Current committee, as of May 2020

Chair: Jelle Mast (2019-21)

Jelle Mast holds a PhD in Communication Sciences (University of Antwerp) and currently works as an assistant professor of journalism studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. He coordinates the Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies (BIJU) and teaches introductory courses to Journalism Studies, Documentary Studies, and Media Structures. His research is typically located at the intersection of visual communication, journalism practice, and professional ethics. Current research interests include visual gatekeeping and the incorporation of user-generated imagery by mainstream news media; editorial deliberations regarding the use of graphic news images across different types of news media; forms of metajournalistic discourse; and genre hybridization in screen documentary.

Vice-Chair: Mary A. Bock (2019-21)


Mary Angela Bock is a former journalist turned academic with an interest in the sociology of photographic practice, the rhetorical relationship between words and images, and digital media. Her previous career was spent primarily in local television news, first as a TV reporter for KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa; then as an assignment editor and field producer in Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV. She has also worked short stints as a newspaper reporter, a radio journalist, and public relations writer.

Secretary: Kyser Lough (2020-22)

Email: KyserL(at)

Kyser Lough is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Georgia and a freelance photographer. His visual communication research investigates how news images are made, selected and interpreted, as well as the photographers themselves in how they define and operate within their field as they fight for legitimacy and job security. His solutions journalism work investigates how it is conceptualized/created, audience effects and the interplay of words and images. In 2019, he completed his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism with a dissertation focusing on the field of concert photography. He’s worked as a photographer since 2002, mainly in sports and music photojournalism.

International Liaison: T.J. Thomson (2019-22)


Dr T.J. Thomson, SFHEA, is a senior lecturer in visual communication and media and a chief investigator at the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. He recently published “To See and Be Seen: The Environments, Interactions, and Identities Behind News Images” (winner of the NCA’s Diane S. Hope Book of the Year Award). T.J.’s research focuses on how visual journalism is produced—by whom, in what environments, through which processes, and with what results. He also examines visual self-representation on social media and everyday image making. His approach is based on a combination of ethnography (both physical and virtual), interviews, textual analysis, and digital media methods. He sits on the editorial board of the journal Visual Communication Quarterly and has, since 2017, also served as its associate editor. He is the 2019 Anne Dunn Scholar of the Year (jointly bestowed by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia and the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association) and is on the advisory board of the Society for Phenomenology and Media.

Student and Early Career Representative: Hannah E. Morris (2020-22)


Hanna E. Morris is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication with a research focus in environmental communication. Morris is an interdisciplinary scholar committed to deciphering the historical roots of contemporary climate discourse and images and determining how these representations shape responses to the threats of climate change. Morris is motivated by questions of power, representation, and environmental justice. 

For previous committee members, see the list of past officers of the Visual Communication Studies division

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