Jian Shi

Jian Shi

Doctoral Advisor: Lars Willnat


B.A. in Journalism, Tianjin Normal University

M.A. in Journalism and Communication, Tianjin Normal University

Areas of Research: Political communication, media effects on political attitudes and civic engagement, partisan media’s impact on attitudes toward minority groups, and partisan ambivalence.


Willnat, L., Tang, S., Shi, J., & Zhan, N. (2022). How Media Use and Personal Schemas Shape Americans’ Perceptions of China’s National Image and the Trade War. In L. Ha & L. Willnat (Eds.) The U.S.-China Trade War: Global News Framing and Public Opinion in the Digital Age. Michigan State University Press.

Shi, J., Mucedola, A., Lin, T., & Green, K. (2021, August). The Politics of Behaving Badly: How Ingroup-Outgroup Conditions Affect Individuals’ Perceived Credibility and Partisan Ambivalence. [Paper presentation]. The 104th Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Annual Conference (Virtual). (Top Paper Award)

Shi, J., Canuelas, L., Annis, C., & Ghulamhussain, Z. (2020, August). Partisan Ambivalence, Emotions, and Civic Engagement: Hierarchy Regression Analyses on Online and Offline Civic Engagement [Paper presentation]. The 103rd Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Annual Conference (Virtual). (Top Paper Award)


Jian Shi recently successfully defended her dissertation titled “Media and Modern Racism: Understanding Anti-Asian Attitudes and Behaviors During the Covid-19 Pandemic” under the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Lars Willnat. Most of Jian’s research falls under the umbrella of political communication, specifically how media messages affect people’s political attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. In addition, she has broad comparative interests in media systems and in connecting political communication scholarship in the Eastern and Western contexts.

Shi’s lead-authored papers examine how partisan media or media attention affect individuals’ emotions and subsequently have an impact on their perceived partisan ambivalence and political behaviors. Four conference papers came out of these efforts, and two of her first-authored papers won the 2020 and 2021 AEJMC Top Student Paper Awards in the political communication division. Drawing on her research interest in both media systems in Eastern and Western contexts, Jian has one coauthored paper and one coauthored book chapter that shed new light on how people perceive other nations and foreign affairs issues from a comparative perspective by relying on media exposure, personal traits, and preexisting national images.

Shi’s dissertation analyzes the roles of partisan media and social media in interracial processes. Specifically, using both semantic network analysis and survey, it examines the role of repeated news cues that stigmatize Asian Americans and empirically tests whether such news cues can “prime” people’s adoption of discriminatory perceptions, which may have a subsequent impact on intergroup relations. As a co-principal investigator, her research on “media and anti-Asian attitudes” received a Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant from Syracuse University.

While at Newhouse, Jian earned the Certificate in University Teaching from the Newhouse School’s Future Professoriate Program and co-instructed the introductory course Communication and Society, which was designed to cover diverse and broad media topics.