LSU journalism dean meets at freewheeling forum to discuss future of Reveille _lowres

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Jerry Ceppos, dean of the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications, left, and LSU Professor Martin Johnson prepare for a forum in 2015.

LSU promoted one of its own to be the new dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication.

Often quoted as a social media expert, Martin Johnson is the associate dean for graduate studies and political communication at the journalism school. He takes over as dean on July 1 from Jerry Ceppos, who is retiring.

The university held a nationwide search with four candidates, including Johnson, appearing in March for interviews and forums with students and faculty.

“Dr. Johnson’s scholarly work coupled with his passion to advance mass communication education made him the ideal candidate at this critical junction for the Manship School,” Rick Koubek, executive vice president and provost, said in a prepared statement.

The dean administers the Manship School, including academics, strategic planning, research and fiscal management. The school currently has a total of 34 full-time faculty and 21 full-time staff positions, along with approximately 500 undergraduate majors and 60 Masters and Ph.D. students.

“We prepare students for jobs in strategic communication occupations that are growing faster than the overall economy and ethical, knowledgeable journalism stands at the breech in our democracy’s fight against fake news,” Johnson said in a press release.

His award-winning 2013 book, “Changing Minds or Changing Channels: Partisan News in an Age of Choice,” investigates how the choices viewers make shape the influence of partisan news.

Johnson received a bachelor’s degree from LSU, where he was editor of The Daily Reveille and an announcer on KLSU. He received his doctorate at Rice University in Houston.

Before joining the faculty at LSU, he served as department chair and professor of political science at University of California, Riverside.

Follow Mark Ballard on Twitter, @MarkBallardCnb.