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Dr T.J. Thomson


  • Bio/Profile
  • Dr T.J. Thomson, SFHEA, is a senior lecturer in visual communication and media and a chief investigator at the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. He recently published To See and Be Seen: The Environments, Interactions, and Identities Behind News Images (winner of the NCA 2020 Diane S. Hope Book of the Year Award) and is the 2019 Anne Dunn Scholar of the Year (jointly bestowed by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia and the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association). T.J. is a chief investigator on the Australian Research Council-funded Amplifying Voices from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Discovery Project ($310,672, 2020-23) and has also received research funding from the Australian Academy of the Humanities. T.J. undertakes research, postgraduate supervision, and media commentary in the following areas:
    • visual communication
    • visual journalism
    • media production
    • visual culture
    • journalism studies
    T.J.’s research focuses on how visual journalism is produced—by whom, in what environments, through which processes, and with what results. He also examines visual self-representation on social media and everyday image-making. His approach is based on a combination of ethnography (both physical and virtual), interviews, textual analysis, and digital media methods. T.J. is committed to not only studying visual communication phenomena but also working to increase the visibility, innovation, and quality of how research findings are presented, accessed, and understood.

    T.J. is actively involved nationally and internationally in a number of Associations and initiatives that contribute to the interdisciplinary visual communication field. These include serving on the editorial board of the journal Visual Communication Quarterly and serving as one of its associate editors (from 2017—present); holding life member in the International Communication Association and the International Visual Literacy Association; and holding membership in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's and the National Communication Association's Visual Communication Divisions.

    In 2022, T.J.'s peers elected him to the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his significant contributions to the academy, the professions and/or society as a whole.