Michael Beam

Michael Beam

School of Communication Studies
Associate Professor
Office Location:
161 Taylor Hall
Contact Information
(330) 672-0183


Michael Beam, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the School of Communication Studies and the School of Digital Sciences 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; Communication Monographs; Public Opinion Quarterly; Information, Communication & Society; 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

Hmielowski, J. D., Kelvin, W., Hutchens, M. J., Silva, D. E., Beam, M. A., Donaway, R., & York, C. (Accepted). Communication Behaviors During Presidential Elections: An Examination of Time, Events, and Battleground States. Public Opinion Quarterly.

York, C., Ponder, J. D., Humphries, Z., Goodall, C., Beam, M. A., & Winters, C. (Accepted). Effects of Fact-Checking Political Misinformation on Epistemic Political Efficacy. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

Hutchens, M. J., Hmielowski, J. D. & Beam, M. A., (2019). Reinforcing Spirals of Political Discussion and Affective Polarization. Communication Monographs, 86, 357-376. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2019.1575255

Silva, D. E., Hutchens, M. J., Donaway, R. & Beam, M. A., (2018). 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, 21, 742-762. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2018.1497660

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

Beam, M. A., Haridakis, P. M., Hutchens, M. J., & Hmielowski, J. (2017). Social Media, News Platforms, and Partisan Exposure: Voters’ Media Preferences During the 2016 Presidential Campaign Season. In D. Schill & J. Hendricks & (Eds.), The Presidency and Social Media: Discourse, Disruption, and Digital Democracy in the 2016 Presidential Election  (pp. 37-55). New York: Routledge. [ISBN: 9781138081536 / 9781138081543]

Wang, M. Y., Hmielowski, J. D., Hutchens, M. J., & Beam, M. A. (2017). Extending the Spiral of Silence: Partisan Media, Perceived Support, and Sharing Opinions Online. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 14, 248-262. doi: 10.1080/19331681.2017.1338980

Jain, P., Hoffman, E., Beam, M. & Xu, S. (2017). Effect of Message Format and Content on Attitude Accessibility Regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections. Health Communication, 32, 1376-1384. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1222561

Hmielowski, J. D., Beam, M. A., & Hutchens, M. J.  (2017). Bridging the Partisan Divide? Exploring Ambivalence and Information Seeking Over Time in the 2012 US Presidential Election. Mass Communication & Society, 20, 336-357. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2017.1278775

Beam, M. A. Hutchens, M. J., & Hmielowski, J. D. (2016). Clicking vs. Sharing:  The Relationship between Online News Behaviors and Political Knowledge. Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 215-220. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.02.013

Hutchens, M. J., Hmielowski, J. D., Pinkleton, B. E., & Beam, M. A. (2016). A Spiral of Skepticism? The Relationship between Citizens’ Involvement with Campaign Information to their Skepticism and Political Knowledge. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 93, 1073-1090. doi: 10.1177/1077699016654439

Hmielowski, J. D., Beam, M. A., & Hutchens, M. J.  (2016). Structural Changes in Media and Attitude Polarization: Examining the Contributions of TV News Before and After the Telecommunications Act of 1996. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 28(2), 153-172. doi: 10.1093/ijpor/edv012

Hutchens, M. J., Hmielowski, J. D., & Beam, M. A. (2015). Rush, Rachel and Rx: Modeling Partisan Media’s Influence on Structural Knowledge of Healthcare Policy. Mass Communication & Society, 18(2), 123-143. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2014.902968.

Beam, M. A. (2014). Automating the News: How Personalized News Recommender System Design Choices Impact News Reception. Communication Research, 41(8), 1019-1041. doi: 10.1177/0093650213497979.

Hindman, D. B. & Beam, M. A. (2014). A Rural Drought in a National Flood: Washington State Residents’ Assessments of Local News. Community Journalism, 3(1), 23-45. http://journal.community-journalism.com/a-rural-drought-in-a-national-flood-washington-state-residents-assessments-of-local-news/

Beam, M. A. & Kosicki, G. M. (2014).  Personalized News Portals: Filtering Systems and Increased News Exposure. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 91(1), 59-77. doi: 10.1177/1077699013514411.

Dylko, I. B., Beam, M. A., Landreville, K. D., Geidner, N. G. (2012). Filtering 2008 Presidential Election News on YouTube by Elites and Nonelites: An Examination of the Democratizing Potential of the Internet. New Media and Society, 14(5), 832-849. doi: 10.1177/1461444811428899.

LaMarre, H. L., Landreville, K. D., & Beam, M. A.. (2009). The Irony of Satire: Political Ideology and the Motivation to See What You Want to See in “The Colbert Report.” The International Journal of Press and Politics, 14(2), 212-231. doi:  10.1177/1940161208330904.

Roberto, A. J., Krieger, J. L., & Beam, M. A. (2009). Enhancing Web-Based Prevention Messages for Hispanics using Targeting and Tailoring. Journal of Health Communication, 14(6), 525-540. doi:  10.1080/10810730903089606.



B.S., Ohio University , M.A., The Ohio State University , Ph.D., The Ohio State University


Online News, Personalization, Partisan News & Political Polarization, Tailored Health Communication


Journal Editorial Board Member: Communication Research