Perry Parks is a long-time reporter, writer, editor, teacher and researcher of news and news values. He was an editor for both his high school and college newspapers before graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism. He spent eight years reporting and editing for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia, a newspaper known for great writing, photography, design, and innovation in public affairs reporting. His first stint at Michigan State University was as professional editorial adviser to The State News, the independent student newspaper for MSU, and as an adjunct instructor of journalism. He then spent several years teaching reporting and editing classes at the University of Georgia and managing a dozen hyperlocal community news websites for Patch.com before returning to Michigan State to complete a doctoral degree in Media and Information Studies.
Parks’ research focuses on the ways taken-for-granted news norms and values unnecessarily limit news content and people’s perceptions of what is civically and personally possible. He applies historical, critical, cultural and non-representational approaches to exploring these limits and post-normative alternatives. Parks is also interested in similar approaches to science journalism and science communication.
His research has been published in such journals as Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Journalism, Journalism Studies and Science Communication. He is also author of the book Making Important News Interesting: Reporting Public Affairs in the 21st Century.