Pollner professors have described their semester at UM as some of the finest and most fulfilling months of their lives. To read their recollections, click on their individual names.
The inaugural professor was Jonathan Weber, a former Los Angeles Times business and technology reporter who became editor of the Industry Standard, a magazine that covered the dot-com boom and bust. At UM, Weber taught a seminar on globalization and the press. His lecture examined the rise and fall of The Industry Standard, the fastest-growing magazine in American history. He then went on to found New West in Missoula. In early 2010, he was named editor-in-chief of The Bay Citizen. He became West Coast Bureau Chief for Reuters in fall 2011.
Additional Pollner professors have been:
Tom Cheatham, who spent years as a foreign correspondent for United Press International and then as a producer and foreign bureau chief for NBC. His seminar subject was war correspondence; his lecture topic was the role of the press in wartime.
Maurice Possley, a criminal justice investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune whose work has received prestigious national awards. In the waning days of his tenure at UM in late 2003, Possley wrote a colleague: “I'm battling little lumps in my throat at various moments...about leaving.” Possley’s lecture examined how DNA evidence exposed flaws in the U.S. justice system.
Nancy Szokan, an editor at The Washington Post, who taught a course in opinion journalism. In her lecture, Szokan warned that traditional forms of news are in decline and that journalists must evolve to meet changing demands.
Christine Boese, a blogging pioneer working for CNN, who taught a course in 2005 on web logs (blogs) and the media. Her lecture used blogs from the war in Iraq as a vehicle to explore the relationship between the traditional media and the writers and readers of blogs.
Henriette Löwisch, a German foreign correspondent for Agence France-Presse. She taught a seminar on foreign correspondence and argued in her lecture that by gaining knowledge of the rest of the world, U.S. citizens can fix the global image of the “Ugly American.” She joined our permanent faculty in August 2009 as associate professor and director of our graduate program.
Pulitzer-winner and Baltimore Sun reporter John Woestendiek taught a course in which students examined a town east of Missoula where tailings from the nation's largest Superfund site were being deposited. The students' work, in a variety of formats, was published in the Missoulian. Woestendiek won his Pulitzer at the Philadelphia Inquirer for coverage of prisons, including a story about a man wrongly convicted of murder. He was also a Pulitzer finalist twice. Woestendiek later left the Sun and has recently had published a book, Dog, Inc., about dog cloning.
Maryanne McNellis, with extensive newspaper and magazine experience, who taught a course called "Follow the Money" about financial journalism. Her lecture addressed media coverage of the economic crisis in the fall of 2008.
Chris Jones, writer-at-large for Esquire magazine, led a seminar on narrative non-fiction writing. His lecture was called "Accidents" - how accidents happen and that a person's merit lies in what he or she does after the accident.
Eli Saslow, a reporter for The Washington Post, taught a course on writing a variety of stories, from breaking news to in-depth reporting. His Pollner Lecture in October 2010 was about covering President Obama and the "bubble" that surrounds the president these days.
Karen Coates is a freelance journalist who has spent more than a decade reporting from Southeast Asia. She is the author of five books and her work has been published in dozens of magazines and newspapers. Her Pollner seminar, "The Savvy Journalist: A 21st Century Survival Guide," helped students understand how to find and pursue interesting stories and how to sell them to a variety of publications, as well as how to find funding for enterprise journalism.
Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever taught a course called “Popular Culture Journalism” in which students studied and practiced various forms of feature writing – critical reviews, essays and two reported stories – to examine the ways in which American society consumes and interacts with pop culture. His Pollner lecture, “Liner Notes for the End of the World,” focused on how reporters can and should write more meaningfully about celebrities, trends, culture, society and entertainment. Visit his website for more.