Indiana University

Indiana University Journalism

Lesa Hatley MajorLesa Hatley Major

Associate Professor
(812) 855-8111

Recent News


Lesa Hatley Major joined the IU School of Journalism in 2006. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at IU. Hatley Major has worked in radio and television news. She worked as a general reporter, health reporter, assistant news director and anchor. She earned her PhD in Mass Communication & Public Affairs from Louisiana State University (2006).
Professor Hatley Major taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University (2003 – 2006). She taught as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Journalism at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana (2000). She also taught undergraduate and graduate counseling courses at Northwestern State University (1991 – 1993).


  • PhD, Mass Communication & Public Affairs, Louisiana State University (2006)
  • M.A., Northwestern State University (1993)
  • B.A., Broadcast Journalism, Northwestern State University (1987)

Professional Organizations

  • Member: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • International Communication Association; National Communication Association


Articles in "Journal of Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, Howard Journal of Communications, Visual Communication Quarterly, and Nieman Reports''.


  • IU SOJ Faculty Summer Fellowship (2011)
  • Faculty Research Support Program (2009)
  • Page Legacy Scholar (2006-2007)
  • Indiana University School of Journalism Research Grant (2007)
  • Manship School of Mass Communication Fellow (2003-2006)
  • Forum on Media Diversity Research Grant (2005)

Research and Teaching Areas

Her research focuses mainly on framing, health communication and public policy. Currently, she is studying strengthening public support for policy changes in lung cancer, obesity and mental health. She has done research on news messages about AIDS for African Americans and creating public support for AIDS interventions.
Courses taught by Professor Major include Mass Communication Theory, Quantitative Methods in Mass Communications Research, Broadcast Journalism, Undergraduate and Graduate "Sex in the News: Beyond the Headlines"

Selected Publications

S. Jankowski, Hatley Major, L., & Gall Myrick, J. (forthcoming). Television news and framing mental illness: Examining coverage from 1990 to 2008. Journal of Health Communication.
Coleman, R. & Hatley Major, L. (2014). Ethical health communication: A content analysis of predominant frames and primes in public service announcements. Journal of Mass Media Ethics,
Gall Myrick, J., Hatley Major, L., & Jankowski, S. (2014). The “Who” in mental health reporting: How national television news outlets use sources to tell stories about depression and anxiety. Electronic News, 8(1).
Hatley Major, L. & Coleman, R. (2012) Complementing the sense-making approach with a survey to enhance communication of HIV/AIDS knowledge. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 11(3), 248-270. .
Hatley Major, L. & Coleman, R. (February, 2012). Source credibility and evidence format: Examining the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS messages for young African Americans. Journal of Health Communication, 1-17.
Hatley Major, L. (2011). Examining the role of framing and emotions in attribution of responsibility for health problems. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 88(3), 502-522.
Hatley Major, L. & Walker, K. (2010). Newspapers lack substantive reporting on sexual issues. Newspaper Research Journal, 31(4), 62-76.
Holt, L. & Hatley Major, L. (2010). Frame and blame: An analysis of how national and local newspapers framed the Jena six controversy. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 87(3/4), 582-597.
Hatley Major, L. (2009). Break it to me harshly: The effects of intersecting news frames on lung cancer and obesity coverage. Journal of Health Communication, 14(2), 174-188.
Sullivan, J., Hatley Major, L., Goidel, R., & Kurpius, D. (2009). The role of an African American candidate on psychological engagement and political discussion in a local election. Politics & Policy, 37(2), 289-308.
Hatley Major, L. & Renita Coleman (2008). The intersection of race and gender in election coverage: What happens when the candidates don't fit the stereotypes? Howard Journal of Communications, 19(4), 315-333.
Hatley Major, L. & Perlmutter, D. D. (2004). The fall of a pseudo-icon: The toppling of
Saddam Hussein's statue as image management. Visual Communication Quarterly,
12(1/2), 38-45.