As many of you know, last year I was awarded a Knight-Wallace Fellowship, and I have spent the academic year at the University of Michigan. It has been an incredible experience, both professionally and personally. It was a rare opportunity to spend a year with talented journalists from around the world as we took part in seminars (with authors such as Naomi Klein, who I have long admired), classes, and international trips.
Perhaps most importantly, being in this intellectual environment allowed me the space to think critically about my own work and where I’m going from here.
To that end, I’m thrilled to announce that I have been selected as the Marsh Professor of Journalism at the University of Michigan.
I feel that my work has been leading me in this direction for quite some time. I am an investigative journalist, but I’m also a lecturer, media commentator, and author. All of those components of my work are vital to raising public awareness about civil liberties and human rights, but they aren’t a conventional reporting career (nor do I want one!).
In this position, I will be able to combine all those aspects of my work. I’ll teach two courses each semester, while also continuing my own reporting, media interviews, and public speaking.
Even better, I’m designing both of the courses I’m teaching. One is called “Investigative Journalism and Social Change,” which traces the evolution of investigative journalism in the U.S., and challenges students to create their own investigative projects. The other is called “Terrorist or Freedom Fighter,” and examines how whistleblowers, leakers, and hackers are treated in this post-9/11 era. In short, I’m being given the chance to teach the type of classes that I would have wanted to take as an undergrad.
The students will be mix of aspiring journalists and other upper-division majors, and it’s part of a center that “supports scholarly research on democratic functions of the news media.” In short, it feels like a perfect fit.
This is a year-long position, with possibility for extension. I don’t know where I’m heading after that, but I feel that this is exactly the direction I need to be moving.