Bu Zhong


Bu Zhong

Associate Professor

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


  • Ph.D.:  University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • M.A.:   University of Missouri, Columbia, MO



Dr. Zhong is a tenured professor in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University. He is also an affiliated professor at Penn State Center for Social Analytics Center (C-SoDA), Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques (ADAPT), Media Effects Research Lab, Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) Consortium, Science Communication Program, and the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. Currently, he is Senior Editor of Computers in Human Behavior (CHB) and serves on the ICA-Affiliated Journal Evaluation Committee, International Communication Association.

Research: His research applies decision-making theories to studying how information processing may affect cognition, mental health, well-being, and behavior change. He has proposed theoretical models for analyzing the associations between information use and behavior change among those in special demographic categories, such as overseas journalists, patients with complex chronic conditions, bus drivers, or victims of the opioid epidemic. His recent work centers on analyzing the impact of distinct information flows like news, branding or health information on users' values, beliefs, and behaviors, in which the role of information and communication technology (ICT) is particularly scrutinized.

He proposes and verifies the concept of "power user" of ICT applications like social media or mobile technology. His research addresses human interaction with ICT, not ICT per se. Special attention has been paid to research projects with profound social consequences and implications. His research has been published in the Journal of Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Computers in Human Behavior, International Journal of Information Management, Mass Communication and Society, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Newspaper Research Journal, Asian Journal of Communication and International Journal of Sports Communication.

Teaching: At Penn State, he teaches journalism and social media analytics, news media ethics, international mass communication, world media system, and TV  news reporting for undergraduates, and social media communication and social media research methods & trends for graduate students.

Professional Experience: Before he joined the Penn State faculty, he worked as a journalist for over a decade for China Daily in Beijing, CNN Bureau in Washington D.C., and CNN/USA in Atlanta. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland and a Master's degree from Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri.


In the News


Selected Publications
  • Sun, T., & Zhong, B. (2020). Multitasking as multisensory behavior: Revisiting media multitasking in the perspective of media ecology theory. Computers in Human Behavior, 104, 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2019.09.027
  • Zhong, B., Wang, X. & Yang, F. (2019). More than an apple: Better working lunch enhances bus drivers’ well-being and work performance. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics. doi: 10.1080/10803548.2019.1662980
  • Sun, T.*, & Zhong, B. (2019). A tale of four cities: A semantic analysis of news coverage of air pollution. Newspaper Research Journal, 1-16. doi:10.1177/0739532919873438 (*guided graduate student).
  • Zhong, B., & Yang, F. (2018). How we watch TV tomorrow: Viewers’ perception towards interactivity functions on smart TV. International Journal of Asian Business and Information Management, 9(4), 48-63. doi:10.4018/IJABIM.2018100104
  • Zheng, Y., Zhong, B.*, & Yang, F. (2018). When algorithms meet journalism: The user perception to automated news in a cross-cultural context. Computers in Human Behavior, 86, 266-275. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2018.04.046 (*corresponding author)
  • Lewis, N. P., Zhong, B.*, Yang, F., & Zhou, Y. (2018). How U.S. and Chinese journalists think about plagiarism. Asian Journal of Communication, 28(5), 490-507. doi:10.1080/01292986.2017.1416644 (*corresponding author)
  • Yang, F., Zhong, B., Kumar, A., Chow, S.-M., & Ouyang, A. (2018). Exchanging social support online: A longitudinal social network analysis of irritable bowel syndrome patients' interactions on a health forum. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 95(4), 1033-1057. doi:10.1177/1077699017729815
  • Lewis, N., Zhong, B, Yang, F. & Zhou, Y. (2017). How U.S. and Chinese journalists think about plagiarism. Asian Journal of Communication, 1-18. doi:10.1080/01292986.2017.1416644
  • Chow, S.-M., Kumar, A., Ouyang, A., Zhong, B., Lee, J., & Inverso, N. (2017). What can physicians learn from social forums: Insights from an online self help and support group. Proceedings of IEEE 7th International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences (ICCABS).
  • Ouyang, A., Inverso, N. A., 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., Huang, Y., & Zhou, Y. (2014). The current trends of online journalism research in the new media era. Communication & Society, 29, 231-262.
  • 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., & Zhou, Y. (2012). “Under the weather:” The impact of weather on US newspaper coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Mass Communication and Society, 15(4), 559-577. doi: 10.1080/15205436.2012.677091
  • 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., Sun, T., & Zhou, Y. (2011). To name or not to name: A cross-cultural comparison of on-air attribution in U.S. and Chinese TV news. Asian Journal of Communication, 21(2), 202-216. doi: 10.1080/01292986.2010.524233
  • Zhong, B., Mihailidus, P., & Zhou, Y. (2011). Naming suspects in terrorist attacks: An inquiry of journalistic stereotypes in newspaper coverage of the 2005 London bombings. China Media Research, 7(2), 35-45.
  • Zhong, B. (2011). Readers’ mood affects news information processing. Newspaper Research Journal, 32(3), 52-65.
  • Lewis, N., & Zhong, B. (2011). The personality of plagiarism. Journalism and Mass Communication Educatr, 66(4), 325-339. doi: 10.1177/107769581106600403
  • Hardin, M., & Zhong, B. (2010). Sports reporters’ attitudes about ethics vary based on beat. Newspaper Research Journal, 31(2), 6-19.
  • 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
  • Hardin, M., Zhong, B., & Whiteside, E. (2009). Sports coverage: ‘Toy department’ or public-service journalism? The relationship between reporters’ ethics and attitudes toward the profession. International Journal of Sports Communication, 2(3), 319-339.

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Bu Zhong
7 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802