Category Archives: David Poulson

David Poulson is the senior associate director of Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

Frank Kelley’s lasting impact on Michigan – and on me

Then Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley, left, and David Poulson, in 1982. Image: Jerry Morton

By DAVID POULSON

LANSING — Almost 39 years ago, Attorney General Frank Kelley visited my journalism class at Michigan State University to explain government access laws.

Kelley often dropped by news organizations to give tutorials on the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information acts. Such visits garnered the favorable local news coverage he coveted.

Me? I wasn’t looking for a softball story when he extended his visits to students. I planned to use my rare shot at meeting a high state official to hit him hard about something big and controversial.

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Online workshop teaches MSU researchers to explain what they do

Scientists at a Knight Center workshop in Rwanda learn to communicate their research. Image: David Poulson

By David Poulson

Ever wish the public better understood the science and research you produce?

Both are far too important to confine to researchers and academics. Building a public constituency for them is key to making good decisions and policy. It is also important for advancing your career.

MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism offers a free online workshop this summer to teach MSU students and faculty to engage public audiences with science and other research.

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We lose when the public space becomes a battlespace

David Poulson

By David Poulson

The guard burst from the presidential gatehouse with his gun drawn.

“Stop that,” he yelled as he pointed his weapon at me.

Stunned, I slowly lowered my phone to the ground. I was dressed for an early morning run in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi in Africa. As I often do when working out-of-town, I had combined my morning run with a little sightseeing.

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Knight Center Senior Associate Director interview about online teaching

Knight Center Senior Associate Director David Poulson was recently interviewed for a story about teaching journalism online. See story here.

The article was produced for the EJ Academy section of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ online newsletter. It interviewed several university instructors about the challenges and opportunities of moving courses online. Michigan State University and most all universities shifted classes online because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Poulson has taught online before.  But the pandemic crisis in the middle of the semester required a significant shift for a course that had been designed for a traditional face-to-face environment.

Still, he said the move was relatively seamless and prompted him to adopt successful techniques that he may not have tried without the motivation of a sudden switch in platforms.

One tip: Require students to turn on their own video when using a remote conferencing system like Zoom, he said. They take the class more seriously, pay better attention and are more likely to interact with the instructor and each other.