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Geri Alumit Zeldes - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Geri Alumit Zeldes

Professor & Faculty Excellence Advocate | Michigan State University


Documentary filmmaker, news coverage analysis involving race, gender and religion





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MSU's Geri Zeldes on her film Flint Med | Trailer | August 2016 Living History_WKAR



Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D. is a tenured Professor in MSU’s School of Journalism and serves as ComArtSci’s Faculty Excellence Advocate who leads the college's Inclusiveness Committee, helps recruit and retain staff and faculty and tries - tries to move the needle of awesome-ness in the building.

Zeldes doubles as an academic and practitioner, finding some success. She has a dozen best paper awards from international communication associations and 100+ honors and screenings for her documentary films and other creative scholarship that include the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for coverage of social justice issues from the Asian American Journalists Association, Edward R. Murrow and Unity awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, two national Best of Festival Awards from the Broadcast Education Association, Top 25 Public Vote recognition for an exhibit in ArtPrize, three regional Emmys ®, and a handful of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Michigan Associated Press Editors’ Association awards.

She was also invited to speak at two Tedx events and featured for her social justice scholarship on MSU’s “Spartans Will” campaign.

In October 2017, the Filipina Women's Network recognized her with a "100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award" in the category Innovator and Thought Leader.

In May 2018, she was named on the Diversity Champion Honor Roll by the Race Relations & Diversity Task force in Birmingham, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.

Zeldes lives in another suburb of Detroit where she spends her evenings shuttling her three children to their travel sports practices while her fourth child plays on an iPad, buckled to the booster chair.

During her summers, Zeldes works on her documentary films. Works in progress: "The Rap on Flint," "Sh*t Saves the World," and "Flint Med." Late, late at night, she writes grant proposals for small- and mid-sized grants that she hopes will support her documentaries as well as the work of her creative teams.

Industry Expertise (1)


Areas of Expertise (7)






Social Justice


Education (3)

Michigan State University: Ph.D. 2000

Indiana University Bloomington: M.A. 1994

University of Michigan: B.A. 1992

News (3)

Geri Zeldes: the Birth of 'That Strange Summer'

360 Perspective  online


Geri Alumit Zeldes, professor of journalism, directed and produced “That Strange Summer,” which captured the story in the 1970s of two Filipino nurses charged with killing patients in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Zeldes’ documentary recently won a Merit Award for Best Independent Producer from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters as well as an Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association.

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Flint man's path from prisoner to mentor inspires new documentary, comic book

Michigan Radio  online


From a youthful act that landed him in prison, to becoming a man whose life work is mentoring youth in Flint, Hubert Roberts offers a powerful lesson in redemption.

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Documentary on Flint Hero’s Life Debuts Friday

MSU Today  online


A documentary on the remarkable life of Hubert Roberts, a Flint man who overcame prison time and a life-threatening illness to become a mentor to young men in his struggling hometown, will debut Friday in Flint.

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Journal Articles (3)

Who, From Where? TV Network News Coverage of Immigration Narratives during Trump’s First 100 Days

The Trump Presidency, Journalism, and Democracy

Jennifer Hoewe, Geri Alumit Zeldes, Brian J. Bowe

2018 Less than a week after he took office, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed a gathering at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Signaling one of the signature priorities of his young administration, he told the gathered crowd that “a nation without borders is not a nation” (Parker, Nakamura, & Rucker, 2017, para. 18). In the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, he began to make good on some of his highly controversial campaign promises related to tightening immigration policies.

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News as a Cultural Mirror: Historically Black Newspapers Reflecting Public Views of Loving v. Virginia (1967)

Journal of Social Issues

Jennifer Ware, Geri Alumit Zeldes, Jennifer Hoewe

2015 This study examined seven historically Black newspapers’ coverage of the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia (1967), which overturned anti‐miscegenation laws that prevented non‐White individuals from marrying White individuals. A content analysis of frames and source usage within 31 news stories about the case indicated that about half of the stories (N = 14) advocated for the Lovings and a small number (N = 1) advocated for the State of Virginia; the remaining stories were either informational (N = 7) or objectivist (N = 9). Because the media is said to be a cultural mirror of public opinion, the results of this study may indicate the public's views on the issue of intermarriage laws. This study's findings also showed that historically Black newspapers agreed with their mainstream counterparts more than they disagreed.

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Partisan Balance and Bias in TV Network Coverage of the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Presidential Elections

Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media

Arvind Diddi, Frederick Fico & Geri Alumit Zeldes

2014 This study examines partisan bias in the broadcast news coverage of the 2008 presidential election by replicating measures used in the previous 2 elections. The study data, overall, indicate a Republican tilt in the 2008 election, contrary to more balanced coverage in the 2000 and 2004 elections. The findings are, however, consistent with other studies, which indicated that McCain caught up with his opponent in the final stages of the campaign. The data also indicated that the segments were more balanced than the individual stories, and structural bias was overall a better explanation for observed imbalance than was partisan bias.

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