Lee B. Becker is director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research and professor in the Department of Journalism, Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia.
Becker holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree and a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky. Becker joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in the autumn of 1997. Prior to moving to Georgia, Becker was a member of the faculty of the School of Journalism at the Ohio State University (1977-1997) and of S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University (1974-1977). Becker was interim director of the School of Journalism at the Ohio State University from 1994-1996.
Becker is the author of two books, Using Mass Communication Theory (with Maxwell E. McCombs) and The Training and Hiring of Journalists (with Jeffrey Fruit and Susan Caudill), and the co-editor of Audience Responses to Media Diversification (with Klaus Schoenbach), Copyright and Consequences (with Tudor Vlad), and The Evolution of Key Mass Communication Concepts (with Sharon Dunwoody, Douglas McLeod and Gerald Kosicki). In addition, Becker has written more than 25 book chapters and published more than 70 articles in scholarly journals. Becker has held two Fulbright research appointments in Germany and taught at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. He has lectured in Latin America, throughout Europe, in Africa, in Australia, and in Asia.
Becker is the recipient of the Distinguished Research Award of the Ohio State University, the Presidential Award and the Krieghbaum Award of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Harold L. Nelson Award of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, the Ameritech Prize Award of the Ohio State University, the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research Fellow Award, and the Roland Page Outstanding Faculty Award in the Grady College at the University of Georgia.
Becker has written extensively on audience uses of the mass media and the effects of media messages on audience members and on society. He currently directs a continuing research project examining characteristics and trends of the journalism and mass communication labor force. His current research also focuses on the role of the media in democratization, copyright and its consequences, coverage of economic indicators and how media organizations structure their coverage of news.
Prior to beginning his graduate education, Becker worked as a journalist at The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Wichita Eagle, the Lexington Herald, and The (Covington) Kentucky Post. He also was editor of the student daily at the University of Kentucky, The Kentucky Kernel.
The James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research was established in March of 1990 as a unit of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication through a generous grant from The Jim Cox Jr. Foundation of Atlanta. The Cox Center conducts training and research projects in locations outside the United States and fosters the exchange of information among media scholars and among media professionals around the world.