Pioneering journalist and scholar
Dr. Lucinda Diane Davenport is a renowned pioneer, journalist, teacher and scholar, impacting the practice of journalism in Michigan and globally. She was also director of MSU’s School of Journalism for 10 years, building it into a top-tier professional and scholarly program.
From Michigan, Davenport has earned a national reputation as a digital media innovator since the late 1980s. Well-known journalist and scholar Fred Fedler wrote that he looked for two years “for the nation’s No. 1 expert in the use of computers in journalism education” to collaborate in a project. “Who’s the best person in the field?” he asked everywhere. “The overwhelming response: Lucinda.”
She has pioneered many Michigan and world-wide digital news “firsts.” Her thesis and dissertation were firsts on computerized information services and online news. She co-created AEJMC Forum, the first database and chat for journalism academics and professionals on CompuServe, the first major dial-up service. She built “Media Writer,” the first commercial computerized training for newswriting.
Davenport researched the early potential of computers in newsrooms, was first to teach classes and led early professional workshops on digital news, online databases, information services and computer-assisted reporting.
She instigated the first online journalism curriculum in Michigan, helping students continue their education off-campus and, with colleagues, established the school’s first newsroom and created online modules reaching learners whose countries ban journalists.
She pioneers “firsts” also in ethics and diversity. As director, she publishes high-profile articles about journalism education. She co-authors two international best-selling textbooks, “Writing and Reporting for the Media” (13th ed.) and “Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology” (11th ed.).
A national award-winning MSU Distinguished Professor, Davenport has raised $2 million and supported thousands of students. Her undergraduate students became successful journalists and graduate students achieved professorships, emulating Davenport’s love of journalism and its importance in a democratic society.