Shahira Fahmy is an internationally renowned scholar in the field of peace journalism and visual communications, author and co-author of three books, and about 200 refereed articles, book chapters, monographs, special issues, encyclopedia entries and conference presentations, nationally and internationally. Her research has appeared in all the top-ranked journals in the field. Her book titled Visual Communication Theory and Research: A Mass Communication Perspective received the Research Excellence Award in 2014 by the National Communication Association for the most outstanding book in visual communication.
Her research is global, and focuses on visual reporting, specializing on issues that intersect these domains in the context of wars and terrorism in the Middle East. Her research on international reporting examines media performance from the perspective of peace versus war journalism. She is also an expert on the visual reporting process and visual framing of news photographs and broadcast material in times of crisis.
In 2008, she joined the University of Arizon, and was the first and only female Arab-American tenured journalism faculty member at a research university in the United States. She also holds courtesy appointments at UA with the School of Government and Public Policy, the Department of Communication and the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and she works closely with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She is an affiliated member of the Institute of the Environment and the inter-disciplinary research UA faculty community associated with the National Institute for Civil Discourse.
In summer 2017, Fahmy joined AUC during her one-year academic sabbatical. In September, she will start teaching courses in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo.
Her recent international engagements include visiting lecturer at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty Kazakhstan, participant in the inaugural Media Development Seminar in Jerusalem and the West Bank by the Palestinian American Research Center, keynote speaker at an international symposium hosted by the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, University of Hamburg, Germany, and speaker at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s symposium on Alternate Narratives of the Middle East. She was a Fulbright
Fahmy is a pecialist and consultant to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, authoring a strategic communications strategy and providing advice on publishing research/policy journals. She was an op-ed contributor to Al-Ahram Online, and is editor for the next Mass Communication and Society special issue: Media, Terrorism and Society. She spent most of Fall 2015 as a research fellow at the NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence in Riga, Latvia, sponsored by the State Department and the Fulbright Specialist Program, where she analyzed the online visual communications used by DAESH (Islamic State group) to help NATO countries better understand their propaganda machine and block the radical Takfeery threat. This groundbreaking work has garnered positive attention on a global scale, within and outside the academic community.
Fahmy spent five years working in the news and broadcast industries in Egypt and Italy and one year photographing a tribe in the Sinai desert before pursuing her doctoral studies. She received her PhD in 2003 from the Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri at Columbia, her MA in 2000 and her BA in 1991 from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. She is fluent in Arabic, Italian, French and English, and holds U.S., Egyptian and Italian citizenship.
- PhD School of Journalism, University of Missouri at Columbia, 2003. Major fields: Journalism: International/Visual.
- MA Department of Journalism And Mass Communication, The American University in Cairo, Egypt, 2000. Major fields: Journalism, Film, Cross-Cultural Communication.
- Scuola Superiore di Fotografia, Rome, Italy, 1993-1994.
- BA Department of Journalism And Mass Communication, The American University in Cairo, Egypt, 1991.
July 2017 – June 2018. Visiting Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP), The American University in Cairo.
August 2015 – Present.
 Tenured full professor, School of Journalism, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona.
 Courtesy Appointments with the School of Government and Public Policy, Middle Eastern and North African Studies; Department of Communications. Affiliated memberships with the Institute of the Environment; the Center of Middle Eastern Studies Institute; National Institute for Civil Discourse
August 2008 – May 2015. Tenured associate professor, School of Journalism, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona.
April 2015 – January 2016. Consultant, head of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Journal Publications.
October 2016– Present. Special Issue editor, Media, Terrorism and Society affiliated with AEJMC: Mass Communication and Society (MC&S).
August 2011– September 2016. Associate editor for the highest impact journal affiliated with AEJMC: Mass Communication and Society (MC&S).
February 2016 – April 2016. Columnist and opinion writer for Ahram Online in the Middle East.
Honors and Awards (42) – Selected
Invited visiting lecturer: Writing & Publishing in High-Impact Factor Journals. Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2016.
Invited speaker at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Alternate Narratives of the Middle East, New York, 2015.
Awarded 2nd Fulbright Specialist Grant in 12 months. The award funded a fellowship on ISIS’s visual communication at NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence, Riga, Latvia, 2015.
Recipient of a research excellence award for the most outstanding book in visual communication at the National Communication Association (NCA), 2014.
Invited speaker on international crises and conflict reporting. Universität der Bundeswehr in Munich, Germany, 2014.
Awarded Fulbright Specialist Grant: The U.S. Mission to the African Union for the Specialist Project with the UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2014.
Selected to participate in an inaugural Media Development Seminar in Jerusalem and the West Bank, The Palestinian American Research Center (PARC), 2014.
Keynote speaker: Visual Framing in Press Photography: Prominent Trends & Methodological Challenges. The University of Hamburg, Germany, 2013.
Two Top Faculty Paper Awards co-authored with MA Journalism/MENAS student: The Ecquid Novi African Journalism Studies Award and Top Faculty Paper Award (First Place) for the Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition at AEJMC annual convention. Paper: “High Drama on the High Seas: Peace versus War Journalism Framing of the Mavi Marmara Incident,” 2012.
Article featured under ‘Key Research Articles’ on the main site of Psychology Progress series, Paper: “Shooting war or peace photographs? An examination of newswires’ coverage of the conflict in Gaza (2008-2009),” 2012.
Top Faculty Paper Award for the Religion and Media Interest Group at AEJMC annual convention: Paper “Second Level Agenda Setting Effect of News Coverage of Islam In American Newspapers,” 2011.
Top Faculty Paper Award for the Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition at AEJMC annual convention. Paper: “Analyzing the spell of war: A war/peace framing analysis of the 2009 visual coverage of the Sri Lankan civil war in newswires,” 2009.
Refereed Publications (73) - Selected
Fahmy, S. (Forthcoming 2017). (Ed). Media, Terrorism and Society. Mass Communication and Society. Special Issue. Philadelphia, Routeledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Fahmy, S. & Alkazemi, M. (2016) Visuality/Visualization. In P. Roessler, International
Encyclopedia of Media Effects. (pp. 1-15.) Wiley-ICA International Encyclopedias of Communication series. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
Fahmy, S. el al. (2016). DAESH information campaign and its influence. NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence, Riga, Latvia.
Neumann, R. & Fahmy, S. (2016). Measuring journalistic peace/war performance: An Exploratory Study of Crisis Reporters’ Attitudes and Perceptions. International Communication Gazette.
Fahmy, S. & Neumann, R. (2015). Internet wags the world: Understanding web credibility in the context of citizen/professional journalism, Twitter/blog, and Iran’s Green Revolution. International Communication Research Journal, 50(1), 23-46.
Relly, J., Zanger, M. & Fahmy, S. (2015). News media landscape in a fragile state: Professional ethics perceptions in a post-Ba’athist Iraq. Mass Communication and Society 18(4), 471-497.
Fahmy, S., Bock, M. & Wanta, W. (2014) Visual Communication Theory and Research: A Mass Communication Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
Recipient of a research excellence award for the most outstanding book in visual communication at the National Communication Association (NCA), Chicago, IL 2014.
Fahmy, S. & Eakin, B. (2014). High Drama On The High Seas: Peace versus war journalism framing of an Israeli/Palestinian related incident. International Communication Gazette, 76 (1), 81-105.
Bowe, B. J., Fahmy, S. & Wanta, W. (2013). Missing Religion: The second level agenda setting effect of news coverage of Islam in American newspapers. International Communication Gazette, 75 (7), 636-652.
Ali, S. & Fahmy, S. (2013). Gatekeeping & citizen journalism: The use of social media during the recent uprisings in Iran, Egypt, and Libya. Media, War & Conflict 6(1), 55-69.
Fahmy, S. (2012). Filling out the frame: Transnational visual coverage and news practitioners' attitudes towards the reporting of war and terrorism. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.
Fahmy, S., Wanta, W. & Nisbet, E. (2012). Mediated public diplomacy: Satellite TV news in the Arab World and perception effects. International Communication Gazette, 74(8), 728-49.
Fahmy, S. & Neumann, R. (2012). Shooting war or peace photographs? An examination of news wires’ coverage of the conflict in Gaza (2008-2009). The American Behavioral Scientist 56(2), 1-26.
Fahmy, S. & Johnson, T. (2012). Invasion vs. occupation: A trend analysis of how embeds assess influences & performance in covering the Iraq War. International Communication Gazette, 74(1), 23–42.
McKinley, C. & Fahmy, S. (2011). Passing the ‘Breakfast Test’: Exploring the effects of varying degrees of graphicness of war photography. Visual Communication Quarterly, 18(2), 70-83.
Fahmy, S., Wanta, W., Johnson, T. & Zhang, J. (2011). The path to war: Exploring a second-level agenda building analysis examining the relationship among the media, the public and the president. International Communication Gazette, 73(4), 322–342.Fahmy, S. & Al-Emad, M. (2011). Al-Jazeera versus Al-Jazeera: A comparison of the network's English-and Arabic-online coverage of the U.S./Al Qaeda conflict. International Communication Gazette, 73(3), 216-232.
Fahmy, S. (2010). (Ed). Images of Conflict. Media, War & Conflict. Special Issue. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Johnson, T. & Fahmy, S. (2010). ‘When blood becomes cheaper than a bottle of water’: How viewers of the English version of Al-Jazeera website judge graphic images of conflict. Media, War & Conflict, 3 (1), 43-66.
Fahmy, S. (2010). Contrasting visual frames of our times: A framing-analysis of English- and Arabic-language press coverage of War and terrorism. International Communication Gazette, 72(8), 695-717.
Johnson, T. & Fahmy, S. (2010). When ‘good’ conflicts go bad: Testing a frame-building model on embeds’ attitudes toward government news management in the Iraq War. International Communication Gazette, 72(6), 521-544.
Johnson, T. & Fahmy, S. (2010). Who is winning the hearts and minds of the Arab Public? An examination of how Arab viewers judge the credibility of Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Al-Hurra and local Arab stations. International Communication Research Journal, 45(1-2) 24-48.
Fahmy, S. (2009). How could so much produce so little? Foreign affairs reporting in the wake of 9/11. In Guy Golan, Thomas J. Johnson and Wayne Wanta (Eds.), International media in a global age. (pp. 147-159). Philadelphia: Routledge.
Johnson, T. & Fahmy, S. (2009). Embeds’ perceptions of censorship: Can you criticize a soldier then have breakfast with him the next morning? Mass Communication and Society, 12(1), 52-77.
Fahmy, S. & Kim, D. (2008). Picturing the Iraq War: Constructing the image of war in British and U.S. press. International Communication Gazette, 70(6), 443-462.
Johnson, T. & Fahmy, S. (2008). The CNN of the Arab World or a shill for terrorists? How support for press freedom and political ideology predict credibility of Al-Jazeera among its audience. International Communication Gazette, 70(5), 339-362.
Fahmy, S. & Kim, D. (2008). Picturing the Iraq War: Constructing the image of war in British and U.S. press. International Communication Gazette, 70(6), 443-462.
Fahmy, S. (2008). How Online Journalists Rank Importance of News Skills. Newspaper Research Journal, 29(2), 23-39.
Scholarly Presentations - national and international (90)
Refereed Conference Papers (65), Refereed conference Panels (9), Symposia (11), Invited Presentations and Refereed Panels (5).
Al-Rawi, A. & Fahmy, S. Social Media Use in the Diaspora: The Case of the Syrian
Community in Italy. Paper presented at the 4th Annual International Conference on Social Sciences, Athens, Greece, July 2017.
Fahmy, S. Visual Cultures of Terror: Examining the Visual Communication of Islamic State (IS(IS). Refereed panel – sponsored by the Visual Communication Studies Division – the ICA annual conference. Fukuoka, Japan, June 2016.
Fahmy, S. The Islamic State’s Visual War: Spotting the Hi-tech Narratives Within the Chaos. Paper presented for the International Communication Division at the AEJMC annual convention. Minneapolis, MN, August 2016.
Fahmy, S. Preconference methodological expert: Young Scholars Preconference on Visual Methods. Refereed panel – sponsored by the Visual Studies Division – the ICA annual conference. San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 2015.
Fahmy, S. Alternate Narratives of the Middle East, sponsored by Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. New York City, NY, October 2015.
Fahmy, S. Keynote speaker for a symposium highlighting particular methodological challenges and open methodological questions on visual framing. The Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research, The University of Hamburg, Germany, October 2013.
Fahmy, S. Contrasting narratives of war and terrorism in Arabic– and-English language papers. Sponsored by Dart West (Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma), the University of Washington Center for Global Studies, Seattle, WA, March 2011.
Grants (5) – selected
Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Journalism and Media Program, Ohio University, 2013.
Percent effort: 10%.; Role: External evaluator; Source: U.S. Department of State’s Study of the U.S. Branch in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs.
“Islam in the news: Bridging the worlds of academia and journalism.” The project was with members of the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) and the School of Journalism, 2009. Percent effort: 1%; Role: lecturer on out-of-state conference panels. Source: Social Science Research Council.
Research grant from the School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 2008. The grant was used to conduct a survey through the survey center at Cornell University. The outcome was a mediated public diplomacy article in the leading international journal International Communication Gazette while at the Universty of Arizona; Percent effort: 95%; Role: PI; Source: Private foundation.
Research grant from the University Women’s Professional Advancement Organization, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 2004. The grant was was used to fund research at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. The outcome was a sole-authored lead article in Mass Communication and Society journal; Percent effort: 100%; Role: PI; Source: Private foundation.
Service – selected
Source for the news media on a regular basis; review committee member for the Fulbright Specialist program; Member of 15 editorial boards, evaluated manuscripts for 34 journals and 5 book publishers; acted as chair and discussant for 18 national and international conferences; appointed twice to University of Arizona’s Faculty Senate’s committee on Faculty Membership; University of Arizona Graduate Grievance Council member; founded the Arabian Club (Al Nadi Al Arabi) at the University of Arizona and served as its faculty advisor; participated in panels and/or guest lectured in classes at MENAS and the Department of Communication.
Teaching and Mentoring – selected
Co-authored more than 40 refereed research with graduate students; Chaired numerous MA and PhD students on the national and international levels. Received teaching fellowships from Indiana University funded by the Poynter Institute and the Harlan H. Mendenhall Teaching Award from Southern Illinois University. Participated in workshops at the university, national and international levels; Chaired P&T teaching portfolios committee and developed several new courses at the Journalism School at the University of Arizona.
 Fahmy is the first female Arab-American tenured journalism faculty member at a research university in the United States.
 Since hired at the University of Arizona in 2008, Fahmy has had 50 refereed research publications in addition to numerous honors and awards on the national and international levels.
 Authored numerous reports on publishing research/policy journals for the United Nations.
 Findings of this research garnered positive attention on a global scale, within and outside the academic community, and its outcome has been used by advisors to the U.S. Secretary of State and beyond.