Dr. Shahira Fahmy is the first and only female Arab American tenured full journalism professor at a research university R1 in the United States. Her research focuses on global media, peace journalism and visual reporting. She specializes in issues that intersect these domains in the context of wars and terrorism in the Middle East. Her research on international coverage examines media performance of news professionals and conflict reporting in terms of peace versus war journalism. She is also an expert on the visual reporting process involved in providing news photographs and broadcast material at times of crisis.
Fahmy recently spent several weeks in 2015 as a research fellow at NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence sponsored by the State Department in Europe. For accepting this assignment she recieved a huge pay cut for the entire fall semester from the University of Arizona. During this second Fulbright Specialist award within 12 months , she explored the visual framing used by the Islamic State (Daesh) to add a strategic analytical level to successfully block the support of the terrorist propaganda machine and to completely alleviate its radical Takfeery threat. Preliminary findings of this research were presented at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York City and garnered positive attention on a global scale, within and outside the academic community. Currently she is the guest editor for the upcoming Mass Communication and Society Special Issue: Media, Terrorism and Society.
As a School of Journalism Professor she regulalry has collaborated and co-authored numerous refereed research articles with Journalism MA students and communications MA and PhD students at the University of Arizona. Her recent co-authored work with an MA student in the School of Journalism won two top paper awards (First place) at AEJMC 2012 and was published in The International Communication Gazette in 2014.
Her book Visual Communication Theory and Research: A Mass Communication Perspective received the research excellence award for the 2014 most outstanding book at the National Communication Association (NCA).