This book stands on the shoulders of many scholars, practitioners, and public thinkers. It also benefited greatly from the support I have received from different people in my life and at my institution. While I cannot thank everyone who deserves it within these pages — that is another book altogether — I do want to highlight a few people who played a major role in bringing this book to life.
First, thank you, Kelsey Whipple. Dr. Whipple not only proofread the first draft of all of these chapters, she also wrote some of them. She also did this while transitioning into a new job, at a new place, and in the middle of a pandemic. My ideas are better — not just in expression but in substance — because of her generous work.
Second, thank you, Anamaria Georgescu. Your support over several years has meant a great deal to me. This is especially true when I start hating life after the initial excitement of undertaking a big project like this wears off. Here’s to my next crazy idea!
Third, thank you, my former students. Over the years, you have challenged me in so many ways, both inside and outside of class. It has made me a better person and, I hope, a better teacher. You have helped me identify what matters in journalism, and why. And, you have energized me to persevere whenever this job starts to feel like a job. Thanks to you, it is much more than that. May you continue to challenge me for many years.
Fourth, thank you, University of Massachusetts Amherst, UMass Amherst Libraries, and my colleagues in the Journalism Department. UMass promotes a culture of teaching excellence and has provided me with several opportunities to develop as an instructor, including a Lilly Teaching Fellowship. UMass Amherst Libraries generously provided me with an Open Education Initiative grant that allowed me to turn my course notes into this book. And, my departmental colleagues have embodied the meaning of teaching excellence since my very first day at UMass. They constantly push me to be creative and diligent in order to offer my students the very best experience.
Finally, I’d like to thank a number of experts outside of UMass who played a major and direct role in shaping the ideas featured in the pages of these book: Abeer Al-Najjar, Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Harry Browne, Matt Carlson, David Casswell, Mark Coddington, Jane L. Chapman, Paul D’Angelo, Nicholas Diakopoulos, Robert Entman, Anthony L. Fargo, Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh, Tony Harcup, Magda Konieczna, Seth C. Lewis, Johan Lidberg, Madeleine Liseblad, John H. McManus, Irene C. Meijer, Logan Molyneux, Paul C. Murschetz, Philip Napoli, Jonathan Peters, Victor Pickard, Stephen Reese, Sue Robinson, Jay Rosen, Frank M. Russell, Michael Schudson, Ivor Shapiro, Gabriele Siegert, Jane B. Singer, Jeffery A. Smith, Nancy Snow, Nina Springer, Edson Tandoc, Einar Thorsen, Nikki Usher, Wayne Wanta, Stephen J. Ward, Oscar Westlund, and Alexander S. Wilkinson. I hope you all find that this book faithfully honors what you’ve contributed to our understanding of journalism.