Neil Reisner, M.S., associate professor, was a daily newspaper reporter/editor for 25 years, working at the Miami Herald and the Record in Bergen County, NJ, among others. He joined SJMC’s full-time faculty in 2005, after previously serving as an adjunct professor at FIU, Columbia University and Rutgers. As training director for Investigative Reporters & Editors in 1996, Reisner led one-day to one-week seminars for professional journalists in 25 states and Canada. In 2010, Reisner started the Liberty City Link as a pilot project in his Print News Reporting class through which students learned real-world street reporting by covering Liberty City, among Miami’s most downtrodden and reputedly most violent neighborhoods. The project quickly morphed into a partnership with the South Florida Times, a weekly paper serving South Florida’s black communities, which dedicates a full-page each week to stories students write for what they now call “The Link.” Students quickly learn that Liberty City residents are much like they are, trying to make their ways in the world and provide better lives for their children, and the stories they write reflect that reality. The project demonstrates how journalism can empower residents while equipping students with the skills needed to accurately cover a diverse community.
Reisner has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Post, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review and Nieman Watchdog, among other publications and frequently speaks at journalism conferences nationwide on ways journalists can best use public records and the Internet. Born in Los Angeles, Reisner has a bachelor's degree in communication studies from UCLA and a master's from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to Florida, he lived in New York, New Jersey and Israel. Reisner serves on Investigative Reporters & Editors’ membership committee, the Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund Auction Committee and is faculty advisor to the SPJ student chapter at FIU.