My teaching is grounded in the assumptions that everybody in class is hungry to learn and everybody in class learns in different ways. I used to think getting students to read, watch, and discuss met the necessary and sufficient conditions for promoting the acquisition and retention of knowledge.

But as my career has progressed, I have come to believe in the importance of encouraging students to relate information to their lived experience in order to take advantage of relational memory’s power to integrate knowledge in the mind. Yes, things get serious, but I build light-hearted and unexpected moments into class to stimulate and sustain curiosity and interest. I draw extensively from 17 years of experience reporting, writing, editing, designing, and leading journalists in mainstream news outlets.

At Auburn University, I taught three courses in the Spring 2014 semester:

  • Multimedia Journalism, which hits the fundamentals of storytelling via WordPress blogs, photo galleries, audio slideshows, data mapping and visualization, and video storytelling. Since we emphasize news storytelling for the online rather than the broadcast world, our approach is more documentary. There are no standup reports, no anchoring in front of the camera. The goal is to become like the Men in Black. Unseen and unheard by the audience, this “invisible reporter” lets stories unfold as told and lived by the subjects of our stories.
  • Reporting, a course in converged information gathering and presentation that stresses the fundamentals of background research, observation, interviewing, sound recording, and storytelling in multiple platforms including NPR-style issue reporting using nonlinear audio editing tools, microblogging, and social media/multimedia curation. Of course, I adjust the course as new tools for reporting and storytelling emerge.
  • Journalism History, a survey course running from the pre-Gutenberg days to the Watergate era.

I taught the following courses during the Fall 2013 semester:

  • Reporting.
  • Seminar in Propaganda and Public Opinion (graduate), a course that bridges McCombs & Shaw’s Agenda-Setting Theory with Herman & Chomsky’s Propaganda Model.

I have taught several professional skills and conceptual courses in journalism and mass communication at Auburn, the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These courses are:

  • General-Semantics in Journalism
  • News Writing
  • Broadcast News Writing
  • Editing
  • Advanced Editing
  • News Editing & Design
  • Practicum in Wire Editing 

During doctoral study at UNC-Chapel Hill, I served as teaching assistant in two conceptual courses involving diversity in media:

  • Latino Media Studies
  • The Black Press