Journalism announces hiring of Heesoo Jang

A graphic announcing the hiring of Heesoo Jang. On the left is a headshot of Heesoo, an Asian woman with chin-length black hair wearing a plaid shirt. On the right is her name and the subheader "Assistant Professor of Media Law and Ethics"

Heesoo Jang will join the Journalism department as an Assistant Professor of Media Law and Ethics beginning in the 2024 Fall semester.

UMass Amherst Journalism Chair Rodrigo Zamith announced today that Heesoo Jang will join the department as an Assistant Professor of Media Law and Ethics beginning in September 2024.

Though Jang won’t begin teaching until the fall, she is excited to make herself at home in Amherst as soon as she can.

“The sense of community here is just incredible. It’s clear that everyone — including the students, staff, and faculty — genuinely cares about each other and the world around them,” Jang said on her decision to come to UMass Amherst. “This kind of environment is exactly what I've been looking for, where people come together to support, challenge, and inspire one another.”

For Zamith, the decision to bring Jang on board was an easy one.

"Heesoo is an outstanding scholar whose work on the intersection of artificial intelligence and ethics will shape conversations around the responsible integration of AI in journalism and public relations,” Zamith said. “Her work has already appeared in top-tier academic journals and she has presented at leading scholarly conferences."

Jang is a Royster fellow and Richard Cole fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is finalizing her Ph.D in Media and Communication at the Hussman School of Journalism. Jang’s studies focus on understanding the challenges and transformations that digital platforms and AI introduce in the current digital era. Her dissertation looks at how various stakeholders like the government, tech companies, and news organizations frame AI ethics. She’s also committed to equity and democracy, ensuring that her research contributes to a fairer and more inclusive digital landscape.

“I'm passionate about ensuring equitable access to education and technology. My research critically examines the exclusionary effects of technological advancements and seeks actionable solutions,” Jang said. “My teaching is driven by a dedication to inclusion and diversity, ensuring that students engage with diverse perspectives and critically assess the impact of technology on society."

Once at UMass, Jang looks forward to continuing her research while teaching classes on media law and ethics. Jang’s classes will highlight the critical role of media professionals in sustaining democratic values, a subject Jang is fiercely passionate about.

“In my classes, we'll delve into the complex landscape of legal rules and ethical obligations that confront journalists, public relations experts, and other media professionals daily,” Jang said. “This is vital for ensuring that the information landscape remains a cornerstone of democracy.”

When she’s not in the classroom or researching, Jang spends much of her time birdwatching. She also is looking forward to exploring the many restaurants in Amherst.

Top Image Style: 
Full-width Image