Carolyn S. Carlson is an Assistant Professor of Communication in the Journalism and Citizen Media concentration at KSU. She has been researching the relationship between reporters and government public relations professionals. A report on her research received widespread attention during national Sunshine Week in March 2012. She teaches the reporting and writing classes, advanced media writing, the capstone course and media law. In August 2012, she took a group of Communication students to the Republican National Convention to report on it for a campus website.
Before entering academia, Dr. Carlson worked as a political press secretary and as a longtime reporter and editor for The Associated Press. She was also a reporter for 5 years on The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle and the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. While at the AP, she served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, which is the oldest and largest professional organization serving the news media. She is a former chair of the SPJ Ethics Committee and is currently a member of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee. She is also adviser to the SPJ chapter at Kennesaw State.
Dr. Carlson is the recipient of many awards, including SPJ’s highest honor for a member, the Wells Key, which she received in 1993, and the SPJ First Amendment Award, which she received in 1998 for founding the multi-organizational Campus Courts Task Force for its success in changing federal law to increase public access to college disciplinary records involving serious crime.