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Peter Gross

Professor Emeritus
333 Communications Bldg.

Dr. Peter Gross served as Director of the UT School of Journalism and Electronic Media from 2006 to 2016. Before taking on his administrative duties at UTK, Professor Gross held the Gaylord Family Endowed Chair (international communication) in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the University of Oklahoma. His research specialization is in international communication, with an emphasis on East European media systems.

Multilingual, Gross worked and traveled extensively in Western and East/Central and Southeast Europe, in former Soviet Republics (Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan), Taiwan, India, China and Cuba. Since 1985, he directed journalism workshops and lectured at the University of Dortmund, Germany; Oxford University, England; Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania; the universities of Madrid, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela, Murcia and Barcelona, Spain; University of Tirana, Albania; the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland; the University of Bucharest, University of Timisoara West, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, and the Black Sea University, Romania; The Association of Georgian Journalists, Tiblisi, Georgia; the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary; International Summer School for Democracy, Petrovac, Montenegro, FR Yugoslavia; The University of Salzburg, Austria; Shanghai University, China.

He was instrumental in establishing a new journalism program in 1992 at the University of Timisoara West, Romania. He frequently lectured at the U.S. Department of State's National Foreign Affairs Training Center (School of Professional and Area Studies – Foreign Service Institute) and carried out training and media assessment assignments on behalf of the U.S. Information Agency (U.S. Department of State), the Voice of America's International Training Program/International Broadcast Bureau, the Eurasia Foundation, and the Academy for Educational Development. He also conducted journalism-training seminars in the U.S. and in country for journalists and journalism students from Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kosovo, Kyrghyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekhistan.

He served as consultant on East European media issues to the Washington D.C.-based International Media Fund, The Freedom Forum, and the Eurasia Foundation, and as an educational consultant to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1998, Gross received the Secretary's Forum Distinguished Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Gross received 49 fellowships, research, lecture and training awards and grants from, among other institutions, Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, J. F. Kennedy School of Government; the National Academy of Sciences; the International Research and Exchanges Board; the Pacific Cultural Foundation; the International Media Fund; the Soros Foundation; the German Marshall Fund of the United States; the Freedom Forum; Fulbright; and the National Science Foundation. In 1996, he was a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

He is the author/co-author of seven scholarly books and two textbooks, and co-editor of two book collections. Gross published over 170 book chapters and articles in American and European academic, professional journals and general circulation media (e.g. The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Editor & Publisher, Columbia Journalism Review, Social Europe). He is currently a columnist for TransitionsOnline, a Czech-based journal covering politics, economics, society, culture and media in Eastern and Central Europe.

He serves/ed on the editorial boards of 15 journals, including the AEJMC International Communication Bulletin (USA), Central European Journal of Communication (Poland), Journal of Global Mass Communication (USA), Journalism Studies (England), Journalism & Communication(Romania), Dilema, a national, intellectual weekly (Romania), Journal of Romanian Press History(Romania), Media Transformations (Lithuania), Revue des Sciences Politiques (Romania), Philobiblo(Romania), Communication and Society (Spain), and Mediakutato, the Hungarian Media Studies Journal.

Since finishing his Ph.D. in 1984 at the University of Iowa, Gross presented papers at scholarly conferences and workshops in Albania, the Belarus Republic, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Republic of Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, and the U.S.A.

In 2009, the State of Romania awarded Gross one of its highest national awards, the “Order of Merit in Education,” Commander Grade. The President of Romania confers the award, by decree, for “unusual merit in the development of education of different types, levels and forms of organization, and in research, or (for) contributing to establishing relationships between foreign educational institution and Romanian ones.”

The University of Bucharest, Romania, awarded Gross the Doctor Honoris Causa in 2005 for his contributions to Eastern European media studies. In 2009, the University of West Timisoara, Romania, also awarded him the Doctor Honoris Causa for his contributions to Eastern European media studies and his role in establishing the university's journalism program. The Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, accorded him the Professor Honoris Causa in 2018.

Among a varied number of functions, Gross serves/served as Ratings Review Advisor for the Freedom House's yearly Freedom of the Press Index (East/Central Europe and Eurasia Region); Grant Proposal Reviewer for the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS); Proposal Reviewer, Fulbright Awards Program (Bucharest, Romania); Grant Proposal Reviewer for the National Science Center, Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education; and member of the Professional Advisory Board, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, The University of Iowa.

He is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and served as Chair of Teaching Standards, Chair of the Markham International Student Paper Competition and Chair of Professional Freedom and Responsibility for the association's International Communication Division. He is/was a member of the European Communication Research and Education Association, the European Network for Trans-Integration Research, the South East European Studies Association, the Society for Romanian Studies, the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, COST A30, a research group sponsored by the European Union, and the International Communication Association. He was on the Board of Directors of the American-Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences and served as its Vice President, 1997-2001.


University of Iowa (Ph.D. 1984, M.A. 1977)

Research Interests: 
International and comparative mass communication, media, and journalism
Media and development, transition, and transformation
Politics and media
Censorship and press freedom
Media and foreign affairs and public diplomacy
Foreign-language/ethnic media inthe United States and in East Central and Southeast Europe
International Interests: 
  • International and comparative mass communication, media, and journalism
  • International information and communication law and policy
  • Media systems and theories