UM School of Journalism Names Spring 2021 Pollner Distinguished Professor

Geoff McGhee, an award-winning data visualization and multimedia storyteller, is the UM School of Journalism T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor for spring 2021.

MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Journalism has named Geoff McGhee, award-winning data visualization and multimedia storyteller, the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor for spring 2021.

McGhee will be in residence, teaching a course titled “The Infographic Story,” where students will gather and analyze data to create multimedia, interactive feature stories. He also will work closely with student staff at the Montana Kaimin to bring more data-driven storytelling to the pages of UM’s student newspaper.

“I’m excited to be joining a great community at UM and to engage with students on visual storytelling at a time when accurate information, clearly presented, is more important than ever,” McGhee said. “The best infographics creators of our era work in free-standing units that drive their own reporting and analysis, and I look forward to exploring how to put that approach to work in the course and with the Kaimin.”

The UM School of Journalism consistently ranks among the top journalism schools in the country, with a number of its graduates going on to win top awards and recognitions, including Pulitzer Prizes and Emmys. Its students have access to state-of-art equipment and facilities, and some 94% land jobs after graduating.

McGhee, a veteran of the multimedia and infographics staffs at The New York Times, Le Monde and ABC News, was the lead writer on National Geographic’s “Data Points” column on information visualization. He now serves in dual roles: At Stanford University, he is associate editor of the Bill Lane Center for the American West’s original journalism blog, “...& the West,” and at the University of Colorado, he is the data and infographics consultant for The Water Desk, a grant-funded project at the university’s Center for Environmental Journalism.

As a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, McGhee’s research on data analysis and visualization resulted in the widely cited video documentary “Journalism in the Age of Data.” McGhee spent nine years at Stanford University working at the nexus of academic research and public engagement, developing websites, digital publications and interactive dashboards that explore western environmental, governance and economic issues, as well as historical and cultural topics.

The School of Journalism is proud to welcome McGhee as the 27th T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professorship. He follows in a long line of outstanding journalists who have taught courses that complement and enhance the journalism curriculum.

The Pollner professorship was created in 2001 by the family and friends of T. Anthony Pollner, a 1999 School of Journalism alumnus who died in a motorcycle accident.


Contact: Denise Dowling, associate professor and director, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4143,