Jan Leach is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. She teaches media ethics, graduate media ethics, newswriting, copy editing and other news courses and is director of Kent’s Media Law Center for Ethics and Access. She is coordinator and host of the annual Poynter KSU Media Ethics Workshop. She is an Ethics Fellow at the Poynter Institute for Journalism Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she works with other media professionals to define and address ethics issues.
She will teach media ethics relating to gender-based violence in India in summer 2014 as part of an appointment for the State Department and the Poynter Institute.
Before joining the faculty at Kent, Jan was editor and vice president of the Akron Beacon Journal for five years, where she was responsible for news content, coverage and design. During her tenure, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists named the Beacon Journal “Best Newspaper in Ohio” three times.
As editor, Jan and her staff coordinated coverage of the 9/11 attacks, including publishing an “Extra” edition, explaining the war in Afghanistan and launching and promoting the “Fire Truck Fund” that raised more than $1.3 million for new safety equipment in New York City.
Jan came to Akron from the Cincinnati Enquirer where she had been managing editor for nearly five years. She also was managing editor at the Phoenix Gazette, city editor at the Arizona Republic, and held various reporting and editing positions at newspapers in Cincinnati, Findlay and Fostoria, Ohio.
She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in media ethics from Kent State. Jan wrote a chapter for "Media Ethics at Work," published in 2014, four chapters in the book “The Edge of Change: Women in the 21st Century Press,” published in 2009, and contributed to the text "Democratic Narrative, History, and Memory" 2012.. She is among those featured in the 2011 book “Good Enough is the New Perfect,” by Harlequin non-fiction.
She has been published in Nieman Reports, Poynter Online, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator and elsewhere.
Jan is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Within AEJMC’s Media Ethics Division, Jan is the Research Chair for 2013-14. She was the Ethics Division's Teaching Standards Chair for three years. She is also a member of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, the American Society of News Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Akron Press Club. She is a member of the board of the Millennium Fund for Children. She is a graduate of Leadership and Valley Leadership (Phoenix).
At Kent State, Jan is a member of the Faculty Ethics Committee and she is the Journalism Sequence Chair. She is a member of the JMC Academic Integrity and Assessment Committee and the Curriculum Committee. She previously was adviser to Artemis and "A" student magazines.
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
- Media Ethics
- Online and social media ethics
- Ethics of data mining and reporting with data
- Gender-based violence
OFFICESchool of Journalism and Mass Communication
CONTACT INFOPhone: 330-672-4289
COURSES TEACHINGSummer 2015
- JMC 40010 - 001 Ethics And Issues - Mass Comm