait of Brian Ekdale.
Associate Professor
E324 AJB
Office Hours:
Spring 2021: Mondays 12 - 3 pm or by appt via Zoom
PhD 2011, University of Wisconsin-Madison

What is Brian’s story? 

Brian studies media work within global digital cultures. His research looks at how and why people create media content in the digital era. He has a particular interest in media produced within and about Africa.

Brian has professional experience as a software trainer, instructional technologist, and video producer. His documentary 10 Days in Malawi was screened at 11 film festivals and won 8 awards.

Since joining the UI faculty, Brian now teaches several courses that prepare students to be better consumers and producers of digital and social media. Brian is the faculty advisor for SJMC’s Graduate Student Association.


  • JMC:1500 Social Media Today
  • JMC:2020 Introduction to Multimedia Storytelling
  • JMC:3620 Applied Digital and Social Media
  • JMC:6800 Digital Cultures


  • Ekdale, B. (2018). Global frictions and the production of locality in Kenya’s music video industry. Media, Culture & Society, 40(2), 211–227.
  • Carpenter, J. C., & Ekdale, B. (2017). Service at the intersection of journalism, language and the global imaginary: Indonesia’s English-language press. Journalism Studies. OnlineFirst.
  • Krajewski, J., & Ekdale, B. (2017). Constructing cholera: CNN iReport, the Haitian cholera epidemic, and the limits of citizen journalism. Journalism Practice, 11(2-3), 229–246.
  • Ekdale, B., & Tuwei, D. (2016). Ironic encounters: Posthumanitarian storytelling in slum tourist media. Communication, Culture & Critique, 9(1), 49-67.
  • Ekdale, B., Singer, J. B., Tully, M., & Harmsen, S. (2015). Making change: Diffusion of technological, relational, and cultural innovation in the newsroom. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 92(4), 938-958.
  • Ekdale, B., Tully, M., Harmsen, S., & Singer, J. B. (2015). Newswork within a culture of job insecurity: Producing news amidst organization and industry uncertainty. Journalism Practice, 9(3), 383-398.
  • Tully, M., & Ekdale, B. (2014). Sites of playful engagement: Twitter hashtags as spaces of leisure and development in Kenya. Information Technologies & International Development, 10(3), 67–82.
  • Ekdale, B. (2014). Slum discourse, media representations and maisha mtaani in Kibera, Kenya. Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies, 35(1), 92–108.
  • Ekdale, B. (2014). “I wish they knew that we are doing this for them”: Participation and resistance in African community journalism. Journalism Practice, 8(2), 181-196.
  • Ekdale, B. & Tully, M. (2014). Makmende Amerudi: Kenya’s collective reimagining as a meme of aspiration. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 31(4), 283–298...
  • Tully, M., & Ekdale, B. (2014). The Team online: Entertainment-education, social media, and cocreated narratives. Television & New Media, 15(2), 139–156.
  • Ekdale, B. (2013). Telling whose stories? Reexamining author agency in participatory media in the slums of Nairobi. In J. Gray & D. Johnson (Eds.), A Companion to Media Authorship (pp. 158-180). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Thorson, K., Driscoll, K., Ekdale, B., Edgerly, S., Thompson, L. G., Schrock, A., Swartz, L., Vraga, E. K. & Wells, C. (2013). YouTube, Twitter and the Occupy movement: Connecting content and circulation practices. Information, Communication & Society, 16(3), 421-451.
  • Ekdale, B. (2013). Negotiating the researcher: Interstitial, appropriated, and digital identities in media production ethnography. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 9(3), 7–26.
  • Ekdale, B. (2011). Media activism, youth culture and human rights campaigns for the MTV generation. In B. Musa & J. Domatob (Eds.), Communication, Culture, and Human Rights in Africa (pp. 133–152). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  • Booth, P., & Ekdale, B. (2011). Translating the hyperreal (or how The Office came to America, made us laugh, and tricked us into accepting hegemonic bureaucracy). In C. Lavigne & H. Marcovitch (Eds.), American Remakes of British Television: Transformations and Mistranslations (pp. 193–210). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
  • Thorson, K., Vraga, E., & Ekdale, B. (2010). Credibility in context: How uncivil online commentary affects news credibility. Mass Communication and Society, 13(3), 289–313.
  • Thorson, K., Ekdale, B., Borah, P., Namkoong, K., & Shah, C. (2010). YouTube and Proposition 8: A case study in video activism. Information, Communication & Society, 13(3), 325-349.
  • Ekdale, B., Namkoong, K., Fung, T. K. F., & Perlmutter, D. D. (2010). Why blog? (then and now): Exploring the motivations for blogging by popular American political bloggers. New Media & Society, 12(2), 217-234.
  • Fair, J. E., Tully, M., Ekdale, B., & Asante, R. K. B. (2009). Crafting lifestyles in urban Africa: Young Ghanaians in the world of online friendship. Africa Today, 55(4), 29–49.