School of Communication

James G. Webster

Department of Communication Studies

James G. Webster

Professor, Media Technology & Society
Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive, Room 1-131
Evanston, IL 60208-2952
Graduate Programs: Media, Technology & Society, Communication Studies

James Webster’s research interests include audience measurement, the behavior of media audiences, and media industries. He has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media since 1985.

Personal website


PhD Mass Communication, Indiana University
MA Telecommunications, Indiana University
BA Psychology, Trinity College, Hartford

Recent Publications

Webster, J. G. (in press). The role of structure in media choice. In T. Hartmann (Ed.) Media Choice: A theoretical and empirical overview .New York & London: Routledge.

Ksiazek, T. B. & Webster, J. G. (2008). Cultural proximity and audience behavior: The role of language in patterns of polarization and multicultural fluency.  Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 52(3), 485-503.

Webster, J. G. (2008). Structuring a marketplace of attention. In J. Turow & L. Tsui (Eds.). The hyperlinked society: Questioning connections in the digital age. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 23-38.

Webster, J. G. (2008). Developments in audience measurement and research. In B. Calder (Ed.) Kellogg on advertising and media.  New York: Wiley, 123-138.

Webster, J. (2006). Diversity of exposure. In Napoli, P. (Ed.), Media diversity and localism: Meaning and metrics. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Webster, J. (2006). Audience Flow Past and Present: Television Inheritance Effects Reconsidered. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 50(2), 323-337.

Webster, J., Phalen, P. & Lichty, L. (2006). Ratings analysis: The theory and practice of audience research (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Second edition also published in Chinese in the TV Industry Management Series by Huaxia Publishing (Beijing), 2004.

Yuan, E. &, Webster, J. G. (2006). Channel Repertoires: Using Peoplemeter Data in Beijing. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 50(3), 524-536.

Webster, J. G. (2005). Beneath the veneer of fragmentation: Television audience polarization in a multi-channel world. Journal of Communication. 55(2), 366-382. Reprinted in G. Doyle (Ed.). (2007). Economics of the mass media. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.


CS 355-0 Audience Analysis
CS 455-0 Current Issues in Audience Studies
MTS 501 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Media, Technology and Society