Curriculum Vitae


Michael J. McKisson

Assistant Professor of Practice

School of Journalism


University of Arizona

Marshall Bldg. Rm. 323b

845 N. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721


Master of Business Administration, University of Arizona, Eller College of Management. Expected to complete course work Sept. 11, 2013 with a Management of Information Systems focus.

Knight Digital Media Center Entrepreneurship Fellowship, University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Journalism and Marshall School of Business. Completed a competitive and intensive program in news entrepreneurship. Summer 2010.

Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Arizona, Journalism major, Anthropology minor. 2008


2013-Present: Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Arizona School of Journalism, Tucson, Ariz.

2008-2013: Adjunct Instructor, University of Arizona School of Journalism, Tucson, Ariz.

2010-Present: Publisher/Owner,, Tucson, Ariz.

2005-2008: Online Content Producer, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Ariz.

2005: Editor, Aztec Press, Tucson, Ariz.


Professional Summary

Adjunct Instructor, School of Journalism, University of Arizona

Current courses:

• Journalism 307: Principles of Multimedia

Teach students storytelling, ethics and news judgment while introducing them to the latest digital tools to enhance their stories. The class focuses on telling interesting stories through visual tools such as images, audio, video and digital tools, like mapping, crowd sourcing and live-event coverage.

• Journalism 428: Entrepreneurial Journalism

Developed and teaching a course introducing students to Entrepreneurial Journalism. The course is designed to encourage students to utilize their news skills to create and cover a topic while learning ways in which to sustain it by creating various revenue streams. The class covers current journalism models including niche and community journalism. Current business models including for-and non-profit news are discussed. The class is designed to be hands on and allow students to create something of interest to them while encouraging them to practice strong reporting and news judgment. Topics covered include, idea creations, market research, ethics, content creation, website building, server configuration, effective communication with readers and website marketing.


Future courses:      

Journalism TBA: Coding for journalists

Currently developing a course to introduce journalism students to basic and intermediate web-coding skills with a focus on displaying news and information to readers. Upon completion of the course, students will have the information needed to effectively communicate with other programmers in any organization, determine what is happening when looking at code and effectively display news and information online.

Journalism TBA: Mobile Web Applications

The partnership between the Star and the journalism school will be a hands-on interactive class focusing on research and development of mobile news applications. Participants will develop and pitch an application idea to a panel of journalists, teams will form and the students will work to launch mobile applications. Emphasis will be placed on news and information helpful to a community or applications for school publications including future investigative reports and school media. The course will take students from idea to launch in the course of a semester.

Journalism seminar: Startup Space   

The Startup Space will be an area for students to take the journalism skills learned throughout the program and attempt to create news ventures on their own. The Startup Space will be a resource for students to create innovative news ventures. Additionally it will be a place to host hacks and hackers meetups or technology talks with people in the Tucson technology and startup community.

Teaching Assistant

Journalism 490: Arizona Sonora News Service

I offer technical assistance posting content to the website and am available if the reporter wants to tell the story in a visual manner and needs assistance.

Journalism 490: Border Beat

I offered technical assistance and worked closely with the professor and students to encourage the use of digital platforms to help students tell their stories.

Journalism 490: Tombstone Epitaph

Each semester I work with the student responsible for posting content to the website. We discuss the mechanics of posting, best practices for SEO, linking and document downloads. I encourage students to think about link layering and multimedia storytelling.

Journalism 490: El Independiente

I work with the class to teach them how to use the content management system. Additionally we discuss SEO, linking and adding supporting documents to the students’ reporting.

Publisher/Editor,, Tucson AZ

Responsible for producing and publishing an online news site I founded in January 2010. The focus of is to inform the bicycling community about what is happening in the region. I’ve broken stories like the hiring of Tucson’s new transportation director after the job was offered to the Portland transportation director, then rescinded because the city was concerned about his ethics. I’ve written about so-called improvements to infrastructure, which in actuality were more dangerous. The story prompted the city to widen the street making it safer for the thousands of cyclists who use it every year. Recently, I used public records to uncover the name of a motorist who was charged with a felony for allegedly driving into a professional cycling team in town for training. The story was linked to by a local television station, several Arizona Daily Star reporters and eventually I’ve covered fatal traffic crashes between cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. I’ve interviewed politicians about their stance on bicycle issues and I wrote a feature on Gabrielle Giffords and her love of bikes. I’ve written FOI requests for stolen bicycle data and uncovered that the city has been selling stolen bicycles at public auction because their system for tracking down the rightful owners is substandard.  I’ve used countless digital tools like BatchGeo, Google Fusion, Storify, Twitter, slide shows, galleries and videos to keep my community informed and educated about what is happening in Tucson

• Published more than 2,300 posts since the site’s creation in 2010.

• Create daily content including, investigations, data visualization, features, videos, slide shows, image galleries, blogs and link roundups.

• The site has generated more than 270,000 unique visitors and over one million page views since its creation.

• Learned how to monetize online publications through online advertisements, merchandise and community support.

• Responsible for design and maintenance of the content management system (WordPress)

• Use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to provide live coverage, communicate with readers and drive them to the website.

Online Content Producer, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson AZ

As an online content producer I worked in the newsroom to create and publish digital content for the Saturday, Sunday and Monday editions of the website.

• Updated website with breaking news

• Produced slideshows, timelines, videos, maps and other digital elements to enhance stories online.

• Moderated live chats and site comments

•Worked closely with news, sports and features in the presentation of alternative news packages and special sections online.


Freelance work

• NewsMax Media Inc.

• Tucson Weekly

• Arizona Daily Star

• Inside Tucson Business


Technical Skills

• DSLR and video camera operation

• Mac and Windows operating systems

• Audio recording devices


• Basic skills in Javascript, C+, Objective C

• Photoshop, Finalcut Pro X, Excel, Access, iLife suite, QuarkXpress, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and many other digital editing and publishing software.

• WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and various other Content Management Systems.

• Data visualization software including: Google Maps, Fusion Tables, BatchGeo, Storify, Cover it Live and more.

• Social media best practices for news gathering and distribution

• Mobile journalism tools


Professional Affiliations

ONA – Online News Association

SPJ – Society of Professional Journalists


Panels and discussions

Knight Digital Media Center News Entrepreneurship panelist and counselor, Summer 2011

Participated in a panel discussion and one-on-one mentoring sessions for beginning news entrepreneurs at the 2011 KDMC Entrepreneurship boot camp.

 • Discussed converting news coverage into revenue

• Spoke about ethical issues related to selling advertising and strategies for combating those ethical concerns

• Offered alternative revenue models with less ethical concerns

• Critiqued and brainstormed with beginning news entrepreneurs about their sites, coverage, design and revenue models.

Media-Alliance ACM Conference Presenter and Panelist, Summer 2011

Presented about the current state of social media for community news organizations and how those organizations can leverage social media for reporting, crowd sourcing and news delivery. Participated in a Q&A session following the presentation.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement social media session, Summer 2012

Co-presented a session for the senior leadership of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement on using social media to communicate and distribute information.

Phoenix NPPA Student portfolio workshop, Arizona State University, Fall 2012

Presented a portfolio workshop for visual journalists at ASU. The workshop focused on free websites to create e-portfolios.

Professional Development

Participating in iOS application development course through a well-known development firm.

• Participated in Poynter webinar about entrepreneurial journalism

• Attended various meetup groups related to application development and WordPress development.

• Participated in group seminar outlining new Finalcut Pro X capabilities

• Met with publisher of to discuss industry trends in local independent online news organizations.

• Participated in SEO webinar