Journalism Professors

Each year eminent journalists teach at Princeton, thanks to three generous donors whom we gratefully acknowledge: Edwin F. Ferris of the Princeton Class of 1899; Harold W. McGraw, Jr., of the Class of 1940, and the E. Franklin Robbins Trust in honor of the late William G. Michaelson, Class of 1959, and his daughter Robin L. Michaelson, Class of 1989. This year's professors join a roster that includes many of America’s most distinguished writers. Their seminars are listed among the journalism (JRN) courses sponsored by the Humanities Council.

Frank Bruni, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, is unique in having covered so many beats, from the White House and political reporting to foreign correspondence and restaurant reviews. His spring-term McGraw Seminar, Writing with Appetite, will explore how food mirrors so much about our lives and how the challenges of good food writing distill those of all writing.

Steve DrummondSenior National Editor for NPR Newsoversees NPR’s domestic news coverage with a staff of 70 reporters, editors and producers. In his Ferris seminar this fall on reporting and writing for radio, students will produce short segments that are suitable for radio broadcasting.

Carol Giacomoforeign affairs editorial writer for the New York Times, writes commentary about national security. Previously a diplomatic correspondent for Reuters, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. This fall, she is leading a Ferris seminar on editorials: how they are conceived and constructed and how they aim to shape national debate on important issues.

David Kocieniewski, recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes and author of a book about NYPD corruption, is a New York Times investigative reporter working at the intersection of politics and business to expose corporate fraud and malfeasance. As Ferris Professor in the spring, he is teaching investigative reporting.

Mike McGraw, recipient of both Pulitzer and Polk awards, is an investigative reporter for the Kansas City Star. He has uncovered corruption in arenas as varied as agriculture and athletics, criminal justice and the art market. As Ferris Professor this fall he is leading a seminar on investigative reporting.

John McPheeNew Yorker writer and author of 30 books, has been a Ferris Professor since 1974, leading two seminars every three years. Recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Career Award for his “indelible mark on American journalism during his nearly half-century career,” he is teaching a spring-term seminar onCreative Non-Fiction, specially designed for sophomores.

Amy Ellis Nutt of the Newark Star-Ledger won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2011. She is the author of Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man’s Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph. This fall she is teaching a Ferris seminar on the art and craft of non-fiction writing.

Evan Thomas, former Newsweek editor-at-large, author of eight books and more than 100 cover stories, has won two National Magazine Awards. His newest book isIke’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World. As Ferris Professor in Residence, he is teaching The Media in America this fall and Narrative Writing in the spring.

Keith Richburg of the Washington Post brings to his spring-term Ferris seminar on foreign correspondence a lifetime of experience in Paris, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Southeast Asia and, most recently, Beijing. Author of a memoir entitled Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Asia, he has received Polk Awards for Foreign Reporting and for Economics.

Professors 2014-2015

Bruce Auster is National Public Radio's Senior Editor for National Security, overseeing coverage of U.S. military action, terrorism, surveillance, and veterans. Previously, he was Senior Editor of NPR's Morning Edition. His fall-semester audio journalism course will focus on radio storytelling in the digital age.

Pam Belluck is a health and science writer for The New York Times, where she served for a decade as a national bureau chief. In her fall-semester course on Health and Science Journalism, students will use video, graphics, and social media to explain complex and controversial issues in science and medicine.

Eliza Griswold is independent journalist whose work on conflict, religion and human rights has appeared in many publications. She is author of the New York Times best-selling book The Tenth Parallel and translator of a book of poems by Afghan women. She will teach a fall-term course on unconventional foreign correspondence.

Richard Just is the former editor of The New Republic and, most recently, Newsweek. His work has appeared in many venues including The Washington Post, Slate, and The American Prospect. He will teach a fall-semester McGraw Seminar on Writing for Intellectual Magazines.

John McPhee, New Yorker writer and author of 30 books, has been a Ferris Professor since 1974, leading two seminars every three years. Recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Career Award for his “indelible mark on American journalism during his nearly half-century career,” he is teaching a spring-term seminar on Creative Non-Fiction, specially designed for sophomores.

Jim Steele, investigative reporter and contributing editor to Vanity Fair, is legendary for tackling the most complicated issues, such as healthcare, the tax system, and nuclear waste. He has won two Pulitzer prizes, two National Magazine Awards, and six Polk Awards, and co-authored eight books. As a Ferris Professor, Steele is leading a spring-term seminar on investigative reporting: its history, its techniques, and its role in society.

Joe Stephens, Ferris Professor in Residence and an investigative projects reporter for The Washington Post, is a three-time winner of the George Polk Award and three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. One of his best known investigations focused on pharmaceutical companies testing drugs overseas. He is teaching a fall-term course on Investigative Journalism, with a focus on accountability reporting, and a spring-term course on The Media in America.

Noy Thrupkaew is a contributing editor for The American Prospect. She is currently writing a book about human trafficking and labor exploitation and has reported from Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Iran, Morocco, Vietnam, and Cuba. Her spring course on International News will focus on writing local stories with global implications, including national security policy, migration and social inequality, and trauma and resistance in refugee communities.

David Wessel, previously the Economics Editor and Chief Economics Correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, now directs a new fiscal policy center at the Brookings Institute. He will teach a spring-term course on The Political Economy Beat, with a focus on the craft of writing about fiscal and monetary policy, election campaigns, living standards, social trends, and inequality.

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