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Behind Shooters Bar outside Portland, Maine. (Photo by M. Spencer Green/May 1997)

I am an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Electronic Media. I turned to academe after 26 years working as a photojournalist, graphics editor and web producer. Even though, I am currently at an educational institution, I still consider myself a journalist as well as a scholar.

“Hey, college boy!” That’s what my oldest daughter, Alex, said to me after I told her that I was accepted into the doctoral program at the University of Missouri. Then she reminded me how young she was the last time I attended Mizzou. She was five years old.

My scholarship follows two lines of research. First, the First Amendment right of free expression and how journalism is affected by legislation and Supreme Court rulings. Second the role of documentary photography and photojournalism play in American governance and politics.

I spent my career expanding my palette of journalistic skills at four newspapers and a wire service. I worked at the Associated Press in New York, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal, The Detroit News, The Cincinnati Enquirer and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Starting in 2000, I broadened my horizons and moved into the world of the Internet as an online producer.

After covering two Olympics for the Associated Press, Lillehammer 1994 and Atlanta 1996, I had the opportunity to work for four Olympic Organizing Committees: Sydney 2000, Salt Lake City 2002, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

I have been active in professional associations throughout my career. I was president of the National Press Photographers Association in 1990. I have been the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ visual task force representative to Unity ’94 and Unity ’99 and in 2005-2006 served as vice president / membership of the Fort Worth Professional Society of Professional Journalists’ chapter.

Now my goal is to teach media law and journalistic practices to budding young journalists.

© 2012, Michael T. Martínez