MPAFF, The University of texas at AUSTIN
BA, California state university, northridge
Christoph Mergerson is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Media Studies program, at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. As of December 2018, he is studying for his qualifying exams. His research interests focus on the information needs of local news audiences, particularly down South, and the consequences for democracy of the gap between information needs and news coverage. He is also interested in ethical problems in virtual reality. His advisor is Dr. Susan Keith.
Christoph was a 2018 Consortium on Media Policy Studies fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies program in Washington, where he researched and covered developments in federal broadband policy, and data privacy regulations in the European Union and California.
Christoph graduated with a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School in Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied domestic and global policymaking. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, with additional coursework in journalism, from California State University, Northridge.
Prior to his doctoral studies, Christoph worked in public affairs for a hurricane preparedness partner agency of the City of New Orleans. He was also an intern producer and fill-in host for a community radio station in New Orleans. As an undergraduate, he was a policy intern at the headquarters of the National Weather Service in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he researched and wrote a white paper making policy recommendations to address the problem of wind farms interfering with nearby weather surveillance radar.
Born and raised in the Washington, DC suburbs, Christoph has considerable family roots in the eastern Texas portion of the Ark-La-Tex, where he spent summers as a child, and throughout Louisiana. He has lived in Austin, Texas and in New Orleans, and enjoys visiting coastal Georgia. He has either visited or lived in each of the Southern states (both traditional and border states). He is a weather buff who reads about the hurricanes that have affected the Gulf South, and has watched dozens of hours of documentaries and archived television news coverage of Southern tornado outbreaks. He also enjoys reading Southern literature and related articles. (Click here for one of his favorite articles about the early ‘90s indie rock scene in Atlanta, published in the Oxford American.)
He currently lives in Philadelphia.