Sports journalism expert returns to NU-Q

January 12, 2017

Craig LaMay, a Northwestern University scholar, has returned to the Qatar campus where he previously taught a course in Sports, Media, and Society. LaMay is an expert in freedom of expression and media development in democratizing and post-conflict societies, as well as sport as a social institution.

LaMay, who is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Northwestern’s Medill School, is also a former associate dean at Medill. He will be in residence at NU-Q until 2019. While at NU-Q, he will develop a program on sports, media, and leadership. He will also teach undergraduate courses on sports and media, drawing heavily on the local Qatari sports culture. 

“Professor LaMay has been a strong supporter of NU-Q since it was first established. His presence on campus brings a broad portfolio of creative teaching as well as providing an increased depth of knowledge and research across several areas especially relevant to NU-Q and Qatar. With the growing popularity of the local sports culture and the impending World Cup, NU-Q students will find his international experience of great value in helping them master sports analysis and coverage,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO.

While at NU-Q in 2013, LaMay’s classes were well received by NU-Q students interested in learning more about the different types of sports journalism ahead of Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup. During the past decade, Qatar has earned a reputation for hosting several international sports championships and for being the home to a leading sports network, BeIN.

“Qatar is unique in many respects – a relatively new country with a plan for its future. My area here is sports, and clearly sports is part of Qatar's national identity project. As a journalist and scholar, that's fascinating to me. Anyone here knows that it is a world sports destination,” said LaMay.

He added: “Sports journalism is too often simply fan journalism, not very good, not very critical, frankly not very good journalism. Sports is more than the game, but also about human rights, technology, gender and sex identities, national and ethnic identities, globalization -- lots of things. The best sports journalism takes sport much more seriously than sports journalists typically do. 

LaMay is author or co-author of several books, including “Measures of Press Freedom,” with Monroe Price and Susan Abbott; “Inside the Presidential Debates,” with Newton N. Minow; “Exporting Press Freedom: Economic and Editorial Dilemmas in International Media Assistance”; “Journalism and the Problem of Privacy" and Democracy on the Air,” with Ellen Mickiewicz, Donald Browne and Charles Firestone.

He has also published essays and articles in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalWashington PostNewsweek, US News & World Report, and many others.  A former newspaper reporter, he has also served as editorial director of the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University where he was editor of the Media Studies Journal and where he also edited and co-edited several books. He has a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.