I am Emeritus Professor of Mass Communication at Loyola University New Orleans. Prior to my retirement, in May, 2011, I was the A. Louis Read Distinguished Professor of Mass Communication in the School of Mass Communication, Loyola University New Orleans.
I began teaching at Loyola in 1981, when I was named chair of the former Department of Communications. I left the chairmanship in 1994, and since then I've devoted myself to teaching and research. In 2006-07 and 2007-08, I served as interim dean of the university's new College of Social Sciences.
I was associate director of Loyola University's summer program in Mexico City and, as part of that program, I taught the course Mexican Media System.
Loyola students on the campus of the Universidad Iberoamericana
I did my undergraduate work at Marquette University, where I earned a B.S. in English (1958). My M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1968) are in journalism; both are from Southern Illinois University.
Following my graduation from Marquette, I spent three years in the U.S. Army, in the Army Security Agency (1959-62), with tours on Okinawa and at White Sands Missile Range, and on discharge I signed up with the U.S. Army Reserve (1962-70) and served active duty stints as a communications security officer at ASA headquarters in Arlington, VA, and as a public information officer at Edgewood Arsenal, MD. I resigned my commission as a captain when Richard Nixon ordered the bombing of Cambodia.
On my discharge from the regular Army, I was fortunate to get a job with United Press International, as a newsman in the National Broadcast News Department in Chicago (1962-64). We wrote newscasts for client radio and television stations across the country, and the major stories during my time on that desk were integration in the South, the Cuban missile crisis, and the first incursions into Viet Nam. One horrible day, I helped to tell the story of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Another ex-Unipresser wrote years later that UPI "was held together with the journalistic equivalent of Scotch tape and baling wire, offered rock-bottom wages for round-the-clock work, was persistently understaffed, constantly chaotic, proudly perverse and--for most who worked there--probably the most fun they ever had." I'm one of those; it was the most fun I ever had. I worked occasionally as a stringer for UPI's Marion, IL, bureau while I was in graduate school, and after completing my doctorate I took another turn on the broadcast desk in Chicago. That was during the tumultuous Democratic National Convention summer of 1968.
When I left UPI to go to graduate school, I planned to spend a year studying for a master's degree, then write television documentaries. But as I neared completion of the degree, the job I wanted wasn't available, and I realized I enjoyed graduate study, so I stayed on for another three years and turned my sights toward a university career. My first university teaching job was as a part-time instructor in the Department of Management, Southern Illinois University (1967-68), where I taught courses in business writing and business letter writing while I wrote my dissertation.
In the fall of 1968 I went back to Marquette as afull-time faculty member in the College of Journalism (1968-80), and there I headed the radio-tv sequence and served as director of graduate studies (1977-79).
Marquette University's Johnston Hall, in which I studied English as an undergraduate and taught journalism as a faculty member
I left Marquette in 1980 to head the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at New Mexico State University and serve as director of the university's Center for Broadcasting and International Communications, and the following year I came to Loyola as chair of the Department of Communications (1981-94).
I've also lectured at the University of Wisconsin Center - Waukesha (1973-74), and while I was in the Army I moonlighted for a time teaching English composition at the U.S. Army Education Center, Machinato, Okinawa (1960-61). I've lectured at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City (1992, 1993, 1994) as part of a faculty exchange agreement.
My regular courses include History of Journalism and Ethics of Mass Communications, Introduction to Mass Communications, Communications Writing and Beginning Reporting.
Some years ago, Prof. John Vivian of Winona State University and I teamed up to write the textbook News:Reporting and Writing (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1996). John is an old friend with whom I taught at Marquette and New Mexico State University and author of the widely used introductory text book, The Media of Mass Communication, , now in its tenth edition.
My first book was the biography Hugh Gaine: A Colonial Printer-Editor's Odyssey to Loyalism (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1972).
My other publications include Writing Guide for Technical Publications (Edgewood Arsenal Special Publication 400-25, 1969); "The Press and Society," a supplement to the Chicago Tribune Weekly Report (1973); and numerous articles, reviews, and research reports which have appeared in such publications as American Journalism, Journalism Quarterly, Journalism History, Journal of Broadcasting, Grassroots Editor, and Milwaukee County Historical Society Messenger. I've contributed to the "American Newspaper Journalists" volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, the Biographical Dictionary of American Journalism and the forthcoming Encyclopedia of the American Enlightment.
Most recently, I published an article in Journalism History on the press of Confederate New Orleans under the control of Union General Benjamin Butler in 1862. I've listed my publications on another page. At the moment, I'm conducting research with the aim of writing a book about the Chicago Tribune's "In the Wake of the News" column and the men who have written it, including Ring Lardner, shown here at about the time he conducted the column, from 1913 to 1919.
During the years I've been teaching I've tried to keep one foot in the world of professional journalism. While at Marquette I worked during summers and on many weekends during the school year as a reporter and newscaster for WISN-AM/FM, Milwaukee (1972-1977). I was writer, moderator andproducer of "Milwaukee Media Review," aired on WISN-TV, (1972-73); writer and moderator of "Marquette on Camera," also on WISN-TV (1977-80); and writer and moderator of "Milwaukee: Behind the Headlines," broadcast by the PBS outlet WMVS-TV (1976-80). A special program in the latter series, "Anatomy of a Newscast," won a 1980 Clarion Award from Women in Communications, Inc., for me and producer Philip Byrd, now
producer/director of BrandenburgProductions, Inc...
Since 1987 I've been hostof the weekly WYES-TV news-in-review program "Informed Sources" (after linking, scroll down to see the two most recent broadcasts).
I have free-lanced articles to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News of Denver, the also-defunct Kansas City-St. Joseph Register, and Travel Counsellor Magazine. I have contributed an occasional observation to the muckraking Internet newspaper Putnam Pit.
I have been a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication; Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, whose national Historic Sites Committee I chaired (1980-85); and the American Journalism Historians Association, which I have served as a member of the editorial board and referee of American Journalism. I am also a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, national journalism and mass communications honorary society (and moderator of the Loyola chapter); Sigma Tau Delta, national English honorary society; Sigma Delta Pi, national Spanish honorary society; and Phi Kappa Phi, national scholastic honorary society. I'm a past president (1984-85) of the Press Club of New Orleans, and in 2001 the Press Club honored me with its Lifetime Achievement Award. I was honored with Loyola University's Dux Academicus award for 2009, an annual awardthat recognizes a faculty member who “is able to impart the knowledge and wisdom of the humanities, sciences or the professions to students in a manner consistent with the unique philosophy of Loyola University New Orleans as a Jesuit institution of higher education.”
I am a member and of the board of the Central Carrollton Association and editor of the organization’s monthly email newsletter. I am a former member of the board of directors of the Center for Nonprofit Resources in New Orleans. I've also been a member of the marketing committee of Associated Catholic Charities. I have served the local United Way as a member of its Marketing and Public Relations Cabinet, as communications liaison to the coordinating council of the Community Resources Division and as a member of the Impact Grant Committee. In 1998, the United Way presented me its Peter A. Mayer Award for outstanding communications support.
I'm married to the former Kathleen Condon. We have five children: Abigail. Kate, Patrick, Bobby and Mary. All are Loyola graduates.