James Kelly

Associate Professor of Journalism

Contact Information

  • Office:
    Franklin Hall 230E
  • Office Hours:
    by appointment (I'm on sabbatical this year)
  • Email:
  • Phone:
    (812) 855-1708
  • Website:
    Professor Kelly

  • Research and Creative Interests

    Photojournalism Ethics, Experiental learning,


    James Kelly received a doctorate in mass communication specializing in journalism from Indiana University Bloomington in 1990. From 1990 to 2007 he was on the School of Journalism faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In fall 2007 he joined the Indiana University School of Journalism as an Associate Professor. In 2015 he became Director of Undergraduate Studies in the new Media School which combined journalism with telecommunications and film studies.

    Prior to entering graduate school he worked as a staff photographer for the South Bend Tribune and for the Associated Press in West Virginia. He has completed photographic reporting assignments for a number of major newspapers and national magazines. He was a researcher for the PBS television documentary, Studebaker: Less Than They Promised, a Peabody Award winner in 1983. Dr. Kelly also holds a Master of Arts degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from West Virginia University.

    His research areas include the influence of digital imaging technology on news photo credibility and audience understanding of photojournalism ethics.

    His teaching areas include photojournalism, graphic communication and publication design, the mass media’s role in society, and the reporting of HIV/AIDS and healthcare. He is a Herbert Frederic Lieber Distinguished Teaching Professor.

    Since 1990, Dr. Kelly has participated in a series of projects in South Asia and East Africa aimed at strengthening the practice of journalism and the ties between mass media newsrooms and journalism departments at universities. He has traveled to South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) twelve times and to Africa (Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia) nine times. In 1998 he spent his sabbatical at the Open University of Sri Lanka where he wrote a textbook to help journalists there use the Internet. Last summer he took 12 Media School students to Kampala, Uganda where they reported on HIV/AIDS in Africa for the Daily Monitor newspaper.

    In 2018 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholars grant to conduct research on job motivation and satisfaction among healthcare workers woring for AMPATH, 28-year partnership between the medical schools at IU and Moi University in western Kenya. He will spend the spring 2019 semester there photographing and collecting interviews for a book and teaching a class in photojournalism.

    He is a native of Hinton, West Virginia, is married to Carol Kelly, and has two daughters: Anna, an education administator in New York City and Megan, a Latin American policy analyst in Washington, DC. He is an avid, if slow, road bicyclist.