Education: M.A., University of Michigan
Areas of Expertise: Journalism
Sue Ellen Christian is an associate professor of journalism in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is the author of Overcoming Bias: A Journalist's Guide to Culture and Context (Holcomb Hathaway, 2011). Her scholarly publications focus on journalism pedagogy, cognition in journalism, service learning, and diversity reporting. Her work has appeared in publications such as Quill, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Journal of Intergroup Relations, and Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service-Learning and Community Literacy and the multi-volume text, Communication Activism. She was a staff writer for 10 years at the Chicago Tribune.
Given my background as a professional journalist, I approach each class as a lesson in real-life skills: How can I help students to think more critically? To write more clearly and succinctly? To organize their thoughts in a cogent, concise manner? I want my classes to have taught them communication skills that they can use regardless of their occupation.
That said, I think being a journalist is the greatest job around ?there is never a dull day, never the same day twice. I tell students if they are interested in meeting all sorts of people and asking them all sorts of questions they never imagined ? from how a deadbeat dad feels about his children to a scientist's explanation of what makes a healthy stem cell line ? then journalism is their calling. It is my passion for my craft that I try to instill in each class I teach.
Foundations of Journalism: JRN 1000
This course is designed to introduce you
both to the practice of journalism in the form of basic news writing as
well to the evaluation of journalism using principles of excellence. At
the end of this course, you should be knowledgeable in the following
areas: Basic hard news writing, story focus and basic story
organization; Reporting across difference; Media ethics and First
Amendment rights; Appropriate storytelling by media platform; Industry
News Reporting/ New Media: JRN 3100
In this capstone reporting and writing class, you will learn skills in class that you seek to put into practice in the field. Our focus is on publishing your work and employing multimedia reporting and writing as we delve into community issues. We focus on
'portable skills' that you need to master for journalism or for a variety of other professions. Those skills include: research and evaluating information, selecting information, presenting information in a variety of mediums appropriate to content and media form, ethical practices, accuracy and attention to detail.