mark e. johnson
senior lecturer, photojournalism
  grady college of journalism
& mass communication
 

university of georgia
athens, ga

   
               

 

   

 

                       
   

Hi.

That's me, Mark E. Johnson, Senior Lecturer of Photojournalism at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

My world is upside down. And I love it.

It's hard to believe, but I'm in my ninth year of teaching here at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. That's by far the longest I have ever worked in one place, by a factor of about three, I think. (You can take a look at my C.V. for all the pertinent details on my past adventures.)

After spending many years in the trenches, my transition to academia came suddenly and in an unplanned manner. Kind of like the content for any of the news organizations I worked for – I had a plan, and then that plan was gone.

I am a twice-peeled Syracuse University alumni, both times from the S.I. Newshouse School of Public Communications. It took me many years to truly understand it, but I fully embrace my alma mater's motto: Suos Cultores Scientia Coronat.

For those less versed in Latin, it translates to Knowledge Crowns Those Who Seek Her. Pretty cool, eh?

It's a life lesson and a snappy phrase all in one and it affects what I do every day. If you're looking for a teaching philosophy, here's mine: Meet my kids where they are. My job is not to teach, it is to help them learn. And there is a difference.

So why journalism? Because I believe we have a Constitutional obligation to commit acts of journalism. High minded, I know, but I believe it and I preach it.

One last bit of philosophy ... I am asked, often, by my colleagues in the industry why I'm here. How can I justify teaching in the journalism realm when the industry is in so much trouble? How can I give these young minds false hope and still sleep at night?

Two things. First, I'm not preparing them for a career in visual journalism, my job is to prepare them to be good community members. Second, I accept that the business model of journalism is broken but I do believe one of my kids is going to come up with a new one.

The problem is, I don't yet know which one. So they're all important to me.

I teach all of the courses that currently make up the Visual Journalism emphasis within the Department of Journalism. Comprised of JOUR3610 - Introduction to Photojournalism, JOUR3710 - Advanced Photojournalism (offered each fall) and JOUR5370 - Documentary Photography (offered each spring), students are introduced to the technical concepts of visual journalism as well as the storytelling and community building aspects of the craft. A special topics class (JOUR5990) varies in what it covers and when it is offered. Most recently, it has been a Multiplatform Journalism course.

These are NOT photography courses - this is not an opportunity to express your inner self. We tell other people's stories. Stories that are socially relevant, stories that help communities develop. Stories that advance our understanding of the world we live in. I believe we have a Constitutional obligation to commit acts of journalism.

Links to the courses and class blogs are along the top. My primary blog is useful to all working journalists and educators who are interested in the changes to our industry. While certainly not complete, it is fairly comprehensive.

Questions or concerns? My contact info is below.

 

       
                             
                             

    e: mejohnso@uga.edu p: 706-542-5026   t: markejohnson   o: 230, Grady College   © 2005-2014 mark e. johnson