How long have I been here at SJSU? Well, at times it seems like it's been
about 10 minutes, but the 2020-21 school year is my 21st here at SJSU.
I'm a full professor, as of August 2015. I received tenure and
was promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor several years back.
I've taught everything from entry-level general education classes to upper-division writing classes to graduate seminars.
I've been co-adviser to the Spartan Daily, our venerable
campus news outlet, since 2003. I seem to be fairly popular with the students, though I'm not in the best position to judge that. For something slightly more objective, check out
some of the names they call me.
I've also been involved in JMC's Afghanistan project, working with
Journalism instructors from Herat University in Afghanistan on teaching new
Journalism technologies and techniques to their students.
In addition to all my teaching and research activities, I've created a great deal of Web content for the School of Journalism & Mass Communications.
I've served long stretches as the JMC School's Webmaster. We're working on
developing new sites for both the JMC School and our student media, but as of
this writing they're still under construction.
Before arriving at SJSU, I spent the preceding two years as a visiting professor at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. I served as faculty advisor for both the Butler Collegian student newspaper and the Butler online student paper, DawgNet. I also designed the Butler Journalism Department Web site and taught writing and mass communication classes there. Before that, from August 1996 through April 1998, I worked as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of Communication Studies.
My fourth book, Navigating the News: A Guide to Understanding Journalism, was released
by Peter Lang Publishing in August 2020. For more information about the book, click
here. To order a copy from Amazon, click
My third book, Polls, Expectations and Elections: TV News Making in U.S.
Presidential Campaigns, is available from Lexington Books. For more information about the book,
here. To order a copy from Amazon, click
My second book, Newswriting and Reporting: The Complete Guide for Today's
Journalist, a reporting text co-authored with Chip Scanlan,
is available from Oxford University Press. My first book, Online Journalism: Reporting, Writing, and
Editing for New Media, is available from Cengage
Learning. To read all about it, click here.
My main research area is media and politics, with a specialty in public opinion. I'm also involved in learning and writing about non-political effects of the various mass media -- not just news and entertainment outlets, but also the persuasive media such as advertising and public relations, as well as the so-called “new media.”
I was born and raised in National City, CA, a suburb of San Diego. I graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Communication in June of 1988. I then spent all or part of six years as a writer and editor at daily newspapers, working my way up from sorting letters and pouring coffee to editing and paginating nightly on deadline. I worked first for the Blade-Citizen in Oceanside, CA, then later the Herald & Review in Decatur, IL, and
then with the North County Times in Escondido, CA. I have won awards from the San Diego Press Club, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Illinois Press Association for my reporting. My political commentary has appeared in the New York Times, the
Miami Herald, the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution and many other outlets. For two years, I wrote a weekly online column about media and politics called Unsubstantiated Facts.
As a graduate student, I received my Ph.D. from the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October 1995. My academic work includes publications and works in progress that address many aspects of the reciprocal relationship between officials, voters and the media. My doctoral dissertation, “The Pulse of Expectations: News Making in Presidential Campaigns,” looks at the ways in which campaign reporting has become a day-to-day series of contests, with assorted image-related hoops for candidates to jump through.
(This was also the beginning of the work that would eventually result in my
third book -- see above.)
My publications and academic works are listed in my curriculum vitae.