(781) 799-8576 jsgorbach@gmail.com


2007 – 2013 Ph.D.
Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Missouri-Columbia
Dissertation: Crying in the Wilderness: The Outlaw and Poet in Ben Hecht’s Militant Zionism. December 2013.
Chair: Dr. Berkley Hudson.

2008 (Fall) Visiting Semester
Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of Chicago

1997 – 1999 M.A. Print Journalism
New York University

1989 – 1992 B.A. Literature
Sarah Lawrence College


2nd Place Best News Story, Community Papers of Florida, 2004.
“Florida Bay’s Murky Future,” an article about the nasty politics and shaky science of the $8.7 billion Everglades Restoration Plan. Selected from 1,700 competitors.

2nd Place Best Original Writing, Community Papers of Florida, 2004.
“‘The City Was Against Us,’” an article about a local soldier returning from Iraq. Selected from 1,700 competitors.

Best Holiday Story, Florida Press Association, 2004.
“Chanukah a Time of Choices for American Jews,” a feature story about American Jews during Christmastime.

Honorable Mention, Feature Story, Florida Press Association, 2004.
“The Treasure Horde,” an article about a generation of treasure hunters in the Keys.

Research Experience

Ben Hecht: The First Tough Jew, New York: Taylor & Francis. Revised and resubmitted, as part of Ashgate’s Outlaws in Literature, History and Culture book series.

• “The Journalist and the Gangster: A Devil’s Bargain, Chicago Style,” Journalism History, Vol. 41, No. 1, Spring 2015.
• “The Old New Journalist,” Literary Journalism Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2, Fall 2015.

Conference papers
From Victim to Public Enemy: Ben Hecht, Gangsters and American Militant Zionism.
American Journalism Historical Association conference in Birmingham, AL, October 2009.
• The Making of a Matinee Idol: Representations of Islam in Lowell Thomas’s Lawrence of Arabia. International Communication Association (ICA) conference in Chicago, IL, May 2009.
• Outlaws, Libby Custer and Technology: The Enduring Power of the Myth-Makingm Journalistic Narrative. Participant in a panel discussion along with Janice Hume, Cathy Jackson and Berkley Hudson at the Missouri School of Journalism Centennial in Columbia, MO, September 2008.
• Lots of Untruths to Those Write-Ups: The Newspaper Coverage of Bonnie and Clyde.
Paper presented at Joint Meeting of the American Journalism Historical Association and the History division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AJHA-AEJMC) conference in New York, NY March 2008.

Freelance journalism

• “Better Know Louisiana’s Nuclear Plants,” Gambit Weekly. April 12, 2011.
• “Town Brawl: The fight between Freetown residents and an out-of-state developer shapes up as a historic legal case in Lafayette expansion..” The Independent. June 21-28, 2006: 12.
• “Criminal Jackpot: How Washington, D.C.’s biggest lobbying scandal unfolded in Lafayette’s backyard.” The Independent. May 31-June 7, 2006: 10.
• “In La., Acadian Museum Presses On.” The Boston Globe. Oct. 23, 2006: A16.
• “Looking for a Home.” The Independent. Oct. 5-12, 2006: 4.
• “Mud, Sweat and Gears: Tales from the Acadiana racing circuit.” The Independent Aug. 10-17, 2006: 10.
• “A Disquieting Film.” The Boston Phoenix. Sept. 13-20, 2002: 12.
• “Two Towns Hit with Anti-Semitic Literature.” The Patriot Ledger. Aug. 13, 2002: A1.
• “Ape Town: The Bronx Zoo’s New ‘Congo Gorilla Forest’ Brings You to the Middle of an African Rain Forest.” Time Out New York. June 24-July 1, 1999: 24.
• “Bozo the Clown, Esq.: A New Generation of Clowns Get Serious with Graduate Degrees.” The Resident. March 25-31, 1999: 18.
• “Adventures in Toyland: To the Initiated, Life as a Toy Inventor Isn’t All Fun and Games.” The Resident. Feb. 23-March 2, 1998: 3-4.
• “Hidden New York Unveiled: A Photographer Explores the City Beneath the Streets.” Manhattan Spirit. Nov. 19-26, 1998: 14-15.
• “Lady luck: Players Count on Chelsea Consultant Linda Pezzano to Help Their Game.” Manhattan Spirit. Oct. 15-22, 1998: 13-15.
• “Getting the Bugs Out: Ant Farm and Other Toy Stories.” Manhattan Spirit. Oct. 15, 1998: 14-15
• “Between Love and Madness.” San Francisco Review of Books. Jan.-Feb., 1996: 26.

Teaching experience

Fall 2014 – Present
Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communication, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana

MACO 230, Visual Communication. Fall 2014; Spring 2015; Fall 2015; Spring 2016.
Course description: Familiarize students with processes for conveying meaning through the use of images and in conjunction with text.

MACO 251, News Writing. Fall 2015; Spring 2016. Course description: Research and writing the news, with emphasis on accuracy, brevity, clarity.

MACO 326, Editing. Spring 2015; Spring 2016. Course description: Fundamentals of editing for newspapers and related publications; layout; copy reading and headline writing.

MACO 101, Survey of Mass Communication. Fall 2014; Fall 2015. Course description: Print, broadcast, advertising and public relations in American society; the concept of freedom of the press; the relationship of press and government and of press and the public; theory, criticisms, problems and ethical concerns of the media.

MACO 321, Multimedia Journalism. Fall 2014; Fall 2015. Course description: Information gathering and production technologies for new media with emphasis on theoretical underpinnings. Software technologies including social media, desktop publishing, photojournalism, web development and video production and their application in mass communication strategies. Meets computer literacy requirement.

MACO 252, Reporting. Fall 2014; Spring 2015. Course description: Advanced newsgathering, news writing and interviewing technique.

Fall 2011- Fall 2013
Visiting Lecturer of New Media, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Principles of Journalism. Fall 2011; Spring 2012.
Course description: Introduction to media convergence. Students will learn the basics of multimedia digital reporting, including writing for the Internet versus print; photojournalism; audio and visual storytelling; Web design; use of social networking as a reporting tool; and editing using Soundslides, Audacity and FinalCut Pro. The final project consists of a layered, multimedia online package that includes text, digital photography, an audio story and a video story.

Communication 212, Introductory Newswriting. Fall 2011; Spring 2012. Course description: Journalistic writing for print and broadcast journalists and public relations writers. Includes writing leads, AP style, inverted pyramid format and media law and ethics. Textbook: Reporting for the Media, Eighth Edition, by Fred Fedler, et al, as primary text. Students covered Hurricane Katrina, the 2006 midterm elections, Mardi Gras festivities, city-parish council meetings, police “ride alongs” and profiles.

Communication 170, Media and Society. Fall 2011; Fall 2012. Course description: Historical, economic, legal and technological influences of mass media. Professional practices within these media, as well as advertising, public relations, the international flow of communication. Textbook: Media Impact, Tenth Edition, by Shirley Biagi as the primary text. Lecture course.

Fall 2007
Instructor, University of Missouri-Columbia

JOURN 2100-Newswriting. Fall 2007. Course description: Introduction to fundamentals of newswriting. Lectures, discussions and laboratory work provide training under deadline pressure in writing basic news stories. Stories cover several “live” assignments.

Spring 2005 – Spring 2007
Adjunct Instructor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Communication 212, Introductory Newswriting. Spring 2005; Fall 2005; Fall

2006; Spring 2007.
Communication 110, Media and Society. Spring 2005; Spring 2007.
Communication 313, News Editing. Fall 2005.
Course description: Explains and provides practice in newspaper editing, including newsroom organization, news evaluation, the importance of style, copy editing, headline writing, typography, page design, picture editing and cutline preparation. Textbook: Contemporary Editing, Second Edition, by Cecilia Friend et al., as the primary text. A class of eight students wrote, edited and produced Rougarou, a 36- page glossy news magazine about academics and life on campus.

Communication 354, History of American Media. Spring 2007.
Course Description: Chronological examination of political, social, economic and cultural roles of American media encompassing newspapers, magazines, book publishing, advertising, public relations, photojournalism, motion pictures, radio, television, and the Internet. Main texts: A History of the News, by Mitchell Stephens. The Yellow Kids: Foreign Correspondents in Heyday of Yellow Journalism, by Joyce Milton; The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight, by Marc Weingarten.

English 360, Advanced Composition. Fall 2005. Course description: An advanced course in expository writing with particular attention to problems of organization, style, modes of development and research. Assigned four papers over the course of the semester, totaling 25 pages of polished work: a research paper, a “shoeleather” paper, a critical essay and an argumentative essay.

English 320, Modern Fiction. Fall 2005.
Course description: Studies in major modern American and English works of fiction. Content varies each time offered. Created a 500-page compendium of short stories and excerpts to use as a primary text. Additional readings: A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway; Day of the Locust, by Nathanael West; The Quiet American, by Graham Greene; The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon; and Jolie Blon’s Bounce, by James Lee Burke.

Spring 2006
Adjunct Instructor, South Louisiana Community College
Communication 1010, Fundamentals of Human Communication. Spring 2006. Course description: Provides an introduction to theories of communication, and helps students develop public speaking skills. Textbook: Human Communication, Second Edition, by Judy Pearson, et al. Students participated in parliamentary style debates, and delivered informative presentations and persuasive presentations. Guest lecturers spoke to the class about culture and etiquette in the workplace.

Professional Experience

The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts. Fall 2005.
Wrote news and features. Provided breaking news feeds on Hurricane Rita. Reported Hurricane Katrina’s effects on Lafayette, and the flooding of Acadian Museum in Rita’s wake.

Independent Weekly, Lafayette, Louisiana. Summer 2005 – Present.
Contributed regularly. Covered hurricane housing issues and wrote features, such as cover stories on the Jack Abramoff scandal and go-kart racing.

Copy Editor Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Fall 2006-2007.
Performed light and heavy editing of grant proposals for university research projects in all variety of academic departments, such as the Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics departments.

Staff Reporter:
The Beacon, Community Newspaper Company, Acton. Massachusetts. Summer – Fall 2004.
Pushed the boundaries of community news for the weekly paper of Acton, a suburb west of Boston with a population of about 20,000. Traveled with Acton’s delegates to cover the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. Wrote an investigative piece Phil Zelikow, a former member of the school committee who went on to become executive director of staff for the 9/11 Commission Report. Spent Halloween night with a team of paranormal investigators in a 235-year-old house that was the scene of a lynching during the Revolutionary War. Described a local “micro roaster” started by one of the top coffee gurus in the world.

The Citizen, The Free Press: Key West, Florida. Fall 2002 – Summer 2004.
Reported for the Upper Keys bureau of The Citizen, the daily newspaper of the Florida Keys, and for the company’s chain of weeklies, The Free Press. Write about marine life, the health of the coral reefs, the Everglades and other environmental concerns; controversial development projects and affordable housing; marine archeology.

The Daily Advertiser, Gannett Corporation, Lafayette, Louisiana. Spring 2000 – Spring 2001.
Wrote enterprise features, spot news and general daily coverage for the newspaper that serves Louisiana’s Cajun population, in the heart of the state’s bayou country. Covered environmental and energy issues in this battleground territory, home to 40 percent of the nation’s wetlands and a capital of American oil and gas drilling, during the heat of the presidential election. Also reported on a myriad of other issues, including housing, investigations of airplane crashes, criminal behavior and excessive use of force by police officers, and cultural events like Mardi Gras and the Crawfish Festival.

Roswell Daily Record, Roswell, New Mexico. Spring 1999 – Spring 2000.
Covered the cop beat and wrote spot news for this community daily with a circulation of 12,000. Wrote an investigative series on murders that remained unsolved because gangs intimidated witnesses into silence. Tracked and reported on ongoing homicide investigations, busts, standoffs, trials and the internal affairs of the police and sheriff’s departments. Also, wrote monthly profiles and general assignment features.

San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco, California. Summer 1998.
Reporter Intern. Researched and wrote hard news, service journalism and “Best of the Bay” pieces for this independent alternative weekly. Provided research for staff reporters and editors. The Guardian, which has a circulation of 150,000, prides itself on being one of the first urban weeklies to practice “advocacy journalism.”