Maxine De Wulf Helskens

Researcher at the research group Center for Journalism Studies of the department of Communication Sciences of Ghent University.

Maxine De Wulf Helskens


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Journalism in fiction
Gender and media
Audience research


Maxine De Wulf Helskens is a PhD fellow at the Department of Communication Sciences at Ghent University and is affiliated with both the Center for Journalism Studies (CJS) and the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies (CIMS). She is the holder of two master’s degrees, one in Communication Sciences (Ghent University, 2020) and one in Journalism (Free University of Brussels, 2021).

She started her PhD project in 2021 first as a teaching assistant and later that year as a full-time researcher by obtaining funding from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Under the supervision of prof. Dr. Sarah Van Leuven and prof. Dr. Frederik Dhaenens, she researches how audiences make sense of fictional representations of journalism. Maxine has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Feminist Media Studies and Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies and was awarded the 2023 Frieda Saeys Prize for outstanding research in gender and media studies.

Furthermore, she is a representative for the internationalization office of her department and has conducted study and research stays in Prague (Charles University), Washington D.C. (The Washington Center), and Los Angeles (University of Southern California). For the last two, she was awarded funding from respectively the Flemish government and FWO and Fulbright.

Research Projects

Fiction or reality? How audiences make sense of movies and series about journalism: a Flemish case study