Kent State Names New Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism

Peter Bobkowski will join the School of Media and Journalism this fall as Kent State University’s second Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, dedicated to leading national efforts to revitalize journalism in the nation's high schools. He replaces retired chair Mark Goodman, who held the role since it was established in 2007.

Bobkowski received his doctorate in mass communication from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For the last 12 years, he served as professor in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Kansas.

“I am thrilled to contribute to Kent State’s legacy of supporting high school journalism teachers and students,” Bobkowski said. "It is critical that today’s young people feel empowered to engage in journalism by using their digital communication tools to responsibly share information about the issues they find important.”

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports the First Amendment and the crucial role of journalism in a democracy to inform communities. Since 1990, the foundation has endowed 26 chairs and professors at 23 universities.  Knight Chairs in journalism are top professionals who bridge the newsroom-classroom divide with innovative teaching, major outreach projects and their own journalism.

Along with the Knight Chair, Kent State has a Center of Scholastic Journalism, offers a master's degree with a focus on scholastic journalism and provides the most comprehensive census of high school journalism programs in the country. "So many great journalists got their start in high school," said Jim Brady, vice president of journalism for Knight Foundation. "Kent State is uniquely positioned to help scholastic journalism grow."

Added Emily Metzgar, director of the School of Media and Journalism: “I am delighted that Peter is joining us as the Knight Chair. His name is well recognized in the scholastic journalism community and in this role, he will raise visibility about the importance of journalism education while ensuring that young people from a diverse range of backgrounds have the opportunity to learn about journalism’s important role in democratic society.”

In addition to his work in higher education, Bobkowski spent seven years teaching and advising high school student publications.  As an active member of the scholastic journalism community, his service to scholastic journalism was recognized with the Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association, the Gold Key from Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the David Adams Journalism Educator of the Year award from the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC.

“I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the College of Communication and Information, and across Kent State, to develop innovative ways that help sustain existing high school journalism programs, and that connect young people whose schools do not offer journalism to the benefits of journalism education,” Bobkowski said.

The Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism is responsible for:

  • Seeking opportunities to present the case for scholastic journalism’s future as a cornerstone to build civic involvement in a younger generation
  • Collaborating with professional and scholastic journalism associations to improve communication between the worlds of work and education
  • Working with the Center for Scholastic Journalism and the journalism school’s faculty to develop innovative research reflecting the state of scholastic journalism
  • Developing courses and workshops for current and future journalism teachers and student media advisers
  • Coordinating fundraising for both scholastic journalism national projects and workshops for high school advisers

Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism is one of five Schools housed within the Kent State College of Communication and Information. With a student-centered and ethically driven mission, it provides students with a solid academic experience that balances both conceptual and practical courses, professional opportunities and multiple internships, all of which are grounded in a foundation of ethics in a diverse and global society. The school offers four majors: advertising, digital media production, journalism and public relations.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, based in Miami, is a social investor, supporting a more effective democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on social media.

POSTED: Thursday, March 9, 2023 10:34 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2023 02:30 PM