Assistant Professor



Professor Wolfgang teaches Communication Law and Media in Society. His research focuses public discourse and media sociology. In particular, he studies the relationship between journalists and online commenters. Wolfgang is also interested in journalism role conceptions, representations of minority groups in media, political communication, and new media. He uses textual analysis, ethnography, interviews, and survey methods for his research. His research has appeared in publications such as Journalism, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Digital Journalism, and the Journal of Public Deliberation.

Wolfgang holds three degrees from the University of Missouri (Ph.D., Journalism, 2016; J.D., 2012; M.A., Journalism, 2011) and received his BA from the University of South Dakota in 2008.


Wolfgang, J.D. (In Press). Taming the “trolls”: How journalists negotiate the boundaries of journalism and online comments. Journalism.

Wolfgang, J.D. (In Press). How Commenters Use Online Forums as Spaces for Journalism’s Boundary Work. Newspaper Research Journal.

Vos, T.P., & Wolfgang, J.D. (In Press). Journalists’ Normative Constructions of Political Viewpoint Diversity. Journalism Studies.

Jenkins, J., & Wolfgang, J.D. (In Press). The Naked Truth: An analysis of postfeminism in media discourse in response to the Kardashians’ nude magazine images. In C. Madere (Ed.) Star Power: The Media Effects of America’s Celebrity Culture.

Wolfgang, J.D., & Jenkins, J. (In Press). Crafting a Community: Staff members’ conceptions of audience at a city magazine. Community Journalism.

Houston, J.B., McKinney, M., Thorson, E., Hawthorne, J., Wolfgang, J.D., & Swasy, A. (In Press). The Twitterization of Journalism: User Perceptions of News Tweets. Journalism.

Wolfgang, J.D. (2018). Cleaning up the “Fetid Swamp”: Examining how journalists construct policies and practices for moderating comments. Digital Journalism.

Jenkins, J. & Wolfgang, J.D. (2018). A Space for Women: Online Commenting Forums as Indicators of Civility and Feminist Community-Building. In J. Vickery & T. Everbach (Eds.) Mediating Misogyny: Gender, Technology, and Harassment. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jenkins, J., & Wolfgang, J.D. (2018). Feminized Faith: The intersectionality of religion and gender in “Orange is the New Black.” In K. Foss (Ed.) Demystifying the Big House: Exploring Prison Experience and Media Representations. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Press.

Thomas, R.J., Kelling, K., Wolfgang, J.D., & Greenwood, K. (2018). Discourses of Compassion British Newspapers and the Alan Kurdi Image. In R. Thomas & M.G. Antony (Eds.) Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Child Migrants: Seen but Not Heard. Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Jenkins, J., & Wolfgang, J.D. (2017). A Place to Protest: Assessing alternative newsweeklies’ ideal roles and creation of alternative publics. Journalism Practice, 4(6), 960-979.

Wolfgang, J.D. (2016). Pursuing the Ideal: How news website commenting policies structure public discourse. Digital Journalism 4(6), 764-783.

Ferrucci, P., Tandoc, E., Painter, C., & Wolfgang, J.D. (2016). Foul Ball: Audience-held stereotypes of baseball players. The Howard Journal of Communications 27(1), 68-84.

Craft, S., Vos, T.P., & Wolfgang, J.D. (2016). Reader Comments as Press Criticism: Implications for the journalistic field. Journalism: Theory, Practice, & Criticism 17(6), 677-693.

Wolfgang, J.D. (2015). Opening the Marketplace: A case for the protection of anonymous online comments. In B. Vanacker & D. Heider (Eds.) Ethics for a Digital Age. New York: Peter Lang.

Wolfgang, J.D., & Jenkins, J. (2015). Diverse Discourse: Analyzing the potential of public affairs magazine online forums to reflect qualities of the public sphere. Journal of Public Deliberation, 11(1), Article 5, 1-26.