Award-winning Editor, Digital Producer Named Distinguished Pollner Professors

March 21, 2016

Melissa McCoyMISSOULA – A former deputy managing editor of the Los Angeles Times and a multimedia documentarian will be the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professors at the University of Montana School of Journalism in the fall and spring semesters of the 2016-17 academic year.

Melissa McCoy spent 17 years at the L.A. Times, advancing from metro copy editor to a deputy managing editor supervising 250 journalists. In addition to overseeing the paper’s award-winning copy desks, graphics department and researchers, she was frequently the final editor for major projects, a number of which won Pulitzer Prizes. During her newspaper and magazine career, McCoy also has been a reporter, copy chief, news editor and assignment editor.

Since leaving the Times in 2009, McCoy has been a media consultant, writer and editor, and was a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, where she’d previously served as an Ethics Fellow. She will teach a fall semester seminar at UM on reporting and writing on sensitive topics like rape, murder, suicide and mental illness.

Anne Bailey is a digital producer and visual journalist for Public Radio International/The World’s “Across Women’s Lives” initiative. She recently reported from Brazil on the Zika virus and its effect on pregnant women and newborn babies. Other recent projects include stories on women’s rights in India and women and business in Kenya.

Bailey has taught multimedia storytelling at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies; at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute; in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia and France; and at the UM School of Journalism. She will teach a spring semester course at UM on producing video across media platforms.

Anne Bailey

Both professors will work with the staff of the Montana Kaimin student newspaper.

The Pollner professorship endowment was created in 2001 by the family and friends of T. Anthony Pollner, a 1999 UM journalism alumnus who died in a motorcycle accident two years after graduating.

The program has brought 17 distinguished journalists to the school for a semester to teach a seminar and serve as a mentor to the students at the Kaimin. Several former Pollner professors have won journalism’s most coveted awards, including Pulitzer Prizes and National Magazine Awards. 

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Contact: Alyssa Rabil, UM journalism school media and information coordinator, 406-243-4366, alyssa.rabil@mso.umt.edu.