About & Vitae

Robert E. Gutsche, Jr.40 Robert Gutsche

Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track
College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
Department of Journalism + Media 
(Enhanced Research Distribution, 2016-2017)
Florida International University

Lead, Mobile Virtual Reality Lab
School of Communication + Journalism
Florida International University

Affiliated Faculty, African and African Diaspora Studies
Florida International University

Affiliated Faculty, Sea Level Solutions Center
Florida International University

Affiliated Faculty, Latin American and Caribbean Center
Florida International University

Research Scholar (2015-2016)
Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, University of Missouri


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A journalist since 1996, having written for The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin State Journal, and other regional and local publications, my scholarship surrounds the cultural and social meanings of news.

Specifically, my research and teaching explore how journalists assign and transmit notions of power and social control through news. Therefore, I am interested in:

– How journalists serve the interests of the power elite. In this vein, I push the concept that the journalistic interpretive community includes members of society outside of journalism in order to maintain cultural authority and legitimacy of the power elite — and of the press.

– How journalists demarcate geography. Here, I explore how news place-making characterizes geography in ways that embed dominant ideologies to enforce public banishment, social control, and police surveillance.

– How journalism furthers notions of whiteness and white supremacy. Using Whiteness Studies as a conceptual lens, I examine the application of news narratives, storytelling, and practices to reveal media as a social and cultural institution that benefits white ideologies.

– How journalists are educated, trained, and operate. This area addresses how journalistic norms are solidified, naturalized, and maintained. I currently contribute to this area by participating in the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC and by serving on the International Editorial Advisory Board for Journalism and Mass Communication Educator.


Selected Sponsored Research & Programming

Beginning in April 2014, I was part of a team of faculty members from FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication honored to receive a $35,000 Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education. None of the team members received funds related to our salaries; money was spent on public education, technology, and journalistic collaborations with community and educational partners. Finances related to this grant are public record. My students’ journalism and community engagement has been covered by several media outlets, including NBC’s TODAY, the Weather Channel, and The Washington Post. Follow the progress at @SLRSoFla.

In May 2015, I secured $17,000 in cash and in-kind resources for the Student Environmental Advocacy (SEA) Corp summer program through The Celebration of the Sea Foundation. The program provides students an opportunity to engage in SCUBA diving and advanced multimedia eco-journalism. Of that, $2,666 for my involvement was provided by FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Knight Innovator in Residence fund.

In June 2015, I was named a Donald W. Reynolds Research Scholar at the University of Missouri with two other faculty members at FIU and Kent State University. We were also awarded $29,000 to fund research about how audiences interact with multimedia journalism on mobile devices. My portion of this funding totaled $12,000, which included $2,300 in reimbursable travel funds.

An internal $3,800 grant from FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts in March 2016 provided seed funding for me and 10 other faculty members to seek larger, national grants to support research and programming related to sea level rise issues. In June 2016, I was part of a team of four FIU faculty members — led by Jennifer Fu in the university’s GIS Center — to receive $50,000 from the City of Coral Gables, Florida, to create an app that tells stories of the city’s immigrant communities.

In 2016, I began leading a team of four faculty from the School of Communication + Journalism to receive $25,000 of internal funding for a Mobile Virtual Reality Lab to visualize issues of sea level rise in South Florida.



I am employed as an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication + Journalism at Florida International University in Miami. My salary is covered, in large part, by those who support public education, namely tax-payers. I also receive travel funds through my school and department, which allow me to present research locally and abroad. I am thankful for this public commitment to higher education and attempt to return any knowledge gained through my research and experience to my local communities.

On request, I am happy to supply additional information on the software and equipment provided to me that assists in my teaching, service, and research. Any additional fundings from outside the university structure is reported on this website, my CV, university documents, and on any publications that may emerge from such support.

Lastly, donations since January 2015 to the Community Foundation of Johnson County (Iowa) related to royalties from A Transplanted Chicago have equaled roughly $490.00 (as of March 2016). Authors’ royalties from the co-written News, Neoliberalism, and Miami’s Fragmented Urban Space, will also be donated to the Miami Workers Center. A portion of author royalties from Visual Culture for a Global Audience will be donated to Free Press.

I am also a paying member of FIU’s faculty union and the ACLU.

I live in South Florida with my family, which includes two dogs, Sam and Stella.