Ryan  Medders

Ryan Medders, Ph.D.


Swenson 244


Dr. Ryan Medders is a professor in the Communication department. He received his Ph.D. in Communication, with an emphasis in Technology & Society, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, his M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University, and his B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University. His teaching specialization is mass communication and research methods, and he also teaches courses on political communication and international media.

Dr. Medders most recently served as Faculty Representative to the Board of Regents and Chair of the Faculty Assembly at Cal Lutheran. He previously served as chair of the Communication department.

Dr. Medders' research addresses the social and psychological effects of the media, and he is currently examining selective exposure to and credibility assessment of online news and information. His work has been published in journals including the Journal of Communication and Digital Journalism, in the book Kids and Credibility: An Empirical Examination of Youth, Digital Media Use, and Information Credibility, and in the edited collection Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluating Computer-Mediated Communication.


Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

M.S., San Jose State University

B.A., Stanford University 


Hettinga, K., Medders, R. B., & Docter, S. (in press). Student media coverage of censorship and press freedom. College Media Review.

Medders, R. B., & Metzger, M. J. (2018). The role of news brands and news leads in selective exposure to political information on the Internet. Digital Journalism, 6(5), 599-618.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Medders, R., Pure, R., Markov, A., & Hartsell, E. (2013). The special case of youth and digital information credibility. In M. Folk, & S. Apostel (Eds.), Online credibility and digital ethos: Evaluating computer-mediated communication (pp. 148-168). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., Pure, R., Medders, R. B., Markov, A., Hartsell, E., & Choi, E. (2011). Adults and credibility: An empirical examination of digital media use and information credibility. Research report prepared for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.

Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., & Medders, R. B. (2010). Social and heuristic approaches to credibility evaluation. Journal of Communication, 60, 413-439.

Flanagin, A. J., & Metzger, M. J. with Hartsell, E., Markov, A., Medders, R. B., Pure, R., & Sim, E. (2010). Kids and credibility: An empirical examination of youth, digital media use, and information credibility (The MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning). MIT Press: Cambridge, Mass.

Grant Funding

Embracing Spanish for the Professions at Home and Abroad, Co-Principal Investigator, 2022-2024. [$159,692], Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language program of the U.S. Department of Education.