New program brings Gannett journalist Joel Christopher to campus

March 30, 2014

by Dennis Chaptman

Joel Christopher, the digital editor for Gannett Wisconsin Media, has been chosen as the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s first Wisconsin Journalist in Residence.

Joel Christopher

Joel Christopher

The program, new this year, will bring a state journalist to campus each semester to meet with faculty, staff and students in classroom and informal settings and to see firsthand some of the programs, personalities and facilities at the state’s flagship university.

“This is just another way that UW-Madison is reaching out across the state and connecting with people and communities,” says Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations. “Joel has a range of experience that will benefit our campus community, and we’re delighted he’s willing to share his perspectives and experience our university at work.”

Christopher oversees digital operations for Gannett newsrooms in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marshfield, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids.

Gannett Wisconsin Media’s East Group is No. 1 in the nation for combined online and print audience penetration, according to the most recently released Scarborough Research Report.

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to connect with the university,” says Christopher, who will visit the campus April 7-9. “As journalists grapple with the radical transformation our field is undergoing, it’s vital that working professionals nurture relationships with world-class institutions like UW-Madison to ensure graduates are equipped with the skills and mindset they’ll need to succeed.”

Christopher adds: “The university’s forward-thinking efforts to strengthen connections between journalists, students and faculty are critical for keeping American journalism relevant and resonant.”

Christopher grew up in Sun Prairie and graduated from UW-Madison, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Badger Herald.

“As journalists grapple with the radical transformation our field is undergoing, it’s vital that working professionals nurture relationships with world-class institutions like UW-Madison to ensure graduates are equipped with the skills and mindset they’ll need to succeed.”

Joel Christopher

He worked as a sports and news reporter in Watertown and Wausau, and advanced to become managing editor of the Wausau Daily Herald.

Christopher joined Post-Crescent Media in Appleton as metro editor in 2005, and became digital editor in 2006. He assumed statewide responsibilities in 2013.

He has won state and national awards for leading breaking news and enterprise reporting efforts.

Christopher is a member of a Gannett team tapped to transform the country’s largest media company by using digital metrics to expand and engage news audiences. He’s in the middle of an intensive three-month program that takes him to Asbury Park, N.J., Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Nashville, to train journalists in the company’s largest markets.