Melissa Tully

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Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
E332 AJB
Office Hours:
Spring 2019: Tuesday & Thursday 12 - 1:30 and by appointment
PhD 2011, University of Wisconsin-Madison

What is Melissa’s story? 

Melissa studies digital and social media, international communication, and news media literacy.

Melissa’s research explores how organizations (e.g., nonprofit, government, news) and members of diverse publics use digital media for social, political, and civic engagement.

Melissa has a particular interest in media produced in and about Africa and has conducted research in Kenya, Ghana, and Burundi.

Melissa teaches courses that focus on social and digital media for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Melissa is actively involved with the SJMC Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication Certificate program.


  • JMC:2020 Introduction to Multimedia Storytelling
  • FPC:3633 Philanthropy Communication in a Digital World
  • JMC:1500 Social Media Today
  • JMC:6255 Global Digital Media
  • JMC:3645 Digital Storytelling 
  • JMC:6700 Approaches to Media Communication 


  • Walkner, T. J., Weare, A. M., & Tully, M. (2017). “You get old. You get invisible”: Social isolation and the challenge of communicating with aging women. Journal of Women & Aging. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08952841.2017.1304785
  • Young, R., Tully, M., & Dalrymple, K. E. (2017). #Engagement: Use of Twitter chats to construct nominal participatory spaces. Information, Communication & Society. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1301518
  • Tuwei, D., & Tully, M. (2017). Producing communities and commodities: Safaricom and commercial nationalism in Kenya. Global Media and Communication, 31(1), 21–39. doi: 10.1177/1742766517694471
  • Tully, M., & Vraga, E. K. (2017). Effectiveness of a news media literacy advertisement in partisan versus nonpartisan online media contexts. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61(1), 144­–162. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2016.1273923
  • Young, R., Tully, M., & Ramirez, M. (2016). School administrator perceptions of cyberbullying facilitators and barriers to preventative action: A qualitative study. Health Education & Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1090198116673814
  • Tully, M., & Tuwei, D. (2016). We are one Kenya: Representations of the nation, leadership, and de-ethnicized identity on reality TV. Media, Culture & Society, 38(8), 1119–1135. doi: 10.1177/0163443716635868
  • Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2016). Effective messaging to communicate news media literacy concepts to diverse publics. Communication and the Public, 1(3), 305­–322. doi: 10.1177/2057047316670409
  • Dalrymple, K. E., Young, R., & Tully, M. (2016). “Facts, not fear”: Negotiating uncertainty on social media during the 2014 Ebola crisis. Science Communication, 38(4), 442–467. doi: 10.1177/1075547016655546
  • Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2016). Effectiveness of a non-classroom news media literacy intervention among different undergraduate populations. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 71(4), 440–452. doi: 10.1177/1077695815623399
  • Vraga, E. K., Tully, M., Kotcher, J. E., Smithson, A. B., & Broeckelman-Post, M. (2015). A multi-dimensional approach to measuring news media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 7(3), 41–53.
  • Tully, M. (2015). Investigating the role of innovation attributes in the adoption, rejection, and discontinued use of open source software for development. Information Technologies & International Development, 11(3), 55–69.
  • Tully, M. (2015). The local and the global in ICTD initiatives: Analyzing implementers and audiences, a case study of Voice of Kibera. In G. R. Halegoua & B. Aslinger (Eds.), Locating emerging media (pp. 65–79). New York: Routledge.
  • 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), 938–965 doi: 10.1177/1077699015596337
  • Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2015). Media literacy messages and hostile media perceptions: Processing of nonpartisan versus partisan political information. Mass Communication and Society, 18(4), 422-448. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2014.1001910
  • 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. doi: 10.1080/17512786.2014.963376
  • 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., & Tully, M. (2014). Makmende amerudi: Kenya’s collective reimagining as a meme of aspiration. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 31(4), 283­-298. doi: 10.1080/15295036.2013.858823
  • Tully, M. (2014). Conflict resolution and reconciliation through recognition: Assessing an integrated peace media strategy in Kenya. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 42(1), 41-59. doi: 10.1080/00909882.2013.861604
  • Tully, M. & Ekdale, B. (2014). The Team online: Entertainment-education, social media, and cocreated messages. Television & New Media, 15(2), 139-156. doi: 10.1177/1527476412455952
  • Tully, M. (2013). Microblogging and crises: Information needs and online narratives during two “bombing” events in Nairobi, Kenya. In J. E. Hayes, K. Battles, & W. Hilton-Morrow (Eds.), War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis (pp. 237-256). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Vraga, E. K., Tully, M., Akin, H. & Rojas, H. (2012). Modifying perceptions of hostility and credibility of news coverage of an environmental controversy through media literacy. Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, 13(7), 942­-959. doi: 10.1177/1464884912455906
  • Tully, M. (2011). Ushahidi and the Kenyan blogosphere: Alternative online media in the 2007 post-election crisis in Kenya. In B. A. Musa & J. K. Domatob (Eds.), Communication, culture, and human rights in Africa (pp. 153-171). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  • Tully, M. (2010). All’s well in the colony: Newspaper coverage of the Mau Mau Movement, 1952–1956. In T. Falola & H. Ter Haar (Eds.), Narrating war and peace in Africa (pp. 56-75). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.
  • Vraga, E. K., Tully, M. & Rojas, H. (2009). Media literacy training reduces perception of bias. Newspaper Research Journal, 30(4), 68-81.
  • 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.



PI, “Examining the Effectiveness of Embedding News Media Literacy Messages in a News Aggregator,” Major Project Grant, Internal Funding Initiative, The University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED), 2016­–2017

Co-PI, “Parenting for Safe and Civil Online Behavior: Strategies and Barriers,” R49 CE002108-05, NCICP/CDC, The University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC), 2016–2017

Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Interdisciplinary Research Grant, 2015