Jim Potter's scholarship is concerned with increasing knowledge about media effects, media literacy, and the sociology of knowledge.
Like many media scholars, Jim Potter started his academic career by producing empirical studies. By mid-career his focus had shifted into synthesizing findings across empirical studies to create large scale knowledge structures about media effects and media literacy. This shift stimulated him to publish 29 books on various topics, including Cognitive Theory of Media Literacy (2004), Digital Media Effects (2021), and Media Literacy, which has grown to be an international best seller that is now in its 10th edition. In 2009, he created Lineation Theory as a synthesis of knowledge about media industries, content, audiences, and effects into a single system of explanation. After serving as an editor of the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, his scholarly focus shifted into critically analyzing scholarly literatures to identify non-productive practices that have been preventing research designs and theories from making a greater contribution toward building useful knowledge. This interest in constructive criticism has led him to publish a dozen articles as well as several books, including The 11 Myths of Media Violence (2003) and Major Theories of Media Effects (2019).
Ph.D. Indiana University (Instructional System Technology)
Ph.D. Florida State University (Communication Theory and Research)
B.A. Pacific Lutheran University (English Literature)