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Photo of Meraz, Sharon

Sharon Meraz, PhD

Associate Professor



Building & Room:

1160B BSB


1007 W Harrison Street

Office Phone:

(312) 355-2115


Sharon Meraz’s work resides in the interplay of political communication, networked journalism, and mass media theory. As a scholar centrally interested in political activism and political engagement online, she explores how mass media effect theories take shape and evolve due to the growth of social media technologies that empower political publics. In bringing a social network analytic perspective to the evolving media ecology, she has explored such new theoretical premises as networked gatekeeping, networked framing, network agenda setting, memetics, and virality.

Meraz is also interested in automated content analysis, natural language processing, and social network visualization of big data. Her work has explored political activity in such social applications as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and online political forums during electoral cycles, disaster times, and social movements. Her work has been published in leading journals, such as the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, New Media & Society, Journalism, and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, to name a few. She teaches courses in the department on social network theories and analysis, new and traditional media effect theories, and elective seminars on social media and political communication.

Selected Publications

Meraz, S. (in press). An Expanded Perspective of Network Agenda Setting Between Twitter Political Publics #p2 and #tcot and Traditional Media. In Lei Guo & Maxwell McCombs (Eds.), The Power of Information Networks: The Third Level of Agenda Setting.Routledge. [Expected publication date 2016].

Meraz, S. (2015). Quantifying Partisan Selective Exposure through Network Text Analysis of Elite Political Blog Networks during the US 2012 Presidential Election. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 12(1), 37-53.

Rojecki, A. & Meraz, S. (in press). Rumors and FIBs: The Role of the Web in Speculative Politics. New Media & Society. May 19, 2014, DOI: 10.1177/1461444814535724. Abstract at

Mukherjee, A., Venkataraman, V., Liu, B. & Meraz, S. (2013). Public Dialogue: Analysis of Tolerance in Online Discussions. Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Available at

Meraz, S. & Papacharissi, Z. (2013). Networked Gatekeeping and Networked Framing on #Egypt. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 18(2), 138-166.

Meraz, S. (2013). Media Agenda Setting in a Competitive Environment: Examining the Role of Sources in Setting the Topical Discussant Agenda in the Tea Party Patriots’ Facebook Group. In Tom Johnson, (Ed.), Agenda Setting in a 2.0 World: New Agendas in Communication (New Agendas in Communication Series) (pp. 1-27). New York: Routledge. [Lead Chapter].


PhD, University of Texas, Austin, Journalism