People Directory

Bu Zhong

Associate Professor, Journalism


Dr. Zhong is an associate professor of journalism in the College of Communications. At Penn State, he is also a faculty member of Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques (ADAPT), Media Effects Research Lab, ICT4D Consortium and a senior research fellow of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. Currently, he is an Associate Editor of Computers in Human Behavior.

His research applies decision-making theories to studying how information processing may affect judgment and decision making. His recent focus is on how patients, farmers, scientists and journalists use and share information on social media, including fake news and misinformation. He also studies the use of ICT applications like social media or mobile devices. But his work addresses human interaction with ICT, not ICT per se. Special attention has been paid to research projects with practical implications, such as how information processing may empower farmers and enhance patients' healthcare. 

His research has been published in Journal of Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Computers in Human Behavior, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Mass Communication and Society, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Newspaper Research Journal, American Behavioral Science, Asian Journal of Communication, and International Journal of Sports Communication.

At Penn State, he teaches news media ethics, television reporting and international mass communication for undergraduates, and social media research, social media communication and journalism studies for graduate students. Before he joined the Penn State faculty, he had been a journalist for China Daily in Beijing, CNN Washington D.C. Bureau and CNN/USA in Atlanta. He holds a from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland and a Master's degree from Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri.


  • Social Media
  • ICT4D
  • Information Technology And Psychology
  • Social Networks/Networking
  • Health Communication
  • Decision Making


Selected Publications
  • Ouyang, A., A., I. N., Chow, S.-M., Kumar, A., & Zhong, B. (2016). “Listening” to IBS patients in the 21st century: Offerings from an online self help and support group. Gastroenterology, 150(4), S739-S739. doi:10.1016/S0016-5085(16)32510-0
  • Zhong, B., Yang, F., & Chen, Y.-L. (2015). Information empowers vegetable supply chain: A study of information needs and sharing strategies among farmers and vendors. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 117, 81-90. doi:10.1016/j.compag.2015.07.009
  • Hanley, K., Howard, M. C., Zhong, B., Perez, C., Lee, E., Dawson-Andoh, N., & Soto, J. A. (2015). The communication anxiety regulation scale: Development and initial validation. Communication Quarterly, 63(1), 23-43. doi: 10.1080/01463373.2014.965836
  • Zhong, B., & Appelman, A.J. (2014). How college students read and write on the web: The role of ICT use in processing online information. Computers in Human Behavior, 38, 201-207. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.05.037
  • Zhong, B. (2013). From smartphones to iPad: Power users’ disposition toward mobile media technology. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1742-1748. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.016
  • Lewis, N. P., & Zhong, B. (2013). The root of journalistic plagiarism: Contested attribution beliefs. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 90(1), 148-166. doi: 10.1177/10776990124687
  • Zhong, B., Hardin, M., & Sun, T. (2011). Less effortful thinking leads to more social networking? The associations between the use of social network sites and personality traits. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(3), 1265-1271. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.01.008
  • Zhong, B. & Newhagen, J. E. (2009). How journalists think while they write: A transcultural model of news decision-making. Journal of Communication, 59(3), 584-605. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2009.01439.x