UM Journalism School Welcomes Fall Pollner Professor

Award-winning journalist and editor Jan Winburn has been named the fall 2021 T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor at UM’s School of Journalism.  

MISSOULA – Award-winning journalist and editor Jan Winburn has been named the fall 2021 T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor at the University of Montana’s School of Journalism.  

Winburn has edited stories that won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Livingston Award, among many other national honors.

While in residence at the School of Journalism this fall, she will lead a hands-on curriculum for young journalists about how to interact with victims of violence, survivors and their families. Her course also will consider how journalists themselves are affected by exposure to trauma and tragedy. In 2009, Winburn received the DART Society award for editors “who understand how to navigate the emotional landscape of assignments on tragedy and trauma.”

In applying for the position, Winburn said of her course proposal, “Even before graduation, student journalists grapple with stories of everyday trauma – car accidents, rapes, suicides, drownings. How do we do justice to these stories without doing harm? What skills do we need to cover the inevitable losses that mark a human lifetime?”

In addition to teaching a course, Pollner professors work closely with the staff of the Montana Kaimin, UM’s independent student newspaper. T. Anthony Pollner, a 1999 School of Journalism alumnus who died in a motorcycle accident, was an engaged member of the Kaimin staff during his time as a journalism student from 1995 to 1999. In endowing the Pollner professorship in 2001, Pollner’s parents, family and friends wanted to bring working journalists to the school to invigorate the scholarship and reporting of students and faculty members.

Winburn is currently a mentor in the University of Georgia’s Master of Fine Arts program in narrative media. Previously she worked at CNN Digital, where she led a team of longform enterprise reporters and was an editor in the investigation unit. She also has worked as an editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Baltimore Sun, The Hartford Courant’s Northeast Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Columbia (Missouri) Tribune. 

 “The School of Journalism is proud to welcome Winburn as the 28th T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor,” said Denise Dowling, director of the school. “She follows in a long line of outstanding journalists who have taught courses that complement and enhance the journalism curriculum at UM.”


Contact: Denise Dowling, director, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-5250,