Yu Xu

Yu Xu

Assistant Professor

Yu Xu joined the IMC faculty as an assistant professor in 2019. His areas of specialization lie at the intersection of communication, organizational change, social networks, media industries, strategy and computational social science. His current research investigates ecological and evolutionary foundations of behavioral and network change, especially in the context of digitally mediated communities. His research has important implications for understanding communication networks, new organizational forms and market evolution.

Xu's academic writings have been published in Human Communication Research, the International Journal of Communication, Telematics and Informatics, Digital Journalism, Political Communication, Science Communication, the Journal of Communication, Information, Communication & Society, among others.

He is a member of several professional associations including the International Communication Association (ICA), the Academy of Management (AoM), and the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA).

His teaching philosophy is learning through engagement and reflection.


  • PhD in communication, University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • MA in journalism and communication, Tsinghua University School of Journalism and Communication
  • BA in communication, Fudan University School of Journalism

Authored Works

  • Xu, Y., Fulk, J., & Monge, P. (2020). Ecological influences on network tie dissolution in the evolution of affiliation networks in the International Communication Association, 2009–2015. Human Communication Research.
  • Xu, Y. (2020). Book review: How behavior spreads: The science of complex contagions. Information, Communication & Society, 23(1), 148–150.
  • Xu, Y. (2018). The ecological dynamics of organizational change: Density dependence in the rate of Weibo adoption by populations of news organizations. International Journal of Communication, 12, 1612–1637.
  • Walter, N., Ball-Rokeach, S., Xu, Y., & Broad, G. M. (2018). Communication ecologies: Analyzing adoption of false beliefs in an information-rich environment. Science Communication, 48(5), 650–668.
  • Thorson, K., Xu, Y., Edgerly, S. (2018). Political inequalities start at home: Parents, children and the socialization of civic infrastructure online. Political Communication, 35(2), 178–195.
  • Xu, Y. (2017). Book review: Expertise, communication, and organizing. Journal of Communication, 67(1), E10–E12.
  • Xu, Y. (2017). Modeling the adoption of social media by newspaper organizations: An organizational ecology approach. Telematics and Informatics, 34(1), 151–163.
  • Xu, Y., & Jin, J. (2017). Hierarchy of influences on professional role perceptions among Chinese online journalists: A multilevel analysis. Digital Journalism, 5(2), 194–212.
  • Xu, Y., Liu, Y., & Qi, L. (2017). Examining collective memory building in Wikipedia: A multilevel network approach. Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 2138–2145.
  • Wasserman, H., Ramaprasad, J., Sodre, M., Anikina, M., Vemula, R. K., & Xu, Y. (2017). Newsmaking: Navigating digital territory. In S. Pasti & J. Ramaprasad (Eds.), Contemporary BRICS journalism (pp. 49–71). New York: Routledge.
  • Pasti, S., Becker, B., Gudipaty, N., Xu, Y., & Ndlovu, M. (2017). Pro-fession and practice: Re-imagining the future of journalism. In S. Pasti & J. Ramaprasad (Eds.), Contemporary BRICS journalism (pp. 130–156). New York: Routledge.
  • Thorson, K., Edgerly, S., Kliger-Vilenchik, N., Xu, Y., & Wang, L. (2016). Seeking visibility in a big tent: Digital communication and the People’s Climate March. International Journal of Communication. 10, 4784–4806.
  • Zhou, R., Xu, Y., & Li, X. (2015). Journalists in contemporary China: Evidence from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Wuhan. African Journalism Studies, 36(3). 87–113.