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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Tara Marie Mortensen, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications
Website: Student Design Work
Phone: 803-777-3762

School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 123
Columbia, SC 29208


Curriculum Vitae



B.S., Mass Communication, Black Hills State University
M.S., Journalism, South Dakota State University 
Ph.D., Journalism, University of Oklahoma


Dr.  Tara Mortensen studies visual communication, media sociology, de-professionalization of visual journalism, amateur photography and user-generated (visual) content.


Dr. Mortensen teaches creativity, visual research, conceptualization, the Adobe Suite programs and interactive/animation programs, including Flash and Edge. She is a typography enthusiast.  The courses she teaches are Introduction to Visual Communication, Graphics for Visual Communication and Infographics for the Mass Media.

Recent Publications

Mortensen, T. (2014). (in press). Blurry & centered or clear & balanced? Citizen photojournalists and professional photojournalists’ understanding of each others’ visual values.  Journalism Practice

Mortensen, T. (2014). Comparing the ethics of citizen and professional photojournalists.  The Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 29(1), 19-37.

Buehner Mortensen, T., & Keshelashvili, A. (2013). If everyone with a camera can do this, then what? Professional photojournalists’ sense of professional threat in the face of citizen photography. Visual Communication Quarterly, 20(3), 144-158.