Martin Smith-Rodden

Martin Smith-Rodden

Assistant Professor of Journalism


Room:AJ 395


Ph.D., Old Dominion University, 2013.
Applied Experimental Psychology

M.S., Old Dominion University, 2010.
Experimental Psychology / Cognitive concentration

B.A, Virginia Wesleyan College, 2003.
Social Sciences


Photojournalist for The Virginian-Pilot, the highest-honored newspaper in Virginia from 1986 to 2015. Served as News Photo Editor (1+ year) and Daily Sections Photo Editor (8 years) and member of the staff's Photo Leadership Team (9 years total).

National recognition includes National Press Photographer's Photo Editor of the Year (Best of Photojournalism competition / May 2011). Frequent national honors in picture editing. Regional (Mid-Atlantic) Photographer of the Year in 1996.
General Assignment Photojournalism for The San Antonio Light (Texas) / The Hearst Corp. and their Sunday magazine, 1983 - 1986.


My primary focus as a researcher is to use my training as a cognitive psychologist to explore topics within media psychology - exploring the practice and scholarship of visual journalism with a scientifically informed and research-based approach. Much of my research focusing on how human behavior interacts with media content and technology, including media effects. Other interests include development of evidence based practices, topics in visual ethics, as well as solutions-based and advocacy photojournalism.

Smith-Rodden, M., & Ash, I. (2012). Investigating the psychological effects of news imagery: A case for evidence-based decision making and practices. Visual Communication Quarterly, 19(1), 20-32.

Smith-Rodden, M., & Ash, I. (2017). The effect of emotionally arousing negative images on judgments about news stories. Visual Communication Quarterly, 23.


Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Intro to Photojourna 235 1 1100 - 1150 M W F AJ, room 353
Long-form Photojourn 437 1 1500 - 1550 M W F AJ, room 353
Media Management 606 800 0000 - 0000