228 Gregory Hall
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Communications)
Research Professor Emeritus of Communications
Professor Emeritus of Media Studies
Professor Emeritus of Journalism
Christians is the former director of the Institute of Communications Research and chair of the doctoral program in communications, a position he also held from 1987 to 2001. He has been a visiting scholar in philosophical ethics at Princeton University and in social ethics at the University of Chicago, and a PEW fellow in ethics at Oxford University. On the faculty at Illinois since 1974, Christians has won five teaching awards. His teaching interests are in the philosophy of technology, dialogic communication theory and media ethics.
He serves on the editorial boards of a dozen academic journals, is the former editor of Critical Studies in Media Communication, and currently edits The Ellul Forum. He has lectured or given academic papers worldwide in countries that include Belgium, Norway, Russia, Finland, Taiwan, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Singapore, Korea, Scotland, Philippines, Slovenia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and Sweden. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, International Who’s Who in Education and Outstanding Scholars of the 21st Century: Communication Ethics. The Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society of Duquesne University gave him its Ethics Scholar Award in 1999, and the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research offers its Ethics Research Award annually in his name. In 2003 he won the AEJMC Presidential Award for distinguished service to journalism and mass communication education, and in 2004, AEJMC’s Paul J. Deutschmann Award for Excellence in Research. He was the James A. Jaksa Ethics Scholar in Residence at the Eighth National Communication Ethics Conference in June 2004.
Christians has published essays on various aspects of mass communication (including professional ethics) in Journalism Monographs, Journal of Broadcasting, Journalism History, Ethical Perspectives: Journal of the European Ethics Network, Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, Journal of Communication, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Media Development, Communication, Qualitative Inquiry, European Journal of Communication and the International Journal of Mass Communication Research. He is a member of the Society for Philosophy and Technology and has authored several essays on communications technology for its publications. He contributed the article “Media Ethics” to the International Encyclopedia of Communications and an entry on “Communication Ethics” for the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. He authored an issue of Communication Research Trends on current developments in communication ethics worldwide.
He completed the third edition of Rivers and Schramm’s “Responsibility in Mass Communication,” has co-authored “Jacques Ellul: Interpretive Essays” with Jay Van Hook, and has written “Teaching Ethics in Journalism Education” with Catherine Covert. His book by Oxford University Press was published in 1993, “Good News: Social Ethics and the Press,” co-authored with John Ferre and Mark Fackler. His “Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning” with Kim Rotzoll and Mark Fackler is now in its sixth edition (Longman, 2001). His book with Michael Traber, “Communication Ethics and Universal Values,” was published by Sage in 1997. In 2002 he co-edited with Sharon Bracci, “Moral Engagement in Public Life: Theorists for Contemporary Ethics.” His book with colleagues Glasser, McQuail, Nordenstreng and White, “Normative Theories of the Media,” is forthcoming from the University of Illinois Press.
Primary areas of interest include communication ethics, philosophy of technology, Jacques Ellul, interpretive research, dialogic theory.