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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Benjamin Shors

  1. Chair, Journalism & Media Production
  2. Professor (CT)
LocationJackson Hall 361C



Benjamin Shors is chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Production and a professor of practice at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. As chair, he oversees students and faculty members in four degree programs. Shors joined the Murrow College in 2008 and directs the department’s course offerings and extracurricular experiential learning opportunities, which include the Murrow News Service, the Rural Plunge, and the Backpackpack Journalism Program. He is the project director for the Murrow News Fellowship Program, a $2.4 million state-funded initiative to increase media coverage of civic affairs in underrepresented communities, both rural and urban.

His scholarship focuses on rural, underrepresented populations in the news media, and he has received funding for his academic, educational, and creative activities from the Independent Television Service, the Online News Association, Vision Maker Media, and state humanities organizations, and he has consulted on grants from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others. He has held fellowships with the International Center for Journalists and the Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute.


  • M.A., the University of Montana School of Journalism, 2000
  • B.S., Montana State University, 1998

Classes Taught

  • COM 225 – Sports and the Media
  • COMJOUR 333 – Reporting Across Platforms
  • COMJOUR 425 – Public Affairs Journalism
  • COMJOUR 486 – Murrow News Service

Research Interests

  • Rural
  • Underrepresented communities
  • Documentary film
  • Newspapers
  • Science writing
  • Sports and the media


  • 2021, Best Short Documentary, Dallas Independent Film Festival
  • 2019, Indigenous Voices Award, Montana International Film Festival
  • 2018, Fellow, Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute
  • 2014, Outstanding Teaching Faculty, Murrow College
  • 2008, National Finalist, Livingston Award
  • 2006, First place, Investigative Reporting, Associated Press, Region 10
  • 2004, Fellow, International Center for Journalists

Selected Publications

Shors, B. Producer and director, “The Blackfeet Flood.” WORLD Channel, WGBH (Boston). 2019.

Shors, B; Kjellstrand, T. (2019, Nov. 20) Filmmakers Share Their Story About Making “Local, USA: The Blackfeet Flood.”

Shors, B; Upham, L. (2019, June 3) The Great Falls Tribune. Filmmakers chronicle aftermath of ‘Blackfeet Flood’ of 1964.

Waananen-Jones, L., Shors, B. (2019) Community-Guided Rural Journalism Education Project, 2018-2019. (White Paper) Online News Association.

Shors, B., & Hindman, D. (2016) The Future of Journalism. (White Paper) Washington State University.

Shors, B. Producer and director, “Kittowashin.” PBS Indies, Season 2016, Episode 6,

Shors, B. Producer and director, “Beneath the Surface.” PBS Indies, Season 2016, Episode 7,

Shors, B. Producer and director, “A Temporary Home.” PBS Indies, Season 2016, Episode 8,

Shors, B. Producer and director, “Born Here.” PBS Indies, Season 2016, Episode 9,

Shors, B. Producer and director, “Something Special.” PBS Indies, Season 2016, Episode 10,

Shors, B. Producer and director, “What Nature Gave Us.” PBS Indies, Season 2016, Episode 11,

Oppegaard, B., Shors, B., Kjellstrand, T., Pepion-Swaney, B. (2015) Blackfeet 1964. Place-based interactive educational mobile application. Apple and Android.

Goldberg, C., Strickler, K., Risenmay, R., Fremier, A.K., Shors, B. (2015) DNA Web Resource Center, co-investigator, U.S. Department of Defense.

Shors, B. (2015, Feb. 19) PBS MediaShift. Lessons from Cuba: Teaching Journalism.

Shors, B. (2014, Dec. 28) The Spokesman-Review, Cuba visit instructive for students

Postma, J., Ybarra Vega, M., and the Promotores de Salud, Peterson, J.C., Tjomsland, T., Shors, B. (2011). Photovoice: The Story of Substandard Housing.

Shors, B. (2012, Aug. 21) PBS MediaShift. At Rural Newspapers, Some Publishers Resist Move Online.

Shors, B. (2012, June 20) PBS MediaShift. How the Death of a Janitor Captured a City’s Media Narrative for 6 years.

Shors, B. Rapporteur. (2012) The Murrow Rural Information Initiative: Access, Digital Citizenship and the Obligations of the Washington State Information Sector. Carnegie-Knight, Information Needs of Communities.

Shors, B. Did Pentagon Lose Billions, Pennies at a Time?, May 1, 2009.

Shors, B. Can Nonprofits Save Journalism. Montana Journalism Review. Spring 2008.

Shors, B. Indigenous Ngobe Resist Rural Hydroelectric. The Miami Herald, Oct. 2, 2007.

Shors, B. Parenting in Poverty. The Spokesman-Review. April 6, 2007. (National Finalist for Livingston Award for reporting on rural child welfare.)

Shors, B., Aleccia, J. Our Kids, Our Business. (Series). The Spokesman-Review. 2007. (National winner of Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Child Welfare League of America.)

Shors, B. Morning Star Boys Ranch. (Series). The Spokesman-Review. 2005. (Outstanding Achievement in Investigative Reporting, Associated Press, Inland NW Region).

Shors, B. Den Deutschen fehlt das Vertrauen in die Zukunft. Badische Zeitung, Freiburg, Germany. Sept. 16, 2004. International Center for Journalists.

Shors, B. Bei der nächsten US-Präsidentschaftswahl zählt jede Stimme. Badische Zeitung, Freiburg, Germany. Aug. 13, 2004. International Center for Journalists.

Shors, Benjamin. EPA is a bad word in Burke. The Spokesman-Review. July 21, 2002. (Dolly Connelly Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism.)

Shors, B. Workers, Families Now Suffer as Suits Against W.R. Grace Show Widespread Illness. The Missoulian, Missoula, Mont. Nov. 21, 1999. (Winner of Pacific Northwest Mark of Excellence Award, Society of Professional Journalists.)

Conference Presentations

Keynote, “Murrow and the Next Generation of Journalism,” Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. October 2023

Presenter, “Reclaiming a Crisis: Indigenous Journalism in the American West.” Bridges of Media Education 2023, Novi Sad, Serbia, May 2023.

Presenter, “Mobile and Multiplatform Journalism.” U.S. Department of State presentation, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia.

Presenter. “Rural Journalism and the Murrow College.” Washington State University Foundation. October 2021. Invited to speak on the Murrow College’s commitment to rural journalism.

Presenter. “The Blackfeet Flood,” the University of Nebraska (virtual). October 2020.

Presenter. “The Blackfeet Flood,” Salish-Kootenai College. (virtual). September 2020.

Presenter. Rural Journalism and Murrow’s Land-Grant Mission. Land Grant Symposium at Washington State University. 2019.

Presenter. Rural Reporting Plunge. University of Idaho. 2019.

Presenter. Placed-based journalism in rural America. Scripps-Howard Institute, Phoenix, AR. 2018.

Presenter. Encouraging Multimedia Storytelling Through Smartphone Apps as a Way to Visualize Tribal Culture. Viscom: The Visual Communication Conference. June 2017.

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