John R. Bender, a professor in the journalism sequence, has taught at the college or university level for more than 35 years. He joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska in 1990, and before that he was an assistant professor of journalism at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. In 2007, Bender received the College Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2011, he received the James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award for his work in promoting academic freedom in high school journalism programs, his teaching and his involvement in faculty governance at University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Bender is lead author of "Writing & Reporting for the Media," one of the best-selling college textbooks on news reporting and writing. The 12th edition of the book was published by Oxford University Press in the fall of 2018. He is also author of “Law for Media Professionals,” an electronic textbook for undergraduate media law students, which was published in 2018 by Great River Learning.
He also has written papers on libel law, the U.S. Supreme Court's Gannett v. DePasquale decisions in 1979 and state laws on access to public records. He is working on a book about the U.S. Supreme Court's major decisions on media access to criminal proceedings.
His teaching and research areas include news reporting and writing, mass media law, media history and controls of information. Also, for nearly 16 years he was executive director of the Nebraska High School Press Association. He is secretary of the Nebraska state convention of the Association of American University Professors.
Before he started teaching, Bender worked for six years for the Pittsburg (Kansas) Morning Sun. He started as a reporter covering local government and politics, then became the paper's assignment editor, news editor and then managing editor. During his term as managing editor, the Morning Sun won awards for farm coverage, photography and editorial writing.
As an undergraduate, Bender majored in sociology at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia.