Brett Johnson (M.A. 2011), is a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Johnson was recognized for his efforts to advance the understanding of the role of journalism in democracy. By crossing disciplinary and methodological boundaries to study the nexus of law and ethics, and to advance the understanding of the First Amendment, Johnson has achieved tremendous success through his research, teaching and service to the School of Journalism, university and community.
Johnson was also named 2021-2022 Presidential Engagement Fellow. The systemwide program recognizes outstanding faculty who excel at communicating their research to the public and charges them with representing the UM System at several outreach events throughout the state each year.
Pointing to his upbringing in Iowa City, he credited early exposure to diverse people and cultures with sparking his desire to travel and inform.
“I grew up going to school alongside people of all different races and religions, and that definitely shaped my worldview,” Johnson said. “When I can demystify legal jargon and show that concepts like free speech are not so black and white, and when I can show that these subjects can be entertaining and interesting to learn about, I feel that I’m helping to expand peoples’ perspectives and encouraging them to engage in society, regardless of their background.”