We are constantly hearing from students that one of the J-School’s biggest strengths is the dedicated, talented, fearless, experienced, fun, doors-are-always-open faculty.
The Social Media and Engagement class set out to tell that story via Instagram. Over the coming weeks, we will highlight these stories, which illustrate the personalities, philosophies and experience of our top-notch faculty. This week, we give you Assistant Professor Joe Eaton.
Joe joined the school’s faculty in the fall of 2013 and teaches courses in public affairs reporting, investigative reporting and editing.
This last fall, Joe’s investigations class partnered with the Missoulian to produce a chilling and important series of reports that explored how pregnant women who use drugs are treated in Montana. Over three months, the team interviewed more than a dozen women, numerous experts, and leaders at Montana hospitals, treatment centers and state government.
This spring, he will lead a group of students to South Korea to work on a project that will run in partnership with Atlantic Media’s CityLab. When he’s not teaching, editing and mentoring, Joe is writing beautiful and impactful pieces for magazines and websites including National Geographic, CityLab, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard and Wired.
One of his latest pieces, a harrowing story of a teenage drug dealer in Idaho, appeared in the Pacific Standard in November.
Before joining the faculty, he worked as an investigative reporter at the Washington, D.C.- based Center for Public Integrity. He has also been a reporter at the Roanoke Times in Virginia and Washington City Paper.
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Joe Eaton’s journalistic career was sparked after he was inspired to tell stories while teaching in South Korea. He worked as an investigative reporter in Washington D.C. prior to joining the @umontana journalism program in 2013. Eaton’s most valuable lesson is the “Two-notebook theory.” He explains that it is important for budding journalists to keep two notebooks: “feed the beast” and “passion projects.” The feed the beast mentality represents the daily grind of stories that keep food on the table. While the passion projects notebook is designed for “stories that ultimately make careers and keep people happy.” One of Eaton’s passion projects, “The King of Boise,” was recently published by @pacificstand magazine. #meettheprofs