Betsi Grabe

Maria Elizabeth (Betsi) Grabe

Dalton Family Professor

Director, Division of Emerging Media Studies

Pronouns: She/Her

  • Office: 704 Commonwealth Ave., 401C
  • Email:
  • Phone: 3-7733

About Maria Elizabeth (Betsi) Grabe

Betsi Grabe is the Dalton Family Professor in Communications and the director of the Division of Emerging Media Studies at the College of Communication at Boston University since January 2024.

Before that she was a faculty member at Indiana University (IU) for 27-and-a-half years in the legacy School of Journalism and Department of Telecommunications. When The Media School was established at IU, she served as the first Associate Dean from 2015-2019. In 2022 she was named a Provost Professor at IU. Most of Grabe’s research focused on informed citizenship and political participation. She uses experimental methods to investigate how news message reception varies among different demographic groups and across different modalities and styles of news packaging. Recently, Grabe’s focus has shifted from informed to d/misinformed citizenship–producing insights into the navigational resilience of citizens in crowded and polluted information environments. She was a Principal Investigator at the Observatory on Social Media (OsoMe) at IU. Her book, Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections (with Erik Bucy; Oxford University Press, 2009), received the 2010 Outstanding Book Award from the International Communication Association and the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the Communication and Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association. She was the chair of the International Communication Association’s Journalism Studies Division from 2008 to 2010. She is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and the previous editor of Communication Theory.

Born and raised in South Africa, she worked as a television news documentary producer during the State of Emergency in the mid-1980s. 


  • PhD, Mass Media and Communication, Temple University
  • MA, International Journalism, Baylor University
  • MA, Mass Communication, University of Johannesburg
  • BA, Communication and English, University of Johannesburg