Janet Steele

Janet Steele

Janet Steele

Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs


Email: Janet Steele
Office Phone: 202-994-2004

Janet Steele is a professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs at the George Washington University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University, and focuses on how culture is communicated through the mass media.

Dr. Steele is a frequent visitor to Southeast Asia where she lectures on topics ranging from the role of the press in a democratic society to specialized courses on narrative journalism. Her book, “Wars Within: The Story of Tempo, an Independent Magazine in Soeharto’s Indonesia,” focuses on Tempo magazine and its relationship to the politics and culture of New Order Indonesia. 

Awarded two Fulbright teaching and research grants to Indonesia, she has served as a State Department speaker-specialist in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, the Philippines, East Timor, Taiwan, Burma, Sudan, Egypt, India and Bangladesh. The author of numerous articles on journalism theory and practice, her 2014 book, “Email Dari Amerika,” (Email from America), is a collection of newspaper columns written in Indonesian and originally published in the newspaper Surya. Her most recent book is “Mediating Islam, Cosmopolitan Journalisms in Muslim Southeast Asia.”

She has been awarded a third teaching and research Fulbright to Serbia, and will be teaching at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences in Spring 2022.

SMPA 2101 Journalism and Mass Communication Theory and Practice
SMPA 3244 Narrative Journalism
SMPA 3471 Media in the Developing World
SMPA 2177 Media History


Mediating Islam, Cosmopolitan Journalisms in Muslim Southeast Asia. (2018). University of Washington Press.

Wars Within: The Story of Tempo, an Independent Magazine in Soeharto's Indonesia. (2005). Equinox Publishing and the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies.

The Sun Shines for All: Journalism and Ideology in the Life of Charles A. Dana. (1993). Syracuse University Press.

Journal Articles

Doesn't everyone support shari‛a?’ Journalism and competing ethical standards in Aceh, Indonesia,” (2018). Indonesia, Vol. 106, pp. 35-51.

Journalism and Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia, Five Approaches,” (2014). Studia Islamika, Vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 459-487.

Trial by the Press: an Examination of Journalism, Islam, and Ethics in Indonesia and Malaysia,”(2013). The International Journal of Press/Politics. no. 18, pp. 342–359. 

Journalism and ‘the call to Allah’: Teaching journalism in Indonesia’s Islamic Universities and State Institutes,” (2012). International Journal of Communication, Vol. 6,  pp. 2944–2961.

"The Making of the 1999 Indonesian Press Law," (2012). Indonesia, no. 94:  pp. 1-22.

Justice and journalism: Islam and journalistic values in Indonesia and Malaysia,” (2011). Journalism, vol. 12, pp. 533-549.

“ Professionalism Online: How Malaysiakini Challenges Authoritarianism” (2009). The International Journal of Press/Politics, vol. 14, pp. 91-111.

“ The Voice of East Timor: Ideology, and the Struggle for Independence,” (2007). Asian Studies Review. Vol. 31, pp. 261-282.

Representations of The Nation in Tempo Magazine,” (2003). Indonesia, no. 76, pp. 127-145.

“Suara Dari Dalam: Majalah TEMPO, 1971-2001, in TEMPO: 30 Tahun (1971-2001). PT Tempo Inti media TBK, 2001. pp. 7-18. [The Voice of Their Hearts: TEMPO Magazine (1971-2001).]

“Into the Brightness: Goenawan Mohamad and the Influence of TEMPO Magazine, 1994-1998,” conference on "Media in the Asia Pacific World: Press and Politics in Economic Crisis," The Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College, Pomona, California, October 1998.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Explain: Unofficial Sources and Television Coverage of the Dispute Over Gays in the Military,” (1997). Political Communication, Vol. 14, Issue 1. 

Experts and the Operational Bias of Television News: The Case of the Persian Gulf War." (1995). Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4, pp. 799-812.

Events & Press

"What would Princess Diana do?" United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, (2019)  

The Journalisms of Islam: Contending Views in Muslim Southeast Asia, Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (2019)

Journalism, Islam, and Democracy in Malaysia and Indonesia, BFM (Malaysia)

Santa Fe Council on International Relations Podcast Episode #16 (2018)

Ph.D., American Cultural History, Johns Hopkins University
M.A., History, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., History, The College of William and Mary