My research and teaching focus on journalism's role in democratic societies during times of political and cultural change, with a particular emphasis on civil rights and racial politics. I have been publishing peer-reviewed studies in the fields of journalism history and media studies since 2010. I am co-editor, with Kathy Roberts Forde, of Journalism and Jim Crow: White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America, a collaborative project that documents the role of the white press in building and protecting white supremacist political economies in the South at the turn of the twentieth century. The book shows show how white journalists collaborated with other institutions in their communities to support disfranchisement, economic exploitation, and punitive penal systems that were constitutive components of the Jim Crow system of discrimination in the southern states. Our research also shows how a vigorous Black press fought ferociously against these efforts. In 2022, the book won awards from three academic organizations -- the American Historical Association, the American Journalism Historians Association, and the AEJMC History Division -- and it was a finalist for the AEJMC James Tankard Book Award and KTA/Frank Luther Mott Award. My first book, Newspaper Wars: Civil Rights and White Resistance in South Carolina, 1935-1965, won the 2018 George C. Rogers, Jr. Book Award from the South Carolina Historical Society. I have published widely on the press, democracy, and race in academic journals and popular media outlets, and I am co-editor of a book series, Journalism and Democracy, published by the University of Massachusetts Press. My interest in those topics grew out of personal experience. I spent more than two decades as a professional journalist covering political contests in the United States and abroad. During that time, I came to realize that journalists and their publics increasingly disagreed about the role journalism has played—and should play—in civic life. As a historian, a media researcher, and an editor, I hope to engage in the scholarly and public conversation about an issue that is central to democratic society.
- Ph.D: Mass Communication, University of South Carolina, 2014
- M.A.: Mass Communication, University of South Carolina, 2010
- B.A.: English Literature, Florida State University, 1983
- Journalism History, Journalism Studies, Race and Democracy