Joe Saltzman, the director of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (IJPC) and the author of Frank Capra and the Image of the Journalist in American Film, is an award-winning journalist who is professor of journalism and former associate dean at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California.
He received his B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California and his M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. After working for several years as a newspaper reporter and editor, Saltzman joined CBS television in Los Angeles in 1964 and for the next ten years produced documentaries, news magazine shows, and daily news shows, winning more than fifty awards including the Columbia University-duPont broadcast journalism award (the broadcasting equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), four Emmys, four Golden Mikes, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, a Silver Gavel, and one of the first NAACP Image awards. He was among the first broadcast documentarians to produce, write, and report on important social issues, including Black on Black, a ninety-minute program with no written narration on what it is like to be black in urban America in 1967; Rape, a 30-minute 1970 program on the crime that resulted in changes in California law; The Junior High School, a two-hour program on education in America in 1970; and Why Me? a one-hour program on breast cancer in 1974 that resulted in thousands of lives being saved and advocated changes in the treatment of breast cancer in America.
In 1974, he created the broadcasting sequence in the USC School of Journalism. During his tenure at USC, Saltzman, who has won three teaching awards, has remained an active journalist producing medical documentaries, functioning as a senior investigative producer for Entertainment Tonight, and writing articles, reviews, columns, and opinion pieces for hundreds of magazines and newspapers. He has been researching the image of the journalist in popular culture for a dozen years and is considered an expert in the field.
The image of the journalist in popular culture is a gold mine of research possibilities. The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (IJPC), a project of the Norman Lear Center in the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, was created in 2000 to investigate and analyze, through research and publication, the conflicting images of the journalist in film, television, radio, fiction (novels, short stories, plays poems), cartoons, comic strips, comic books, commercials and other forms of popular culture to demonstrate their impact on the public’s perception of journalists (www.ijpc.org).
Saltzman pioneered this long-neglected, new field of research rich with untapped material. To help those who want to work in this academic field, the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture Project has created three major resources: The IJPC Website (www.ijpc.org), the online IJPC Database with more than 76,500 entries, and the peer-review The IJPC Journal, all world-wide sources for the subject.