Dr. Carrie Buchanan
Tim Russert Department of Communication
John Carroll University

A questioning mind is fundamental to journalism and something I hoped, as a journalism professor, to pass on to my students. Otherwise known as critical thinking, it begins with a refusal to accept things as given or "just the way things are." 

But what does one do after that? 

A liberal arts education is designed to give you the tools to continue a lifelong practice of critical thinking. I was lucky to have such an education myself at Bryn Mawr College. It has, to quote Robert Frost, made all the difference. 

I was also fortunate to stumble into journalism, where I found a home for my questioning mind, then academia, which encouraged me to explore new ideas through research and share them by teaching. 

I know there are not as many jobs in journalism today as there were when I started out, yet I made it my mission to pass on the skills — and the willingness to question everything — to young people, knowing they would be helpful in any field of endeavor. I also taught students to think critically about the mass media, technology, and the law and government policy governing these fields. These skills can make a difference throughout their lives, in which communications media and technology are central.  

My story

After 15 years as a reporter and editor – 12 of those for the Ottawa Citizen, the major daily newspaper in Canada’s capital – I left the newspaper business in 2000. Following a year of freelance work and part-time teaching, I decided to pursue a doctorate in communication in the hope of spending the rest of my working life teaching, researching the mass media and otherwise serving the journalism community. 


In 2006, I moved with my husband to Cleveland, Ohio, after seven years of part-time teaching at Carleton University’s respected School of Journalism and Communication in Ottawa. I worked on my dissertation until it was completed in 2009, then was delighted to land my dream job at John Carroll University — a private, Jesuit, liberal arts university with about 3,800 students. I became a tenured faculty member in the Tim Russert Department of Communication. I have taught courses in introductory journalism, mass media, media law, political communication, media literacy, editing & design, health & environmental writing, multimedia reporting, social issues in journalism, communication technology & society, and a linked course on climate change that combined two courses: one in physics (taught by Dr. Carlo DeMarchi and later, Dr. Dinesh Shetty) and one in environmental journalism (taught by myself). In 2018, I took on a new role as faculty adviser to The Carroll News, the student-run campus newspaper, which I very much enjoyed. In 2020, I began a step-down retirement, teaching one fewer course each semester until May 2022, when I retired, returning to Canada over the summer. 

I created this website to share some of the work I have done during my career, both in journalism and in academia. However, most of what I have written I don’t have permission to use: the copyright is owned by the newspaper or academic journal that published it. There are more than 1,500 of my bylined articles in the database that includes all Postmedia newspapers (Canada’s largest newspaper chain, with dailies in many of the country’s major cities), and in other news databases available in many public and university libraries. Only a few of the freelance articles are posted here, plus links to my open-access academic articles. 


For those interested in more detail about my education, job experience, etc., see the tabs for Academic Articles and News & Feature Articles on this site. There is also a good summary of my work, including community service, on my publicly accessible LinkedIn page, and of my academic work on Academia.edu and ResearchGate, as well as ORCID. I regret that some of my publications are not publicly accessible and hope they will be in future, as the open access movement gains full credibility in academia. 

This website is a work in progress. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please send an e-mail. I welcome feedback.

Carrie Buchanan

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