Sue Ellen  Christian Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Sue Ellen Christian

Professor of Communication
Western Michigan University

I’m a professor in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University, where I teach courses in journalism, multimedia and media literacy. In addition to Everyday Media Literacy, I am the author of Overcoming Bias: A Journalist’s Guide to Culture and Context. I am the recipient of the 2016 Michigan Professor of the Year award from the Michigan Association of State Universities, and worked as a staff writer at the Chicago Tribune for ten years.

Biography

I’m a professor in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University, where I teach courses in journalism, multimedia and media literacy. In addition to Everyday Media Literacy, I am the author of Overcoming Bias: A Journalist’s Guide to Culture and Context. I am the recipient of the 2016 Michigan Professor of the Year award from the Michigan Association of State Universities, and WMU Distinguished Teaching Award. My scholarly and creative work focuses on journalism pedagogy, diversity and inclusion in narrative, and journalism ethics. Prior to joining academia, I was a reporter for the Detroit News, Los Angeles Times (Washington, D.C. bureau) and Chicago Tribune, where I worked as a staff writer for ten years, covering a variety of beats, including state politics and public health. I am active in the Truth, Racial Healing and Reconciliation initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and I serve on the board of the Society of History and Racial Equity. I speak and offer workshops on issues related to media literacy, news literacy and inclusive narrative.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Media literacy, journalism practice, inclusive storytelling, journalism pedagogy.

Personal Interests

    I am on the board of the Society of History and Racial Equity, which promotes knowledge of our racial history as well as discussions about race; I am on the Narrative Change Committee of the Truth and Racial Healing and Transformation initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which advocates for inclusive storytelling. I enjoy serving at the Appalachia Service Project in the summers with my kids and trying my hand at sewing when I have time.

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Everyday Media Literacy - 1st Edition book cover

News

Interview on the importance of media literacy for journalists

By: Sue Ellen Christian
Subjects: Media and Cultural Studies, Media, Journalism and Communications

In this first episode of Season 9, Professor Sue Ellen Christian of Western Michigan University joins host Caroline Odom to talk about concepts from her book, “Everyday Media Literacy: An Analog Guide for Your Digital Life.” Professor Christian shares why media literacy matters for journalism students and how the power of the story wins the day.

 

MLK Day Teach-In: How Misinformation is Harming Democracy

By: Sue Ellen Christian

"Thank you, I am honored to be here and included in this important day commemorating a man who spoke truth when it was so often not easy, welcomed or truly heard. We are still learning from the truths of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For our brief time together today, I want us to consider how misinformation is harming democracy. Misinformation is deliberately false and misleading information, meant to deceive.  Dr. King himself well understood the destructive capacity of misinformation. Put another way, Martin Luther King Jr understood about fake news before fake news was even a thing...."

NPR AUDIO INTERVIEW: WMU Professor Focuses on Media Literacy

By: Sue Ellen Christian

National Public Radio affiliate WMUK (102.1 FM) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, interviewed Sue Ellen Christian for this 21-minute spot on media literacy and why it is critical to democracy. 

Book Launch Presentation and Signing Session

By: Sue Ellen Christian

At a February book launch event, Sue Ellen Christian shared highlights of her new book, "Everyday Media Literacy" at This is a Bookstore in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Back Story: Sue Ellen Christian

By: Sue Ellen Christian

In a world of immediate news — it happens and it’s on the Internet in the blink of an eye — the craft of the journalist is more important than ever, says WMU professor Sue Ellen Christian. And despite technological advances, she says old school reporting is still critical for today’s journalists.

“While the medium and the format of journalism have changed, the foundational skills haven’t changed,” says Christian, who was one of three recipients of the 2016 Michigan Professor of the Year award given by the Michigan Association of State Universities. Christian says teaching journalism is about more than instilling the skills of a reporter. It is also about teaching students how to engage in the civic affairs of their communities.

“The thing I like about teaching journalism is it’s also helping students to learn to be citizens and think about being involved in your community in a civic way,” she says.

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Videos

TEDx Talk: Crossing Life's Fault Lines

Published: Dec 06, 2019

The news media isn't all loud or angry -- or fake. In fact, honest journalism shows you the world from another's perspective. Diversify your news consumption and get a more accurate picture of life for those unlike yourself. This talk offers a week's guide to broadening your view of the world by broadening your news intake.