Kathleen Bartzen Culver is an assistant professor in the UW-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication and associate director of the Center for Journalism Ethics. She also serves as visiting faculty for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Long interested in the implications of digital media on journalism and public interest communication, Prof. Culver focuses on the ethical dimensions of social tools, technological advances and networked information. She combines these interests with a background in law and the effects of boundary-free communication on free expression.
Prof. Culver joined the School of Journalism & Mass Communication in 1999 to help launch an innovative converged curriculum to prepare students for a changing media landscape. When Culver was advised early on that she was “preparing students for jobs that may not even exist yet,” she scarcely had a clue how quickly and massively the ground would shift. She interweaves ethical thinking throughout the course, using new technologies in teaching to promote new ways of addressing ethics questions.
With a Ph.D. in mass communication with an emphasis in media law, Prof. Culver has conducted research into access to information, hate speech, the impact of open records law, reporter-source relationships in crime reporting, and access to the judicial system. She is currently at work on projects on uses of “drone” technology in journalism, ethics in data reporting and visualization, and social media standards in trial courts.
Prof. Culver credits a diverse professional background, spanning from police reporter to magazine editor to marketing manager, in helping her develop courses and focus her research.