I am an associate professor of journalism in the Department of Mass Communication at Towson University and a freelance podcast reporter, producer and host.
I have a Ph.D. in journalism studies from University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, a master’s degree in American Culture Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor of science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. I’m a proud Seattle native and live in Washington D.C. with my wife and two kids.
My journalism and academic career has taken me from coast to coast with memorable stops in the Midwest.
I research media and democracy from a variety of angles, including aesthetic labor and media diversity; journalism’s impact and threats to local news; and political/civic engagement.
My forthcoming book, Performing the News (under contract, Rutgers University Press), examines a systemic problem that is not commonly addressed in discourse on diversity in journalism: Journalists who are members of historically marginalized groups often feel pressure to hide markers of their background and downplay identity-based differences, known as covering. Through in-depth interviews, I examine how journalists who perform for audiences on television, radio, and podcasts learn about expectations for self-presentation and manage their public image.
My research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Digital Journalism, International Journal of Communication, Newspaper Research Journal, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and Journal of Media Business Studies.
I have written news articles about my research, including how journalists define, measure and discuss their work’s impact, how the nonprofit news consortium behind the Panama Papers measures impact and what students know (and largely don’t know) about news personalization.
MediaShift named me an innovative journalism educator for “progressive practices that educators can apply in their classrooms.” I have taught undergraduate courses such as Podcasting, Multimedia Reporting Capstone, Sports Journalism, and Media Audiences & Analytics, as well as graduate courses such as Qualitative Research and Media & Politics.
In my upper-level journalism courses, I teach students to take a solutions-oriented approach to multimedia storytelling by focusing on how people are responding to social problems. I took part in the inaugural Solutions Journalism Educators Academy, an initiative of the Catalyst Journalism Project at the University of Oregon.
Students in my Multimedia Reporting Capstone course team up to report on enterprise stories for The Baltimore Watchdog. In recent semesters, students have examined COVID-19, the role of technology in our lives, mental health on college campuses, and the future of work and higher education. These motion graphics videos I created explain the scope of their projects.
Students in Podcasting learn about podcast reporting, producing and hosting. They create explainers about the rise of podcasting and interview podcast hosts about how they do their work. Student work appears in The Baltimore Watchdog podcast feed.
For their final project, students produce profile podcasts of interesting people around Baltimore, including a 3D printing artist known as “the pot guy,” a math teacher who learned how to work with glass and a DJ making music from his dorm room.
In fall 2020, we worked collaboratively on an oral history of what it was like to be a student, parent, faculty member, staff member, administrator or coach at Towson during the COVID-19 pandemic. This seven-part podcast series was produced for The Baltimore Watchdog and the Towson University Special Collections and University Archives.
Students in my Sports Journalism course cover games, write features on athletes and coaches, produce sports podcasts and videos, and work in teams on enterprise stories on sports in society.
As a journalist for more than 15 years, I have covered media, higher education, health, business, politics, sports, the environment and the arts for publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Inside Higher Ed and The St. Louis Beacon. I created and produced podcasts at Inside Higher Ed and started a blog aimed at young readers while at the St. Louis Beacon. I hold certificates in data-driven and multimedia journalism.
I host and produce a series called Areas of Agreement that examines the urban-rural divide in the United States. The series is available anywhere you get your podcasts, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Pocket Casts, PRX Exchange and Radio Public.
Listen to a podcast I produced for PRX Exchange and the Transom Traveling Workshop in Seattle about a nature-based preschool, and two podcasts about COVID-19: how artists continue to collaborate online and how positive psychology can help us during the pandemic.