Perry Parks' research focuses on how taken-for-granted news norms and values unnecessarily limit news content and people's perceptions of what is civically and personally possible. Parks applies historical, critical, cultural and non-representational approaches to exploring these limits and post-normative alternatives, often through textual or discourse analysis. He is also interested in similar approaches to science journalism and science communication.
Parks is a long-time reporter, writer, editor, teacher and researcher of news and news values. He was an editor for both his high school and college newspapers before graduating from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism. He spent eight years reporting and editing for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. His first stint at Michigan State University was as professional editorial adviser to The State News, the independent student newspaper for MSU, and as an adjunct instructor of journalism. He then spent several years teaching reporting and editing classes at the University of Georgia and managing a dozen hyperlocal community news websites for Patch.com before returning to Michigan State to complete a doctoral degree in Media and Information Studies.
Parks' research has been published in such journals as Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Journalism & Mass Communication Educator; Journalism; Journalism Studies; Journalism Practice; Media, Culture & Society; and Science Communication. He is also author of the book Making Important News Interesting: Reporting Public Affairs in the 21st Century.