M.A, Journalism, Ohio State, 1974

Office: CMU 240
E-Mail: dunder@uw.edu

Doug Underwood is Professor of Communication at the University of Washington who teaches in the areas of journalism and literature, media ethics and management, journalism and trauma, and media and religion. He is the author of six books, including Journalism and the Novel (2008), From Yahweh to Yahoo! (2002), and When MBAs Rule the Newsroom (1993). From Yahweh to Yahoo! received a distinguished book award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR).

Underwood’s latest book, Literary Journalism in British and American Prose: An Historical Overview (2019), examines the traditions of literary nonfiction within Anglo-American literature. His 2013 volume, The Undeclared War between Journalism and Fiction, explores the tensions between literary journalists who believe the best of their nonfiction should be included in the literary canon and writers with a journalism background who preferred fiction writing to express what is timeless and universal about the human experience.

He also has studied the impact of trauma, violence, and emotional distress in the careers of 150 important American and British journalist-literary figures dating back to the early 1700s. His 2011 book, Chronicling Trauma: Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss, examines the influence of childhood neglect, wartime experiences, substance abuse issues, professional crises, and other traumatic circumstances in the lives and literature of these figures.

He has published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism History, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Journal of Media and Religion, Newspaper Research Journal, and other scholarly publications on such topics as journalism economics, technology in the newsroom, the historical relationship of journalism and religion, the influence of journalism on the development of the novel, and the effect of profit pressures on journalists. His publications include survey research projects – among them national surveys of newspaper management practices, the religious and ethical values of journalists, and journalists’ literary interests and ambitions. He also has been a contributor to the professional media review, Columbia Journalism Review.

Underwood teaches courses in journalism ethics, journalism and literature, press and politics, and narrative journalism, where advanced journalism students have the chance to practice “new” or “literary” narrative journalism. He joined the UW communication faculty in 1987 after a thirteen-year career as a political and investigative journalist for The Seattle Times, the Gannett News Service’s Washington, D. C. bureau, and the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal.

Selected publications

  • Literary Journalism in British and American Prose: An Historical Overview. McFarland. 2019.
  • “Literary Journalism and American Magazines,” in William Dow and Roberta Maguire, eds., The Routledge Companion to American Literary Journalism. Routledge. 2019.
  • “Ethics, Religion, and American Journalism: Their Roles within Political Dialogue and the Peacemaking Process,” in Xenia Zeiler and Kerstin Radde-Antweiler, eds., The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Journalism. Routledge. 2019.
  • The Undeclared War between Journalism and Fiction: Journalists as Genre Benders in Literary History. Palgrave Macmillan. 2013. (Finalist, Frank Luther Mott Research Book Award, Kappa Tau Alpha, national honor society for journalism scholarship.)
  • “Fame and the Fate of Celebrity: The Trauma of the Lionized Journalist-Literary Figure,” in Mark Canada, ed., Literature and Journalism: Inspirations, Intersections, and Invention from Ben Franklin to Stephen Colbert. Palgrave Macmillan. 2013.
  • “Religion in Print,” in Diane Winston, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media. Oxford University Press. 2012.
  • Chronicling Trauma: Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss. University of Illinois Press. 2011.
  • Journalism and the Novel: Truth and Fiction, 1700-2000. Cambridge University Press. 2008.
  • “Transcending the News: Religious Ambivalence among Famous Journalist-Literary Figures and Literature as the Uncertain Path to Immortality.” Journal of Media and Religion. 2007.
  • “Depression, Drink, and Dissipation: The Troubled Inner World of Famous Journalist-Literary Figures and Art as the Ultimate Stimulant.” Journalism History. 2007.
  • “Journalists with Literary Ambitions No Less Satisfied with Their Jobs.” Newspaper Research Journal. 2006. With Dana Bagwell.
  • From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press. University of Illinois Press. 2002.
  • “Are Journalists Really Irreligious?: A Multidimensional Analysis.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. 2001. With Keith Stamm.
  • “Secularists or Modern Day Prophets?: Journalists’ Ethics and the Judeo-Christian Tradition.” Journal of Mass Media Ethics. 2001.
  • “Reporting and the Push for Market-Oriented Journalism: Media Organizations as Businesses,” in W. Lance Bennett and Robert M. Entman, eds., Mediated Politics: Communication in the Future of Democracy. Cambridge University Press. 2001.
  • “Market Research and the Audience for Political News,” in Doris Graber, Denis McQuail, and Pippa Norris, eds., The Politics of News; The News of Politics. Congressional Quarterly Press. 1998.
  • “Assembly-Line Journalism.” Columbia Journalism Review. 1998.
  • “How Pagination Affects Job Satisfaction of Editors.” Journalism Quarterly. 1995. With Keith Stamm and C. Anthony Giffard.
  • When MBAs Rule the Newsroom: How the Marketers and Managers Are Reshaping Today’s Media. Columbia University Press. 1993.
  • “The Model of the Reader-Driven Newsroom.” Columbia Journalism Review. 1993.
  • “Reinventing the Media: The Newspapers’ Identity Crisis.” Columbia Journalism Review. 1992.
  • “Balancing Business with Journalism: Newsroom Policies at 12 West Coast Newspapers.” Journalism Quarterly. 1992. With Keith Stamm.
  • “When MBAs Rule the Newsroom.” Columbia Journalism Review. 1988.