At the Moment, Michael Williams May Be the Most Prominent Student Journalist in the U.S.

At the moment, Michael Williams may be the most prominent student journalist in the U.S. — in large part due to an expected promotion he didn’t receive and a lawsuit which he has helped file.


Michael Williams is managing editor of The North Wind at Northern Michigan University. He previously served the paper as a guest writer, staff writer and opinion editor.

Williams is managing editor of The North Wind student newspaper at Northern Michigan University. The paper has earned praise and increased attention this past academic year for enacting a more hard-charging and investigatory editorial style. At the same time, in the midst of rolling out a new university marketing campaign and perhaps unprepared for such scrutiny, some NMU officials have criticized the paper’s efforts as overly aggressive.

In late April, the North Wind Board of Directors removed NMU assistant professor Cheryl Reed from her faculty adviser role and rejected Williams’s application for editor-in-chief — even though he was the only candidate for the job. Reed and Williams have filed a lawsuit in response┬áthat is currently still pending.


The North Wind published the “First Amendment, Dead” cover in the aftermath of the board’s decision to remove Reed and reject Williams.

For this edition of the College Media Podcast, Williams discusses with appreciable candor the events leading to the lawsuit. He also speaks about how the controversy and related media attention have changed his perspectives about journalism, while also sharing some advice for future student journalists nationwide.

Click here or anywhere on the image below to listen in on our chat.

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