Dr TJ Thomson is a senior lecturer at RMIT and an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow. His research is united by its focus on visual communication.
A majority of T.J.'s research centres on the visual aspects of news and journalism and on the concerns and processes relevant to those who make, edit, and present visual news. He has broader interests in digital media, journalism studies, and visual culture and often focuses on under-represented identities, attributes, and environments in his research. 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. has obtained more than $1.32 million in external research funding from a number of organisations, including the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Australian Research Council, the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist, the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, and the International Visual Literacy Association. He has also been awarded research fellowships in China and Germany.
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. has taught theory and skills classes across communication and journalism disciplines to both undergraduate and graduate students. These classes include Principles of Journalism, Mobile Multimedia Reporting, Visual Editing, Visual Journalism, Introduction to Communication, and Multimedia Design. He has taught in the U.S.A., Australia, and India, and has guest lectured at the University of Florida, the University of Kansas, Rutgers University, Western Sydney University, the University of Melbourne, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Queensland.
He has won international awards for his teaching, including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s 2021 Visual Communication Teaching Excellence award and the 2022 Linda Shockley Award for Excellence in Teaching.
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 acting as one of its associate editors (from 2017—present), serving on the editorial board of Communication Research and Practice, and serving as an officer in a number of national and international journalism and communication associations, including the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia, the National Communication Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the International Communication Association.
Awards and honours
T.J.'s peers have recognised his research and disciplinary contributions with a number of awards and honours, including the Communication and Ageing Outstanding Journal Article Award from the National Communication Association; the James Edwards Article of the Year Award from the National Communication Association; the Diane S. Hope Book of the Year Award from the National Communication Association; the Anne Dunn Scholar of the Year Award, jointly bestowed by the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association and the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia; the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from Chadron State College; the Mizzou Recent Alumni Honoree Award from the University of Missouri; and top paper awards from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the International Communication Association.
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. In 2023, the Australian Academy of the Humanities awarded him the Max Crawford Medal, the country's most prestigious award for achievement and promise in the humanities.
- PhD, University of Missouri
- MA, University of Missouri
- GradCert (Qualitative Research), University of Missouri
- BA, Communication Arts, Chadron State College
- Thomas, R.,Thomson, T. (2023). What Does a Journalist Look like? Visualizing Journalistic Roles through AI In: Digital Journalism, , 1 - 24
- Thomson, T.,Phan, A.,Holland-Batt, S.,Seevinck, J.,Miller, E.,Regi, S. (2023). Who or What Gets Referenced by Whom, How Often, and in Which Ways? Exploring Journalists’ Sourcing Practices in the Context of Aged Care Coverage In: Journalism Practice, , 1 - 21
- Thomson, T.,Angus, D.,Dootson, P.,Hurcombe, E.,Smith, A. (2022). Visual Mis/disinformation in Journalism and Public Communications: Current Verification Practices, Challenges, and Future Opportunities In: Journalism Practice, 16, 938 - 962
- Rossiter, E.,Thomson, T.,Fitzgerald, R. (2022). Supporting university students’ learning across time and space: a from-scratch, personalised and mobile-friendly approach In: Interactive Technology and Smart Education, , 1 - 23
- Thomson, T.,Johnstone, S.,Seevinck, J.,Miller, E.,Holland-Batt, S. (2022). It’s not enough to be seen: exploring how journalists show aged care in Australia from 2018-2021 In: Communication Research and Practice, 8, 261 - 277
- Thomson, T.,Miller, E.,Holland-Batt, S.,Seevinck, J.,Regi, S. (2022). In press - Visibility and invisibility in the aged care sector: Visual representation in Australian news from 2018–2021 In: Media International Australia, , 1 - 19
- Thomson, T.,McLaughlin, J.,King-Smith, L.,Bell, A.,Tsimpikas, M. (2022). Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in university journalism education: Exploring experiences, challenges and opportunities In: Australian Journalism Review, 44, 39 - 60
- Thomson, T.,Sternberg, J. (2022). Journalism Employability in the Modern Newsroom: Insights From Applicant Resumes and Cover Letters In: Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, 77, 157 - 176
- Thomson, T. (2021). Exploring the Life Cycle of Smartphone Images from Camera Rolls to Social Media Platforms In: Visual Communication Quarterly, 28, 19 - 33
- Thomson, T. (2021). Mapping the emotional labor and work of visual journalism In: Journalism, 22, 956 - 973
- Addressing the Crisis of Local Visual News in regional and Remote Australia. Funded by: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2023 from (2023 to 2026)