MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Journalism has chosen editor and media design consultant Ron Reason for the spring 2015 T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professorship.
UM J-school Dean Larry Abramson announced the selection, saying that a committee of faculty and former Pollner professors agreed on the choice after a rigorous vetting process.
Principal of his self-titled consulting company, Reason has helped newspapers and magazines worldwide improve their design strategies. He has 25 years of experience working with publishers from Dubai to Chicago as they aim to build a distinctive brand in the digital age.
Before he opened his own consulting firm, Reason was on the faculty of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a media think tank and training program in St. Petersburg, Fla. Before that, Reason spent 10 years in various editing, design and photography roles at the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times.
Reason will serve as the inaugural faculty member for the spring professorship, ushering in an expansion of the 14-year-old T. Anthony Pollner Professorship, which has grown from a fall professorship with writing and reporting as its focus to a spring professorship with visual storytelling and online journalism as its focus.
“This new program will be a terrific addition for students interested in the role that visuals play in the journalism business,” Abramson said. “Reason’s recent experience with industry will provide an important link to the tough design decisions that news outlets face today.”
Reason will teach a course that examines how media outlets have used design as they adapt to the digital era. Reason also will serve as an adviser to the Montana Kaimin, UM’s student-run independent newspaper.
The professorship is named after T. Anthony Pollner, a graduate of the school who died in a motorcycle accident in 2001. Generous support from friends and family of Anthony Pollner has made both professorships possible.
The fall installment of the professorship will bring William Glaberson to campus. The former New York Times reporter will teach a course on covering the courts. Glaberson will deliver the T. Anthony Pollner Lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, at the University Center Theater on the UM campus.