Journalism  

Founded in 1914, the Journalism program is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Alumni include Pulitzer Prize winners, Nieman fellows and nationally known journalists.

The journalism major prepares students for leadership roles in rapidly changing media by requiring a strong core of journalism courses within the rich context of a liberal arts education. Courses are designed to foster analytical and critical thinking skills and to teach students to communicate effectively with a mass audience.

Our students learn the skills needed for success in their chosen field. They also learn about industry structures, ethics, and regulation. Our goal is for students in our classes to become skilled practitioners as well as critical thinkers – training for a first job AND a long-term career.

 
 

Al Cross
Al Cross is Director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. Prior to joining UK to head up IRJCI, he was the Louisville Courier-Journal's lead political reporter. In his 25 years with the Courier-Journal, he covered elections at all levels and wrote about state government. Cross has been a frequent guest on KET’s “ Comment on Kentucky.” He has received awards for reporting and column writing from the Louisville Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is credited with helping the Courier-Journal win a Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Cross is the past president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s oldest and largest journalism organization.
Contact: al.cross@uky.edu

 
 

Buck Ryan
Buck Ryan, director of the Citizen Kentucky Project at the University of Kentucky’s Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, is a tenured associate professor of journalism at UK’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications. He won the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2003 after serving eight years as director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications from 1994 to 2002. 

He was the eighth director in the journalism school’s 80-year history. He left the post to become executive director of the First Amendment Center, where he launched the Citizen Kentucky Project, which is designed to increase civic literacy and engagement among young people.

Ryan is the creator of the Maestro Concept, an innovative approach to story planning, writing and newsroom organization for newspapers. The concept debuted in a video and report to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1993. The concept’s impact covers 48 states and Washington, D.C., in the United States and 16 other countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, Korea, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Spain and Vietnam). A list of those interested in the concept when it was introduced in 1993 contains the names of 324 newspapers in the United States involving 59 newspaper groups and more than 50 universities and high schools
Contact:buck.ryan@uky.edu 

 
 

Deborah Chung
Deborah Chung joined UK in the fall of 2004 as an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. She is currently teaching Publication Production and Mass Media and Diversity. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a concentration in magazine design and received her master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.She received her doctoral degree from Indiana University at Bloomington.

Deborah’s research focuses on the impact of communication technologies, specifically the Internet, on mass communication and journalism practice, culture and education. Her most recent research examines online news audiences’ adoption of interactivity and mass communication educators and professionals’ uses and perceptions of blogs.
Contact: dchung@uky.edu 

 
  Kakie Urch
Kakie Urch, assistant professor, brings a combination of professional, academic and teaching experience to the department . She teaches Web Publishing , Media Convergence and special topics courses.

Urch has served as editor of The Kentucky Enquirer in Northern Kentucky, Assistant Managing Editor of The Kentucky Post and Assistant Managing Editor of The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, Calif. She also worked as an editor at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. and as a copy editor/reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. She is a Knight Digital Media Center /Annenberg Center Fellow, having studied multi-media production at UC Berkeley.

Urch earned a B.A. in Journalism General Editorial (Appalachian Studies concentration), a B.A. in English (Writing Emphasis, Departmental Honors), an M.A. in American literature/mass culture and graduate certificate in Social Theory at UK. She did her doctoral work on delivery systems in Rhetoric and Composition Program at The Pennsylvania State University. She has taught in UK’s Department of English, the PSU Department of English and in integrated studies programs at both schools, in addition to teaching in the Communication program at the California State University San Bernardino Palm Desert.
Contact: kakie.urch@uky.edu 

 
  Mel Coffee
Kakie Urch, assistant professor, brings a combination of professional, academic and teaching experience to the department . She teaches Web Publishing , Media Convergence and special topics courses.

Urch has served as editor of The Kentucky Enquirer in Northern Kentucky, Assistant Managing Editor of The Kentucky Post and Assistant Managing Editor of The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, Calif. She also worked as an editor at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. and as a copy editor/reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. She is a Knight Digital Media Center /Annenberg Center Fellow, having studied multi-media production at UC Berkeley.

Urch earned a B.A. in Journalism General Editorial (Appalachian Studies concentration), a B.A. in English (Writing Emphasis, Departmental Honors), an M.A. in American literature/mass culture and graduate certificate in Social Theory at UK. She did her doctoral work on delivery systems in Rhetoric and Composition Program at The Pennsylvania State University. She has taught in UK’s Department of English, the PSU Department of English and in integrated studies programs at both schools, in addition to teaching in the Communication program at the California State University San Bernardino Palm Desert.
Contact: melcoffee@uky.edu 

 
  Mike Farrell
Mike Farrell, assistant professor, was a reporter, city editor and managing editor during a 20-year career at The Kentucky Post. He regularly teaches News Reporting, Media Law, News Editing, and Ethics, but he also has taught courses in Media and Politics, Editorial and Column Writing and Reporting on Religion News. He won the college's Excellence in Teaching award in 2006. He is director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. He is a member of the law, newspaper and religion divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the cosponsor of the campus SPJ chapter. He earned his bachelor's degree at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, and his master's and doctorate at U.K. in the College of Communications and Information Studies.
Contact: farrell@uky.edu 
 
  Richard Labunski
Richard Labunski is a professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. Prior to joining the UK faculty in 1995, he taught at the University of Washington and Penn State. He has a B.A. in political science from the University of California-Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science (American politics, constitutional law) from the University of California-Santa Barbara. His J.D. is from Seattle University School of Law. Prior to pursuing an academic career, he spent ten years in radio and TV news at stations in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Reno and Tucson.

He teaches media law, a course on the First Amendment and the Internet, and for many years, he taught radio and TV news and supervised student-produced TV newscasts. Labunski was one of six recipients of the 2005 Great Teacher award given by the UK Alumni Association. It is the oldest continuous award given for teaching at the University. From 2001 to 2006, Labunski was the director of the internship program.
Contact: labunski@uky.edu 

 
  Scoobie Ryan
Scoobie Ryan, associate professor, teaches Writing for the Mass Media, Broadcast Decision Making, History of Journalism and Journalism in Secondary Education. She’s reported and produced broadcast news in Indianapolis, Boston and Denver. She also taught and advised publications at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

Ryan earned a B.J. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and an M.A. from Antioch School of Law. She’s served on the Kentucky High School Journalism Association Advisory Council since its inception and became state Journalism Education Association director in August 2000. She is also a member of the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
Contact: scoobie@uky.edu

 
  Yung Soo Kim
Yung Soo Kim joined UK in the fall of 2008 as an assistant professor in visual communication. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri- Columbia, and a B.A. in law from Pusan National University, Korea.

He has extensive professional experience as a photojournalist. His journalism career began almost two decades ago as he joined the Pusan National University Weekly. He also worked for the Pusan Ilbo Daily News from 1994 to 2001 after he obtained his bachelor’s degree. In 2001, he came to U.S. to study advanced journalism and mass communication. After he received his master’s degree, he moved to Los Angeles, CA and worked for the Korea Times LA until he began his doctoral study.

Since he began his graduate studies, he has been engaged to teach various classes and research projects. His research/teaching interests include visual communication, international communication, and multimedia productions. Dr. Kim regularly presented his studies at the prestigious conferences such as AEJMC and ICA. His recent articles appeared in the Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly and International Communication Gazette.
Contact: kim.s.eye@uky.edu