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Faculty Spotlight: Karen McIntyre, journalism

Jan 21, 2021

Posted in: News

Karen McIntyre, Ph.D.
Karen McIntyre, Ph.D.

Karen McIntyre, Ph.D., is an associate professor of journalism and the Robertson School's director of graduate studies.  

Tell us a little bit about where you are from and where you worked or studied before joining the Robertson School?

I am lucky to have been raised in the beautiful mountains of Lake Tahoe, California. I earned my bachelor's degree at California State University, Chico, where Sierra Nevada beer is brewed and where I published my first news story — a profile on the ice cream man. I went on to earn my master's degree at University of California, Berkeley, where I was exposed to free speech protests and where I spent time reporting on the California prison system, and later teaching inmates at San Quentin State Prison. My interests shifted from doing journalism to teaching it, and that passion catapulted me to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I earned my doctorate, fell in love with research and chose a life in the academy,

What's your favorite class to teach and why?

I'm most pumped about teaching Solutions Journalism because it's an approach that is gaining momentum and one that I believe can help restore audience engagement and trust in journalism.

Why should students come to the Robertson School?

Because of the people. The students, faculty, staff and administration work hard to uphold the university's values every day, and that's something to be proud of.

How do you keep current in this ever changing media environment?

I spend far too much time online, trying to stay informed. And I rely on my networks to share helpful resources.

Which area do you focus on in your scholarship?

I primarily study socially responsible forms of journalism, such as constructive journalism and solutions journalism — emerging approaches that aim to create more productive news stories that contribute to society’s well being. I also study press freedom and journalism practice in East Africa and served as a Fulbright scholar in Rwanda during the 2018-19 academic year.

Tell us a fun fact about you.

I have traveled to more than 40 countries, and I have been close enough to a gorilla in the wild to touch it. (Don't worry, I fought the urge.)