Michael Beam, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University. His research investigates the impact of media systems on the process of information creation, exposure, and processing. His research has focused on the impact of information systems using personalized algorithms on news exposure and health communication, the influence of partisan media sources on political polarization and political information processing, and how new media systems change information distribution patterns. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Communication Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, New Media & Society, and the Journal of Health Communication.
Michael teaches courses in new communication technologies, media effects, and quantitative research methods.
His interest in communication research stems from his experience working in media and information technology. Before entering academia, he spent over a decade working as a computer system administrator and network technologist. He also has worked in community radio for over 15 years and produces a weekly radio show and podcast, The Beat Oracle. More information is available on his website.
Scholarly, Creative and Professional Activities
Silva, D. E., Hutchens, M. J., Donaway, R. & Beam, M. A. (Accepted). 300 Million Clicks and Political Engagement via Facebook in the 2016 American Presidential Election: How Online Activity Changes Across Time and Sources. Mass Communication & Society.
Beam, M. A., Child, J. T., Hutchens, M. J., & Hmielowski, J. D. (2018). Context Collapse and Privacy Management: Diversity in Facebook Friends Increases Online News Reading and Sharing. New Media & Society, 20, 2296-2314. doi: 10.1177/1461444817714790
Beam, M. A., Hutchens, M. J. & Hmielowski, J. D. (2018). Facebook News and (De)Polarization: Reinforcing Spirals in the 2016 US Election. Information, Communication, & Society, 21, 940-958. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1444783
Beam, M. A., Hmielowski, J. D., & Hutchens, M. J. (2018). Democratic Digital Inequalities: Threat and Opportunity in Online Citizenship from Motivation and Ability. American Behavioral Scientist, 62, 1079-1096. doi: 10.1177/0002764218764253
Yamamoto, M., Hmielowski, J. D., Beam, M. A., & Hutchens, M. J. (2018). Skepticism as a Political Orientation Factor: A Moderated Mediation Model of Online Opinion Expression. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 15, 178-192. doi: 10.1080/19331681.2018.1460287
Hmielowski, J. D., Kim, S., Hutchens, M. J., & Beam, M. A. (2018). Engaged or Disengaged? Examining the Relationship between Ambivalence and Indicators of Political Engagement. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 26, 32-45. doi: 10.1080/15456870.2018.1398164