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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Ran Wei, Ph.D.

Title: Gonzales Brothers Professor of Journalism
Editor-in-Chief, Mass Communication & Society
Department: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications
Phone: 803-777-5762
Fax: 803-777-4103

School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 231
Columbia, SC 29208


Curriculum Vitae



B.A., English Literature and International Journalism, Shanghai International Studies University (China)
M.A., Journalism Studies, University of Wales (U.K.)
Ph.D., Mass Communication, Indiana University


Dr. Ran Wei taught in Hong Kong prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina. His research took him around the world, with a focus on Asian societies. Dr. Wei's research has won numerous awards, including the Best Article of the Year award in 2013 by International Marketing Review. He has written for Beijing News and has spoken frequently at media organizations.


Dr. Wei's interests focus on the processes of mass communication and effects of media messages in various contexts (political, social, promotional, health and risk) that involve a wide range of media channels and devices (traditional and emerging). Research that he has conducted includes media use and political participation, information-processing strategies and news learning effects, third-person effects of election polls and political attack ads, hostile media effect, uses and gratifications of new media, media messages as cultural values, media institutions and journalistic practices in Greater China.

Funded Research

Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, November 2007.

Principal Investigator, RPS (Research and Productive Scholarship) Grant ($4,820) for a project on “Avian Flu, Risk Perceptions and Information- seeking Behavior,” awarded by The Office of Research and Health Sciences, University of South Carolina, 2006.

Co-Investigator, Special Grant for Hurricane Katrina for a project on “Communication Patterns and Knowledge Gap among Evacuees before and after Hurricane Katrina” ($24,980), awarded by the Office of Research and Health Sciences, University of South Carolina, October 2006.

Principal Investigator, National Advocacy Center Special Grant for a project on “Audience Viewing Behavior of the Justice Television Network” ($23,687), awarded by the National Advocacy Center, The U.S. Department of Justice, May 2005.


Dr. Wei's teaching interests include research design and methods (primarily quantitative) and SPSS/AMOS. He also teaches advertising and public relations (principles, research, campaigns, management, and international) and communication technologies, new media and society (theory, research methods, and mobile communication).

Recent Publications

Wei, R., Lo, V., Xu, G., Chen, K., & Zhang, G. (forthcoming). Predicting mobile news use among college students: The role of press freedom in four Asian cities. New Media & Society.

Wei, R. (2014). Texting, tweeting, and talking: Effects of smartphone use on civic discourse engagement in China. Mobile Media & Communication. 2(1), 3-19.

Wei, R., & Lo, V. (2013). Perceived poll bias and inference of biased poll impact in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections: Media performance in the eyes of the beholder. The Open Communication Journal. 7, 1-9.


Former editor-in-chief, Mass Communication & Society

Former president, Chinese Communication Association (CCA)

Former internationalization committee member, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

Former membership committee member, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)