Committee(s): Student Affairs
After a 30-year career in the news industry, Steffens joined the faculty at Missouri in 2002 as a professor of professional practice. She was elected to Faculty Council in 2015 to represent NTT faculty. At Mizzou, she chaired the Committee for Undergraduate Education for six years, and has also served on the Campus Information Technology Committee, as well as chair the School of Journalism’s Policy Committee for six years.
In 2014, she was named a distinguished alumni of Indiana University, where she received her undergraduate degree in 1977.
In her outreach to the news industry, she has organized more than 100 workshops for journalists in 32 countries.She was a visiting professor in business journalism at Moscow State University in 2004, which capped a multi-year outreach to Russian journalists, traveling thousands of miles in that country to promote independent media. Steffens next turned her attention to Middle Eastern journalists, conducting multiple training sessions in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar to ready journalists for their role in covering democratic elections.
Steffens assisted Yemeni Journalists Society in writing an ethics code for media workers in that nation. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, she led the first-ever training for women journalists. Steffens has also lectured extensively in China and Taiwan on topics ranging from business reporting to investigative research to curricula for journalism schools. In 2014, she will train economic journalists in Ethiopia, Kenya, the Republic of Georgia and India.
Steffens serves as one of two U.S. members on the executive board of the International Press Institute, a 65-year-old press-freedom organization. She also chairs the North American Committee for Free Press. For IPI, she has organized journalist training in Taiwan and Jordan. Steffens was also chief editor of the 2011 IPI Report: Media and Money, and the 2013 Report: Reflections on the Arab Spring.
Prior to her academic career, Steffens was executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner, as well as the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, New York. She also held editing posts at the Los Angeles Times, Orange County (Calif.) Register, Minneapolis Star, Dayton Daily News and Evansville (Ind.) Courier. A Boston Globe story singled her out as one of the most innovative women editors in the U.S. Her novel approach to involving communities in news coverage through civic journalism techniques has earned recognition from scholars worldwide.