About Us

The Center for Media Engagement envisions a vibrant American media ecosystem that more effectively empowers the public to understand, appreciate, and participate in the democratic exchange of ideas.

We are a first-of-its-kind center that conducts original, groundbreaking research alongside newsrooms, social media platforms, and organizations looking to influence media practices for the benefit of democracy. We translate our theoretically driven and methodologically rigorous research into tools and strategies that these same stakeholders and collaborators can employ for the greater good.

The Center for Media Engagement is part of the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin and consists of faculty, staff, post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate researchers from The University of Texas and partner faculty from other universities across the country and around the world. The Center for Media Engagement was officially founded in 2017 and existed since 2011 as the Engaging News Project at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. 

In a new approach to tackling societal divides, the Center for Media Engagement launched the method of connective democracy. Connective democracy unites newsrooms, scholars, platforms, and policymakers in a methodical approach toward bridging gaps in our society. The center will spend the next several years working on a vision to promote connective democracy.

The center is grateful for funding from a variety of organizations. This funding allows us to conduct research that helps improve the media ecosystem for the benefit of democracy. Please see faculty member bios for specific funding information.


All media inquiries can be sent to: