James W. Brown

Executive Associate Dean Emeritus
Professor Emeritus
Indiana University School of Journalism–IUPUI


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University Degree Year
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
Major in Instructional
Systems Technology
Ph.D. 1977
Indiana University M.B.A. 1973
Indiana University M.S. Ed. 1971
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
Major in Cinema
and Photography
B.S. 1967

Dissertation: “Perceived Environmental Uncertainty and the Two-Step Flow process of Scientific and Technical Communication in Research and Development Laboratories.” Dissertation advisor, James M. Utterback, Ph.D., M.I.T.


Co-director with Robert Shay, former dean of the Herron School of Art, of a project to develop a high-end visual imaging lab. Funded for $243,000 beginning in fall, 1996. The IRIS imaging lab is equipped for high-end digital image processing and production.

Co-principal investigator with Andrew Schneider, “Reporters use of On-line Information.” the three month study was funded for $11,000 by Mead data Central beginning October, 1989.

Co-principal investigator with Jon Dilts, “Reporting on Higher Education.” The two year study investigated important issues in higher education that should receive media attention. Six conferences were conducted to help reporters and executives from media institutions to better understand the faculty and administrative processes of higher education institutions. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for $100,000 beginning April, 1984.

Co-principal investigator with Russell Luepker, “Communication of Cardiovascular Risk Concepts.” The two year study investigated the diffusion of
information about cardiovascular disease in a Minnesota community. A mass media campaign, plus intervention with community opinion leaders, were evaluated for effectiveness in achieving behaviors which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Funded by N.I.H. for $114,700 beginning January 1,1979.


2017 Inclusion  in M10 Studio Exhibition of Photographs from PhotoVenture Camera Club Members.

2016 Best Photograph, Indianapolis Art Center’s 79th Annual Student Show (juried).

2016 Best Photograph, Indianapolis Art Center’s 78th Annual Student Show (juried).

2016 Commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by Gov. Matthew Bevin.

2015 Best Drawing, Indianapolis Art Center’s 77th Annual Student Show (juried).

2015 Kilgore Counselor DePauw University, professional visit to advise student media.

2014 Society of Professional Journalists Gene and Julie Slaymaker Service to Journalism Award.

2009 Robin F. Garland Education Award, National Press Photographers Association.

2009 Induction into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

2009 Named “Distinguished Hoosier” by Governor Mitch Daniels.

2009 Hoosier State Press Association Foundation Better Newspaper Committee created the James W. Brown Innovation Award to honor an innovation or initiation that seeks to reach new readers or audiences using any resources available in the newsroom.

2008 Chancellor’s Faculty Award for Civic Engagement.

2008 Best Non-Fiction Book, Indiana Society of Professional Journalists.

2007 Glen W. Irwin, Jr., M.D. Experience Excellence Award, IUPUI.

2007 Distinguished Service Award, Hoosier State Press Association.

2004 Silver Beaver Award, Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America.

1983-Gold Award; Brown, Jensen and Garloff, Inc.; “Your Heart: A Star on TV;” International Film and Television Festival of New

1982-Bronze Award; Brown, Jensen and Garloff, Inc.; “Caring for Minnesota’s Elderly;” International Film and Television Festival of New York.

1966-National Press Photographer’s Association, Pictures of the Year competition, Honorable Mention and inclusion in the traveling exhibit.

Media Experience

Year Responsibility
1980-1985 President and C.E.O., Brown, Jensen and Garloff, a Minneapolis based media production firm. Clients included Control Data, Honeywell, 3M and Tonka.
1973-1982 Instructor, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of broadcast and photojournalism, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota.
1971-1973 Production Supervisor, Indiana University Photographic Laboratory, Bloomington, Indiana.
Summer, 1966 Photographic intern, National Geographic magazine, Washington, D.C.
1964-1967 UPI ‘stringer’ at Carbondale, Illinois, both commercial and news divisions.

Teaching Experience

In 1973, I began teaching at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I taught broadcast and photojournalism courses and soon became chair of the photojournalism sequence.

I joined the faculty at Indiana University in 1982 and became the founding associate dean for the IUPUI program of the Indiana University School of Journalism. I taught “Introduction to Visual Communication” and upper division courses that relate to visual communication and new media. I retired in 2010.

Some of my students have won the National Press Photographer’s Association Newspaper Photographer of the Year award, one won the Nikon sabattical grant, one is the editor in chief of National Geographic magazine and two are outstanding professors of photojournalism. Three former students have won the Pulitzer Prize.

Philosophy of teaching

My father, George Earl Brown, described himself as a farmer who taught chemistry for a living. He grew up in the Ozarks of Missouri within a family of small means. He attended Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, and was the first in his family to earn a college degree.

After graduation, he planned to farm. But the swollen creeks in southwest Missouri prevented him from moving to the farm he wanted to lease. He thought it might be fun to go to graduate school. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Iowa State even though he had not taken chemistry as an undergraduate. Over the course of his career, he taught over 24 different college courses. Many were chemistry courses but he also taught physics, biology and zoology.

He also grew the biggest ear of corn in the county.

From him I learned there is nothing that I should not be interested in. He was as wide ranging in his interests as am I. I also learned the principles of academic standards, honesty and integrity from him.

My mother was a teacher of English and music. She wanted me to have piano lessons. As a youth, there were many other things I wanted to do more than practice piano so I purposely exasperated all my teachers. Several years ago, I realized that I had a latent interest in piano beginning to emerge. I bought a piano, placed a picture of my mother on top and began to practice. Both my mother and father have passed away but I cherish the way they raised me and the standards they set and the interests they gave me.

With both parents being teachers, I suppose it is not surprising that I became one.

A college course is a condensation of readings and experiences that usually would take much longer to accomplish without the guided experiences in the classroom. I try to help students become better at both verbal and visual communication. Every student comes to a course with somewhat different life experiences and skills. I try my best to take students from where they are to where they ought to be. I always try to be fair in all dealings with students, and other people too.

Recent Publications

“Photography Merit Badge Book” I earned this merit badge in 1959. This past year I was lead developer of a new edition that will be studied by more than 50,000 Scouts. I wrote all new sections of the book, which include the history of photography, ethics of photography, and visual storytelling. Boy Scouts of America, 2017.

Boy Scouts of America Today,” by Robert Birkby. DK Publishing, Inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York. I have five photographs in the book.

“Delaware Indians: Cultural Survival or Assimilation?,” book chapter in Images that Injure, edited by Paul Lester and Susan Ross. Praeger, Westport, Connecticut, 2011.

Long Journey Home: Oral Histories of Contemporary Delaware Indians,” edited by James W. Brown and Rita Kohn. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana, 2008. The book includes 90 of my photographs.

December, 2007. Exhibition of photographs of Delaware Indians, Indiana Historical Bureau, Indianapolis, Indiana.

“Media Victims,” book chapter in Images that Injure, edited by Paul Lester. Praeger, Westport, Connecticut, 1996.

Work in progress

Continued documentary of Delaware Indians. Documentary of Operation Walk, a medical humanitarian medical mission.

Professional Affiliations

  • IndyPro Society for Professional Journalists, past president
  • National Press Photographers Association
  • National Press Photographers Foundation (Board member and Scholarships Chair)
  • National Association of Photoshop Professionals

Professional Service

Past-president, Indiana Professional Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists. During my tenure, the chapter tied for the most active chapter in Region Five with the Chicago Headline Club.

Professional Development

Co-director with Nora Paul and Brant Houston of a special Poynter Institute session on the 10th anniversary of IUPUI’s National institute for Advanced Reporting national conference on Computer-Assisted Journalism, January, 2000.

Personal Interests

Photographing, canoeing, camping, motorcycling, pen making, beer brewing and piano playing.