Susan Keith, a former journalist who earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, has served as the chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies since 2016. In 2019, she was elected vice president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, a role that will lead to president of the association. Her research examines journalistic practice, journalistic content (particularly visual content and coverage of war and conflict), media ethics, and media law.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.D., Journalism and Mass Communication
University of South Florida
M.A., Journalism Studies
University of Montevallo
A former journalist, Susan Keith studies the evolving practice of journalism, journalistic content (especially visual content and coverage of war and conflict), and legal and ethical concerns related to journalism. Her work has been published in such journals as Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism; Journalism Studies; the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media; Media, War & Conflict; and Visual Communication Quarterly. She was named an Emerging Scholar for 2011-2012 by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and a Page Legacy Scholar for 2010-2011 by the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University.
She teaches conceptual courses in media law at the undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. levels and skills-based and conceptual courses in editing and design, media ethics and law, and global media at the undergraduate level. Her teaching experience includes online-only instruction at both the undergraduate and master’s levels.
Prof. Keith began her service as chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies in summer 2016. From 2012 to 2014, she was the coordinator for the Digital Media track in the Masters of Communication and Information Studies program. She served as area coordinator for Media Studies in the School of Communication and Information Ph.D. program in 2010-2012 and as interim arear coordinator in fall 2013.
In spring 2019, Prof. Keith was elected vice president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, a 107-year-old professional group of about 3,700 faculty members from 50 countries. She will begin her service in fall 2019 on a four-year leadership ladder of vice president, president elect, president, and past president.
Before pursuing a Ph.D., Prof. Keith spent 16 years working as a newspaper reporter and editor. She was a reporter for the Athens (Ala.) News-Courier, wire editor of The Cullman (Ala.) Times, a copy editor/page designer and weekend magazine editor of the Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald, a copy editor/page designer and assistant newsfeatures editor for Florida Today in Melbourne, and a copy editor/page designer in news and sports for the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, now known as the Tampa Bay Times.
Prof. Keith is married to a journalist and lives in New York City.
Centers, Labs, and Clusters
Awards & Recognitions
Named an Emerging Scholar for 2011-2012 by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Page Legacy Scholar for 2010-2011 by the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University
Received faculty research paper awards from the Media Ethics, Media Law, and Media Management and Economics divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Outstanding Faculty Member for 2011-2012 by the Rutgers SC&I Doctoral Student Association
Promising Professors competition sponsored by the Mass Communication and Society Division of AEJMC (2006)