Michael D. Dorsher, Ph.D.


164 Hibbard Humanities Hall                                                                                                  (763) 688-3472

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire                                                                     

Eau Claire, Wis.  54702-4004                                                                                                                 




Fulbright Scholar research fellowship, McGill University, Montreal, 8/08-5/09

Fulbright projects included transnational research on the ethical and economic effects on local media

from expansions by Wal-Mart and Target, the co-authorship of a 600-page media ethics textbook and

200-page accompanying website, along with four critical-essay entries in the Encyclopedia of Journalism.


Ph.D. in Mass Communication, University of Maryland, College Park, 8/94-12/99

Dissertation: Hegemony Online: The Quiet Convergence of Power, Culture, and Computers


Master of Public Administration, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, 8/87-5/90

Thesis: A Survey in Hard Times: Work Attitudes of North Dakota State Employees


Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., 9/74-8/78




Refereed Publications


Gordon, A. D., Kittross, J. M., Merrill, J. C., Babcock, W. & Dorsher, M. (2011). Controversies in media ethics (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

As the junior scholar on this team of distinguished ethicists, I edited and indexed one-third of our 612-page book and wrote one-half of four chapters that present opposing views of an issue: “Codes of Ethics,” pp. 179-185; “New Technologies and Techniques: New Ethics?” pp. 227-233; “The Ethics of New Advertising Technologies and Techniques,” pp. 422-429; and “Source Confidentiality,” pp. 505-509.


Dorsher, M. (2011-2013). Websites for Controversies in Media Ethics. Retrieved November 1, 2013, from -- and

As the multimedia expert of our team of ethicists, I am under contract with Routledge to research, write and produce the more than 200 pages of supplementary case studies, discussions, quizzes and web links for the website that accompanies our textbook and e-text – and to update/expand them semi-annually.


Al-Shohaib, K.; Jamal, A.; Frederick, E.; Dorsher, M. D. (2010, spring). Factors influencing Internet adoption by public relations practitioners in Saudi Arabia: a comparative study of private and public work systems. Journal of Public Relations Research.


Dorsher, M. (2009). “Sports journalism” (Vol. 4, pp. 1326-1333), “Sportswriters” (Vol. 4, pp. 1333-1335), “Digital media Europe” (Vol. 2, pp. 412-414), and “Minneapolis-St. Paul journalism” (Vol. 3, pp. 906-908), in Christopher H. Sterling (ed.), Encyclopedia of Journalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Dorsher, M. D. (2005). Review of the book Online news and the public. Newspaper Research Journal, 26, 133-134.


Koyani, S. J., Bailey, R. W., Nall, J. R., (M. Dorsher, named contributor) (2003). Research-based Web design & usability guidelines. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. 


Refereed Conference Papers, Posters and Presentations


Dorsher, M. and Larson, J. (2014, August). Lessons from the tenure track. Panelist and Facebook group organizer for a discussion at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, Montreal, QC.


Dorsher, M. and Larson, J. (2013, August). Global reporting for undergrads. Organizer/moderator for a panel discussion at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, Washington, DC.


Dorsher, M. (2009, April). The Wal-Marting of Canada's media: how convenience gores the truth. The 2009 Fulbright Lecture at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, Montreal, QC.


Dorsher, M. (2009, April). The 2008 debates in the United States and Canada: how U.S. and Canadian viewers, listeners and readers pick their winners. A paper presented to the Midwest Political Science Association national conference, Chicago, IL.


Dorsher, M. (2009, March). Wal-Mart and the media in Canada and the United States. A multimedia presentation hosted by the Rural Development Institute, Brandon University, MB.


Dorsher, M. (2007, August). Marshaling McLuhan’s ‘Laws’ to explicate new media. A paper presented to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, Washington, D.C.


Dorsher, M. (2007, July). Talking heads: putting together names, faces and voice in Desire2Learn. A workshop presentation to the FUSION 2007 international conference of Desire2Learn online educators, Duluth, MN.


Dorsher, M. (2006, November). Making ethics click: using a student response system in a humanities discussion course. A presentation to the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference, Washington, DC.


Dorsher, M. (2006, August). Is seeing--or hearing--believing? Responses to the 2004 presidential debates. A paper presented to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, San Francisco, CA.


Neuwirth, K., Curry, S., Frederick, E., Jang, W. J., Kapfer, J., Dorsher, M., & Mayo, C. (2005, November). Conformity and debate about abortion: the spiral of silence in multiple contexts. A paper presented to the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research conference, Chicago, IL.


Dorsher, M. (2004, August). Wild watching: fans' reaction to televised sports in a movie theater. A paper presented to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, Toronto, ON.


Dorsher, M. (2002, October). Hegemony online: the quiet convergence of power, culture, and computers. A paper presented to the Association of Internet Researchers international conference, Minneapolis, MN.


Dorsher, M. (2001, November). Achieving excellence in reporting. A presentation to the National College Media conference, New Orleans, LA.


Dorsher, M. (2001, November). Online journalism: Have you got what it takes? A presentation to the National College Media conference, New Orleans, LA.


Dorsher, M. (1997, July). Women and ‘all the news that’s fit to print’? A paper presented to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference, Chicago, IL.


Dorsher, M. (1997, March). Deadlines and domination: the intersection of race and gender at America’s newspapers. A paper presented to the Mid-Atlantic Graduate Communication conference, New Brunswick, NJ.


Dorsher, M. (1996, March). Whither the public sphere: prospects for cybersphere. A paper presented to the AEJMC Society and Mass Comm Division spring conference, Grand Forks, ND.


Dorsher, M. (1996, March). Cal Ripkin: modern-day Lindbergh or media myth? A paper presented to the Mid-Atlantic Graduate Communication conference, Philadelphia, PA.


News Stories Published Since Leaving Daily Journalism


Dorsher, M. (2012, August 8). 911 call: ‘We just had a truck go over a tent.’ The Lake Metigoshe (N.D.) Mirror, pp. 1, 20.


Dorsher, M. (2012, July 18). Jazz teachers really swing at music camp. The Brandon Sun, p. A11.


Dorsher, M. (2012, July). U.S.-Canada radio preview of International Music Camp’s faculty jazz concert. Prairie Public Radio, Bismarck, N.D.


Dorsher, M. (2011, May 17). 1985: Harmon tries to hit one across the Mississippi., retrieved August 25, 2014, from


Dorsher, M. (2009, August 19). Pinwheels on the prairie; state's largest wind farm opening. The Bottineau Courant, pp. 1, 2.


Dorsher, M. (2009, January 22). Sides argue in Wal-Mart Canada case. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, p. C1.


Dorsher, M. (2008, June 18). Hardware store auctioned off; oldest store in Bottineau closes. The Lake Metigoshe (N.D.) Mirror, pp. 1, 10-11.


Dorsher, M. (2006, August 30). Masters of the sky: three generations of fliers call Lake Metigoshe home. The Lake Metigoshe (N.D.) Mirror, pp. 1, 10-11. (Named best feature story of the year in a weekly paper by the N.D. Newspaper Association.)


Dorsher, M. (2006, July 19). Alumni, family and friends help MSU-B celebrate. The Lake Metigoshe (N.D.) Mirror, pp. 1, 10.


Dorsher, M. (2006, July 8). Birthday/wake for church. The Forum of Fargo, N.D., p. B2.


Dorsher, M. (2006, July 6). A birthday and a funeral. The Bismarck Tribune, p. C1.


Dorsher, M. (2005, December). Bringing sports and crowds to big-big screen TV. WBA Wisconsin Broadcaster, p. 11.


Dorsher, M. (2005, October). Applying the ‘Laws of Media’ to radio and TV. WBA Wisconsin Broadcaster, p. 11.


Dorsher, M. (2005, August). The great debate over The Great Debate. WBA Wisconsin Broadcaster, p. 7.






Associate professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, UW-Eau Claire, 8/09-present

Study abroad director, Institute for Education in International Media; Nice, France; 8/13-present

Fulbright Scholar, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 8/08-5/09

Visiting faculty, Harlaxton College, Grantham, England, 1/08-4/08

Assistant professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, UW-Eau Claire, 8/00-12/07


CJ 412: Mass Media Ethics, spring 2003-fall 2007, summer 2008, summer 2009-spring 2014

Co-author of the rental text we use, "Controversies in Media Ethics" (Routledge, 2011) and author of its multimedia website and Facebook page. My mass comm and general education students learn to apply classical and modern philosophy to devise and defend ethical solutions for contemporary dilemmas in strategic communication and journalism. I extended this class into the Desire2Learn hybrid classroom for the first time; won an internal grant to pioneer the use of a student response system, facilitating immediate polling of all students during class discussions; and won an internal grant to adapt this course into an all-online, multimedia, eight-week summer class.  I have developed a pre-test/post-test assessment for this course and incorporated my research on hegemony online, “clickers” use, and new media analysis.


CJ 491.002: Entrepreneurial Journalism, spring 2013

Students developed business plans and pilot websites for nine journalistic enterprises – and devised plans to counteract the declining readership and advertising revenues of The Spectator student newspaper. Planning is underway to add this special topics course of mine to our electives curriculum.


CJ 427: Advanced Reporting and Editing, fall 2000, fall 2001, fall 2002, fall 2009, fall 2013, fall 2014

Senior undergraduates in this course earn service-learning credit by producing triangulated multimedia stories about people and issues in the Eau Claire community.


CJ 321: Intermediate Journalism, fall 2000-spring 2001, spring 2004-summer 2007, fall 2009-fall 2014

Students learn to live-Tweet while covering government agencies and produce triangulated, multimedia stories for the campus newspaper and radio station. They also learn editing and practice taking the Dow Jones Editing Test; two of these students have earned a Dow Jones internship in the past three years.


CJ 303: Research Methods for Journalists: fall 2011-fall 2014

Developed this new required course so students can learn to accurately report on polling results, social science research and natural science research. They also file open records requests, organize and calculate data from these records, flesh them out with human sources and produce news stories from them. This class also has conducted a random-sample survey on Spectator readership and follow-up focus groups.


CJ 495: Directed Studies, spring 2001, spring 2002, fall 2002, fall 2004-fall 2006, fall 2011-spring 2012

Directed research with students involving multimedia reporting in Peru, the ethics of undercover reporting, contrasting coverage of U.S. and Cuban news media, and a magazine article on Scuba diving.  Several other projects have involved The Spectator: e.g., its ethics policies and its readership surveys.


IDIS 155: Baseball in Love, Media, Math and Science, spring 2012

Developed this interdisciplinary special topics course as a way to use baseball as the basis for making it fun for students to learn about some of the most complex subjects of a college education: statistics, physics, literature, communication hegemony, interpersonal relationships and race relations.


CJ 222: News Reporting and Writing, fall 2000-fall 2003, including summer 2001 and summer 2002

Led the revision of this class from one focused solely on newspapers to one where students learn the fundamentals common to all forms of journalism. Won an internal grant to develop a totally Web-delivered version of this class for eight-week summer sessions.


CJ 429: Print Journalism Seminar, spring 2002; CJ 429: Digital Newsroom, fall 2014

This 12-student capstone class collected surveys from 550 Wisconsin and Minnesota journalists to produce an in-depth report, Newspapers at the Crossroads: Journalism from Milwaukee to Minneapolis.


CJ 317: Women and the Mass Media, fall 2001

Team-taught this course with Knight Journalist in Residence Lynette Nyman, making full use of WebCT quizzes, scanned-in readings and online discussions to supplement in-class discussions.


Program Director, ieiMedia multimedia journalism study abroad in Nice, France, July 2014

Directed six other faculty members in a four-week program for 20 students who produced multimedia stories, blogposts and Tweets on the culture and people of the south of France. Handled all aspects of a $103,000 budget. I developed the first Facebook page and mobile site for an ieiMedia program.


Visiting faculty, Harlaxton College, England, 1/08-4/08

Developed the college's first online multimedia news site with my Web Design students. Also taught Media Ethics & Law and Introduction to Communication at this study-abroad campus for U.S. students.


Adjunct professor, University of Maryland University College, 1/99-8/00

Co-wrote the curricula and taught two totally Web-delivered courses: News Reporting and News Editing.


Teaching assistant, College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, 8/94-5/97

Fully responsible for teaching eight semester sections of Reporting and four sections of News Editing.





Strategic communication writer, 2/10-present. Coordinated and emceed Devroy Forum visits by Helen Thomas, Bob Edwards and Gene Weingarten, and Scott Wilson; initiated Facebook and LinkedIn pages while reviving the Fulbright Association chapter that covers Minnesota, western Wisconsin and the Dakotas; initiated the ieiMedia/Nice reporting, website, Facebook page and mobile site; webmaster for the Stone Bank historic renovation project’s website, blog, Twitter and Facebook page; initiated the website and Twitter page for my educational/entrepreneurial enterprise, Indie Editors & Writers.


Freelance writer, 7/06-present.  Published stories in the The Fargo Forum, The Bismarck Tribune, the Bottineau Courant and The Lake Metigoshe Mirror, all in North Dakota, where I live in the summer, along with the StarTribune in Minneapolis, the Brandon Sun in Manitoba and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Won N.D. Newspaper Association award for best feature story in a weekly paper in 2006.


Prometric Inc., Baltimore, Md., subject matter expert/consultant, writing ethics test questions for corporations, 3/10-present., founding editor on the home page and news digest, 3/96-7/00.  A portfolio of my work is available online. I directed the five-person evening editing team and often served as liaison to The Post newsroom.


Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, legislative and higher education reporter, 10/90-5/94; fill-in city editor and copy editor, 5/94-8/94. Won two state Associated Press reporting awards.


The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, N.D., Capitol bureau chief, 7/86-5/90; interim metro editor, 5/90-10/90. Won national reporting award from The Arc and over a dozen N.D. Newspaper Assoc. awards.


United Press International, Bismarck and Minneapolis, state editor, 2/81-10/85.  Covered the North Dakota and Minnesota legislatures, courts, natural disasters, business, the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota North Stars. Had stories in The New York Times and most other major newspapers.


Lakeville-Apple Valley (Minn.) Countryside, reporter, 10/79-1/81.


Faribault Daily News, Faribault, Minn., reporter, 10/78-10/79.


The Catholic Bulletin, St. Paul, Minn., news intern, 1/78-9/78.



SERVICE (selected)


To the University


Department Personnel Committee, chair, 9/10-5/11; secretary, 9/09-5/10; member, 9/07-present.


Journalism & Beyond Camp, co-coordinator, 11/05-7/07. For this weeklong multimedia workshop for high school students of color, I did all of the student and mentor recruiting, curriculum planning, logistics, research and most of the teaching. One of its graduates is a Fulbright Scholar graduate student at UW-Madison, and another is a reporter at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire.


University Senate, Department of Communication and Journalism representative, 9/03-12/07.


Campus Media Advisory Committee, voting member as faculty adviser to The Spectator, 9/03-12/07. Authored report suggesting alternatives for alleviating the conflict of interest inherent in Student Senate’s allocation of student segregated fees to campus media organizations.


Ann Devroy Fellowship Committee, member, 4/02-present.

Help select and interview each year's Ann Devroy Fellowship winner; help maintain ties with the fellowship's sponsors at The Washington Post; formally introduced 2003 featured speaker Lou Cannon; recruited and introduced 2010 featured speaker Helen Thomas, 2012 featured speakers Bob Edwards and Gene Weingarten, and 2014 featured speaker Scott Wilson.


Club Baseball, faculty adviser, 2/01-12/07.

Provided off-field advice for back-to-back conference champions and only non-Division I team to win a berth in the 2004 and 2005 World Series of the National Club Baseball Association, in Florida.


To the Journalism Profession


Fulbright Scholar Peer Review Committee for journalism and communication, 8/13-present.

One of three alumni appointed to review all 28 Fulbright Scholar applications in journalism and communication for 2013 and 20 more in 2014. This national appointment continues through 2015.


Discussant and reviewer for eight papers in two research sessions of the Newspaper and Online News Division at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Montreal, QC, 8/14.


Textbook reviewer and contributor, 5/05-present.

Received acknowledgements in: Friend, C., Challenger, D., and McAdams, K. C. (2005). Contemporary Editing, (2nd ed). New York: McGraw-Hill; and Foust, J. (2011). Online Journalism: Principles and Practices of News for the Web, (3rd ed.). Scottsdale, AZ: Holcomb Hathaway.


Wisconsin Newspaper Association, “Partners” program committee member, 9/01-present. 


Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, member, 5/98-present.

Served as peer reviewer for research papers from the Media Ethics and Newspaper divisions.


Newsroom ethics seminars, 4/06.

Led journalism ethics seminars within the newsrooms of the Wisconsin State Journal, Green Bay Press-Gazette and Wausau Daily Herald.


Newspapers at the Crossroads: Journalism from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, spring 2002.

Study conducted with advanced students, showing Wisconsin and Minnesota journalists believe their newspapers were better than ever -- despite eroding work conditions caused by ownership consolidation.


To the Public


Expert news source for state and national media, 10/01-present.

Interviewed by the Ontario Sound Sun Times on my Wal-Mart and the media research, 3/09.

Interviewed by USA Today on my "Wild Watching" research paper, 2/09.

Interviewed by WEAU-TV on the 2006 elections, 10/06.

Interviewed by The Miami Herald for an article on Donna Shalala, 8/06.

Interviewed by The View for an article on Club Baseball President Kyle Buchmann, fall 2005.

Interviewed by the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, WQOW-TV, and WAYY-AM on the elections, 10/04.

Interviewed by WQOW-TV on interstate commuting, 3/03.


Fulbright Association Minn. Chapter, Board of Directors member, 12/09-present; president, 1/11-5/12.

Wrote successful grant applications for $9,000 in 2013, $4,500 in 2012, $4,500 in 2011, and $2,000 in 2010 from the U.S. Department of State for Fulbright Association Outreach, Mentoring and Enrichment.





Academic Adviser to Communication and Journalism majors

Nominated for the Student Senate’s Academic Advising Award, spring 2006.  I advise 37 students and have advised up to 68.  To facilitate meeting with them, I developed a unique interactive scheduling form lauded as a model by the University Senate.  I surveyed my academic advisees in May 2006, and only 10% of them disagreed that I had helped them stay on schedule to graduate in four years.


Faculty Adviser to The Spectator, fall 2001-fall 2005, fall 2006-fall 2007, fall 2009-present

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association named The Spectator the best collegiate newspaper in the state in 2007 and 2003, and its online edition won a 2001 national Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press.  I initiated an annual ethics training day, leading to the newspaper's policies banning ads featuring alcoholic drink specials, politicking by staffers, and editorial endorsements of candidates. 





Program Director, ieiMedia multimedia journalism $103,000 workshop in Nice, France, 8/13-7/14.


Peer Reviewer of Fulbright Scholar applicants in journalism and communication, appointed for 8/13-8/15.


International Fellow, $17,000 internal grant to lead three students to produce a multimedia, bilingual website on our three-week trip to Peru, 9/11-5/12.


Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar Visiting Chair in Media, McGill University, Montreal, including $25,000 research grant and $1,000 mobility grant, 8/08-5/09.


Elected to the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chapter of the Fulbright Alumni Association, Board of Directors member, 12/09-present; president, 1/11-5/12.


Diversity Fellow, including $7,000 internal grant, UW-Eau Claire, 10/05-8/06.


Chosen for Poynter Institute Convergence Journalism for College Educators workshop, 2/04.


Chosen for Indiana University Journalism Workshop on Teaching, Writing, Reporting and Editing, 6/01.