Published: Dec. 4, 2013

Freedman named director of MSU Knight Center

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129, Eric Freedman Journalism office: (517) 355-4729

Pulitzer Prize-winner Eric Freedman has been named Knight Chair and director of the John S. and James L. Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University.

An associate professor of journalism, Freedman has been an MSU faculty member since 1996. Prior to that he worked nearly 20 years as a newspaper reporter in Michigan and New York.

He also serves as director of Capital News Service, the school’s public affairs reporting internship program, and is a former associate dean of MSU International Studies and Programs.

Housed in MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, the Knight Center teaches student and professional journalists how to better report on environmental and science issues.

“These issues permeate every news beat, from education, sports, health and business to justice, politics, entertainment and foreign affairs,” Freedman said. “While not all journalists and journalism students need or want to be 'environmental journalists,’ all of them should be prepared to understand, analyze and explain those issues to a wide range of audiences in a fair, balanced, accurate and ethical way – regardless of medium.”

Freedman earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell, a law degree from New York University and a master’s in resource development from MSU.

He has led MSU’s study abroad program on Australia media, environment and culture, and a freshman seminar abroad in Scotland. As a Fulbright Scholar, he developed and taught the first university-level course on environmental and science journalism in Uzbekistan.

As a journalist, his interests include public lands, habitat and diversity, invasive species, eco-tourism and forests. As a researcher, he studies environmental journalism practices and coverage of environmental news in formerly Soviet Central Asia.

His reporting has appeared in publications as diverse as the Detroit News, Earth Island Journal, Automotive News, Times of Central Asia and Canoe & Kayak, as well as SEJournal, published by the Society of Environmental Journalists. His books include Great Lakes, Great National Forests: A Recreational Guide and On the Water, Michigan.


Eric Freedman is the new director of the John S. and James L. Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University.

Make an impact in your community. Sign up to serve. #MSUDAYOFSERVICE
Our Commitment: Healing Assistant Fund - National organizations selected to oversee fund for counseling and services