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Reese received his B.A. at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Reese has been a member of the University of Texas at Austin faculty since 1982.
At Texas he has taught a wide range of subjects, from broadcast news to critical thinking for journalists, and served in a number of administrative positions, including graduate advisor and director of the school.
His research focuses on a wide range of issues concerning media effects and press performance. Reese is co-author with Pamela Shoemaker of "Mediating the Message: Theories of Influence on Mass Media Content," now in its second edition and named recently by Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly as one of the "significant journalism and communication books" of the 21st century. His most recent work is an edited volume of research on how public issues are shaped through the media, "Framing Public Life: Perspectives on the Media and How We Understand the Social World" (Erlbaum, 2001).
Reese's professional media work has been in public and commercial radio, beginning in Knoxville, Tenn., and later in Winston-Salem, N.C. and Madison, Wis.
He has been active with the key journalism and communication associations, holding major editorial and administrative positions with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and serving as political communication division head for the International Communication Association. Reese was awarded AEJMC's Krieghbaum Under-40 Award for outstanding achievement in research, teaching and public service. He has lectured at universities in Mexico, Spain, Germany and Finland. Most recently, he was Kurt Baschwitz Visiting Professor at the University of Amsterdam School of Communication Research in The Netherlands.