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JMC Newsroom advisor named new assistant professor of journalism

Posted May. 28, 2013
Sue Zake

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication announces that Susan Kirkman Zake is the new assistant professor of journalism, focusing on multimedia. Her selection demonstrates JMC’s commitment to moving forward with a multimedia curriculum and remaining relevant with the industry and our students.

Zake has a notable tenure with JMC, serving as the first web advisor for KentNewsNet at its launch in Fall 2007, and guiding it through its evolution as KentWired.com in Spring 2010. She currently serves as the advisor to the award-winning student newsroom, where she works with the Daily Kent Stater, KentWired.com, TV2 and an array of niche websites and mobile apps, including PortageTrailCentral.com, KSUFashionBlitz.com, KSUBuzz.com, TheAMag.com and the new Burr.com website.

Zake teaches all aspects of newsroom production and management, with particular emphasis on the integration of digital and mobile news platforms, multimedia and social media. She also serves as a lecturer teaching photojournalism, multimedia storytelling and Web programming for multimedia journalists.

"Sue Zake has been a valuable member of our School on numerous levels. She has served as faculty advisor to the Daily Kent Stater and KentWired.com and helped create our most effective multimedia courses,” said Thor Wasbotten, director of JMC. “This appointment will allow Sue to lead our efforts in implementing multimedia across the curriculum while leading by example through her own creative and research projects."

“I’m thrilled and excited to move into my new role within the School, and will work hard to keep our multimedia curriculum fresh and relevant as we prepare our students for jobs in the new multimedia landscape,” said Zake. “I look forward to challenging them to produce multimedia stories of depth and quality, and to help them embrace the power of digital storytelling.”

Zake is the former managing editor for multimedia & special projects at the Akron Beacon Journal, where she began work as a staff photographer in 1986. Over a 20-year career, she worked as an assignment editor, picture editor, graphics editor, assistant metro editor and assistant managing editor.

The recipient of numerous awards for her photojournalist images, the photography, graphics and design staffs under her supervision have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for the quality of their work.

She also shares in three Pulitzer Prize team awards; for coverage of the attempted takeover of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.; for A Question of Color, which examined local attitudes toward race; and for coverage of Hurricane Katrina as part of a Knight Ridder editing team working for the Biloxi Sun Herald.