Dr. Armstrong is a native of Southern California and he graduated with a degree in history from Pomona College in Claremont, California. At Pomona, he was commencement speaker, an All-American in NCAA, Division III Track & Field, and the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Fellowship. He still holds the school record in the 5,000 meter run at Pomona. After receiving his masters degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, he worked as a broadcast journalist at CNN in Atlanta and at network affiliates in Salt Lake City and Denver. After 14 years as a television journalist, Dr. Armstrong returned to academics and received his doctorate from the University of Utah. His dissertation, on localism in television, received the Kenneth Harwood Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Broadcast Education Association. He has taught at Furman since 2002 and in 2004 he received the Alester G. Furman, Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Meritorious Advising Award. His research interests include media history, broadcast journalism, and broadcast law and policy. Dr. Armstrong lives in Greenville with his wife, son, and daughter. His hobbies include running and following the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Name Title Description


Digital Communication

The use of digital, electronic media in the cultivation of democratic society. Students will gather information and learn to transmit that information through blogs, podcasts, video, and other digital media.


Broadcast Communication

Study of the journalistic, technical, and aesthetic aspects of television production. Critical analysis of electronic news texts and to research, write, videotape, and edit news stories.


Intro to Mass Communication

The nature and history of mass communication. Beginning with oral communication and the literacy revolution and moving to print, electronic, and digital forms of communication. Examining the social, economic, political, legal, and cultural aspects of mass communication, as well as the role of technology in the development of mass media.


Media History

Examining the changing nature, structure, and function of mass media institutions in the United States and their historical relationships to society and culture from the founding of the republic to the end of the 20th century.


Poltcl Economy of Mass Media

Examining the structure, regulation, economics, ownership, and technology of mass media, as well as the influence of these factors on global media content.


Studies in Mass Media

Concentrated study in one area or theorist of mass communication. Course topics will change with each offering. Potential topics include the global media integration, the internet as a public sphere, public journalism, the theories of Marshall McLuhan, Hollywood film genres, or Italian film. Varied topics.


Communication Law

Issues confronting public speakers, journalists, advocates, debaters, and film and television producers when they seek to speak freely and responsibly. Topics include: seditious speech, symbolic conduct, fighting words, offensive speech, obscenity, defamation, commercial speech, free press v. fair trial, media regulation, advertising codes, and the theoretical justifications for free expression.


Lucy to Game of Thrones

Challenging students to think critically about a crucial cultural institution in their lives: network television. We will explore how technology, economics, aesthetics, and audiences have interacted to shape the content of network dramas and comedies since the 1950s. At the same time, this class will be as much or more about effective writing.

  • Armstrong, J. (2012). "The Carnival in Kingstree: A Bakhtinian Analysis of the Charlie Walker Obscenity Case." Journal of Radio & Audio Media
  • Armstrong, J. (2011). "The Devil and Free Speech: Response Essay to John Durham Peters' Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition" (Forum Section). Free Speech Yearbook, 2009-2010. Juliet Dee (ed.) (44) pp. 147-150. Washington, D.C.: NCA Publications
  • Armstrong, J. (2011). "Taking Aristotle to Work: The Practical and Moral Value of Ethics Education." In Controversies in Media Ethics (3rd ed.). A. David Gordon and John Michael Kittross (eds.), 86-90. New York: Routledge
  • Armstrong, J. (2011). Glossary for Controversies in Media Ethics (3rd ed.). A. David Gordon and John Michael Kittross (eds.), 536-554. New York: Routledge
  • Armstrong, J. (2008). "Public Access Television." In The International Encyclopedia of Communication. Wolfgang Donsbach (ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell
  • Armstrong, J. (2007). "Constructing Television Communities: The FCC, Signals, and Cities, 1948-1957." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media (Spring 2007): 129-46
  • Armstrong, J. (2007). "More Philosophy Means More Relevance: Digging Deeper into Media Ethics." Media Ethics (Fall 2007)
  • Armstrong, J. (2007). Review of The Quieted Voice: The Rise and Demise of Localism in American Radio, by Robert L. Hilliard and Michael C. Keith. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media (September 2007): 537-38
  • Armstrong, J. (2006). "Applying Critical Theory to Electronic Media History." In Methods of Historical Analysis and Criticism in Electronic Media. Edited by Donald G. Godfrey, 145-65. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
  • Armstrong, J. (2004). "Martin Gabel." In The Encyclopedia of Radio, Vol. 2. Christopher Sterling and Michael Keith (eds.), 639-40. Chicago, IL: Fitzroy Dearborn.
  • Outstanding Debut Paper, History Division, Broadcast Education Association, 2005
  • Alester G. Furman, Jr., and Janie Earle Furman Meritorious Advising Award, 2004
  • Kenneth Harwood Outstanding Dissertation Award, 2002
  • NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar, Northwestern University, 2000
  • Top Student Paper, Media Studies Interest Group, Western States Communication Association, 1998
  • Outstanding Graduate Teacher, Department of Communication, University of Utah, 1997. I was selected for the Department's annual International Communication Association Award
  • Best 10PM Newscast, Denver Market, 1990. Awarded by Associated Press, Denver, Colorado. I received while I was 10PM Newscast Producer at KMGH TV
  • Third Place, JVC Student Video Competition, New York City, 1980
  • NCAA Postgraduate Fellowship, 1977
  • All-American, 1976 and 1977.
University of Utah
University of California at Berkeley
Pomona College
Benton Broadcast Fellow
University of Chicago

Connect with Admission

Furman is one of the nation's premier liberal arts and sciences universities. We offer our students The Furman Advantage—an over-arching approach to education that promises every student a four-year personalized pathway, a team of advisors and mentors, and the opportunity for an engaged learning experience that is tracked and integrated with the students' academic and professional goals.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • Furman University