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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Andrea Tanner, Ph.D.

Interim Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Interim Associate Director of Graduate Studies
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications

Website: USC Science and Health Communication:
Phone: 803-777-4979
Fax: 803-777-4103

School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 322B
Columbia, SC 29208


Curriculum Vitae



B.A., Broadcast Journalism, University of Georgia
M.A., Mass Communications, University of South Carolina
Ph.D., Mass Communications, University of South Carolina


Dr. Andrea Tanner's primary research expertise is in media communication of health information, specifically focusing on how communication practitioners identify, select, and develop health messages, and how this information contributes to the public’s health beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. Her secondary focus in this area includes how best to train scientists (including doctors and other medical personnel) to communicate with the public. As a former broadcast journalist, she is also interested in research focused on journalism practice and journalism education.

Funded Research

Dr. Tanner is currently the co-principal investigator on a grant funded through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. The overall goal of this interdisciplinary project is to assess the current knowledge, perceptions, and communication sources and needs regarding the Affordable Care Act among adult South Carolinians who are socioeconomically and ethnically representative of the state’s population. Read more »


A former television news reporter, anchor and producer, Dr. Tanner teaches courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications undergraduate program focused on journalism principles, writing and practice. She also teaches in the school's graduate program and the University of South Carolina Honors College. Dr. Tanner also serves on the Advisory and Admissions Board of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Health Communication and actively mentors students from across the university who are interested in science and health communication practice and research.

Recent Publications

Tanner, A., Kim, S-H., Friedman, D.B., Foster, C. & Bergeron, C. (In press). Barriers to Medical Research Participation as Perceived by Clinical Trial Investigators: Communicating with Rural and African American Communities. Journal of Health Communication.

Friedman, D.B., Tanner, A. & Rose, I. (In press). Health Journalists’ Perceptions of T heir Community and Implications for the Delivery of Health Information in the News. Journal of Community Health.

Tanner, A., Forde, Kathy R., Besley, John C. and Weir, Tom. (2012). Broadcast Journalism Education and the Capstone Experience. Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. 67(3), 219-233.

Tanner, A., Thrasher, J. and Blake, C. (2012). Tracking beverage consumption trends in the news: An evaluation of beverage information on network television. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 51, 1-12.

Tanner, A., & Friedman, D.B. (2011). Authorship and information sourcing for health news on local TV news Web sites: An exploratory analysis. Science Communication. 33(1), 3-27.


Dr. Tanner currently serves on the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAP) Communications Committee. NPAP is the national strategic plan for increasing physical activity across the American population.

She is also an active member of The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)’s Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk Division (formerly the Science Communication Interest Group), serving as the group’s chair from 2007-2008.

At the university, Dr. Tanner serves as the school's journalism sequence head and chair of the school's Policies and Procedures Committee.


A native of Savannah, Ga., Dr. Tanner loves to travel and has served as a co-leader and instructor for the school's Multimedia Maymester in Munich. She will embark on her third study abroad experience to Germany in May 2014. She has two school-aged children and loves activities that take her outdoors, including running, hiking and swimming.