Lucinda D. Davenport Ph.D.

Lucinda Davenport

University Distinguished Professor

  • Journalism



Dr. Lucinda D. Davenport is a University Distinguished Professor in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University.

She stepped aside as Director of the School of Journalism after a successful 10 years. Before that, she was the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences (overseeing 11 programs). She is also a former director of the college's Information & Media Ph.D. program and Journalism's Graduate Program.

Dr. Davenport has been a digital media pioneer and innovator. For example, her master's thesis and doctoral dissertation were firsts in the country on computerized information services and online news. She developed the first comprehensive commercial interactive software program for journalism education. She was the first to implement augmented content into a journalism textbook. She was one of the first in the nation to teach seminar and skills courses on digital news, offer professional workshops on data journalism and teach courses online. She was the first digital editor for the local news outlet, the Lansing State Journal. At this time, well-known journalist and educator Fred Fedler wrote that Dr. Davenport was “the nation’s No. 1 expert in the use of computers in journalism education.” 

Dr. Davenport also developed and taught the School's first ethics courses, among others. She continues her early work on women and media and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in journalism. And, she enjoys journalism history and research using historical research methods. One of her successful grants preserved, digitized and made public some of the only known original pages of the Chicago Tribune showing historic innovations in color and printing (15,000 images on 5,500 pages).

Her teaching, research, grants and service/outreach scholarship are intertwined for a focus on making a difference in local to international communities. Recent work, such as collaborating on developing a Fair Chance Diversity Sourcing Tool, is now used by professional journalists and news organizations to check in real time the diversity and inclusion of sources in individual stories and across the newsroom ( and has been recognized with teaching and service awards and research grants. Another award-winning example includes initiating MSU JRN administration and fund raising for the MSU Detroit High School Journalism program (12 participating schools-

Dr. Davenport's research aims to have significance and impact that benefit individuals and society in general. Her focus is in journalism studies and includes innovative media technologies, ethics, women and media, DEI and history, among others. She is published in books and refereed research journals, including the International Journal of Strategic Communications, Asian Journal of Communication, International Communication Gazette, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism Studies, LBS Journal of Management & Research, Newspaper Research Journal, Web Journal of Mass Communication Research, The Journal of Media Economics, Journalism Educator, Journal of Communication Inquiry, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Communication Teacher and Visual Communication Quarterly.

She co-authors two international textbooks in reporting and mass communication that are at the top of their markets and have been translated in different languages: Writing and Reporting for the Media (13th ed.) New York: Oxford University Press and Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology (10th ed.) Boston, Mass: Cengage Learning. She co-authored a third book, The Media in your Life: An Introduction to Mass Communication, and several websites.

Before becoming Director of the School of Journalism, Dr. Davenport had advised more M.A. and PhD. students than any other faculty in the college. She enjoys advising undergrads, as well. She has taught many skills and seminars journalism and media courses, ranging from doctoral courses in qualitative research to graduate classes in mass media history to undergraduate classes in journalism writing and broadcasting. She taught in-person courses in Brazil, Great Britain and Saudi Arabia, for example, and led the successful initiative to teach remote learning modules in journalism on Coursera’s international platform, attracting more than 400,000 students (

She has also chaired and participated on many school, college and university committees, including Faculty Senate, among her 11 committees this academic year alone.

Dr. Davenport has worked in different areas of the journalism and communication industries, from being a reporter and photographer in newspapers, a news director and announcer in public radio and commercial television, a public relations practitioner in national retailing and a forum administrator in early online media, among other positions. She is often asked to review national journalism programs, candidates for promotion in academia and research manuscripts.

She earned her Ph.D. in journalism and mass communication from Ohio University, an M.A. in mass communication from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in journalism from Baylor University. 

Dr. Davenport was the third female hired into the historic School of Journalism's tenure-stream system. She was the only tenure-stream female for many years, beginning with her first year, and has mentored many colleagues. She is a strong advocate for equality of women and DEI in journalism, as evidenced in her activities and research.

Research and Teaching

Selected Awards

2023    Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Citeria include integrity, courage, innovation, achievement, leadership, contribution to the industry and influence on individuals in the profession.

2020    National Grand Prize, Online News Association (ONA) Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education. With Joe Grimm, for New Instrument that Drives Journalism to Reflect Diversity.

2020    1st place. AT&T Award in Instructional Technology, Michigan State University. With Joe Grimm, for JRN 300 and Diversity and Innovation Technology project.

2020    1st place. Best Practices in Teaching Difficult Topics in a Polarized Society. AEJMC. Standing Committee on Teachings. With Joe Grimm. 

2020    Faculty Research Grant. AEJMC. Newspaper and Online News Division. Measuring the Success of a New Tool for Visualizing Diversity in News Coverage and Sourcing.

2019    Robert F. Banks Award for Institutional Leadership, Michigan State University.

2019    L. J. Hortin Distinguished Alumna Award, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, for accomplishments over the course of a career.

2019    John V. Field Award, state of Michigan Interscholastic Press Association, for contributions to scholastic journalism in Michigan.

2017   Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communication Education, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), for “personal excellence and high standards in journalism and mass communication education.”

2010   Faculty Impact Award, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University "whose teaching and mentoring has influenced and changed lives."

2002   All-University Undergraduate Teaching Award, Michigan State University. Now titled Donald F. Koch Quality in Undergraduate Teaching Award, for “commitment to quality teaching and demonstration of substantial continuing instructional involvement.” 

Outstanding Doctoral Candidate, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, The Ohio University.

Top Research Paper awards at (inter)national conferences.

Contact Information

404 Wilson Rd., Room 305
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University