Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture
Chief Film Consultant-Researcher
Richard R. Ness
Professor of Film and Media Studies
Western Illinois University

Richard R. Ness,  professor of film and media studies at Western Illinois University, is the associate director of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (IJPC), a project of the Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. Ness is the leading scholar in the country on the depiction of journalists in films.

His new book the Encyclopedia of Journalism on Film, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, is the definition book on journalists on film. His earlier book, From Headline Hunter to Superman: A Journalism Filmography, published by Scarecrow Press, has become the definitive book on the subject. He also is the author of Alan Rudolph: Romance and a Crazed World (Twayne), the only book to date on the director, as well as articles and reviews in the Hitchcock Annual, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and The International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. His current project examines the treatment of gender in musical scores for motion pictures. 

“Ness’ expertise on films featuring journalists is encyclopedic. He has a vast collection of films on both videotape and 16mm film that he is making available to IJPC Associates through the IJPC library,” said IJPC Director Joe Saltzman. “He is an invaluable resource and the Norman Lear Center is delighted he is now the associate director of the IJPC.”

Ness currently is working on an updated edition of his journalism filmography. It will include newly discovered titles of the 20th century as well as document films released since the publication of the previous edition.

Ness received both his B.A. (1981) and M.S. (1991) from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. (2002) from Wayne State University. He taught full-time at both of these universities and was a film, theater, music and art critic for Iowa newspapers for 11 years.