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Jon Ziomek

Jon Ziomek

Associate Professor Emeritus

John Ziomek was on Medill’s faculty from 1982 to 2007 and is now an associate professor emeritus. After several years of teaching, he moved into administration, and became the assistant dean and director of Medill’s editorial master’s degree programs. During this period, the graduate curriculum expanded to include joint degrees with several other schools, Chicago operations were added to the Medill News Service (previously operating only in Washington, D.C.), and the school created a Global Residency Program for graduate students.

The international program had special resonance for Ziomek. Because his father was in the U.S. Air Force, he and his family spent much of his childhood living in and traveling to other countries. This experience created a lifelong interest in developing a strong worldview. Journalism and academics have been excellent fields for the expression of this interest. In his last year at Medill, Ziomek directed the Global Residency program.

Prior to moving into academics full time, he spent more than 10 years as a reporter. He worked in several departments of the Chicago Sun Times (metro desk, business news and features) before trying, and loving, teaching.

Areas of Research

When Ziomek was working for his master's degree, he spent several semesters studying the philosophy of Western media and communications systems. He found that topic a good complement to the practical skills he had acquired in his earlier career. He also developed a strong interest in the influence of communications technology on communications content, and an interest in public perception of journalism and journalists, in the United States and elsewhere.

During his career, he has visited newsrooms in western, central and eastern Europe, the Mideast and South America. These trips affirmed his strong belief in the deep importance of open media to democracy.

Authored Works

While Ziomek was on the active Medill faculty, he free-lanced extensively, writing and editing for media outlets, for corporations and for non-profit organizations. He has continued this work since leaving Northwestern. His 2018 nonfiction history book, Collision on Tenerife, was the result of years of research into the 1977 collision of two 747 passenger jets in the Canary Islands.

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