Neil Reisner is a veteran journalist and journalism educator whose career in the newsroom and the classroom harkens back to the typewriter era but is now rooted firmly in today’s journalism tools and challenges.
Reisner is associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University in Miami, a public research university serving 54,000 undergraduate and graduate students and one of the 10 largest in the country.
He joined SJMC’s full-time faculty in 2005, after previously serving as an adjunct professor at FIU, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Rutgers University’s journalism program.
Reisner was a daily newspaper reporter/editor for 25 years, working at the Miami Herald and the Record in Bergen County, NJ, among others.
He was a pioneer in what is now called database journalism and he served as training director for Investigative Reporters & Editors, for whom he led one-day to one-week seminars on the topic for professional journalists in 25 states and Canada.
In addition to database journalism, Reisner’s interests focus on the ways media covers issues of diversity, ethnicity and religion. His “Multi-Ethnic Reporting” class takes students out of their comfort zones and teaches them to cover communities and people who don’t look, speak, behave, believe or live like they do.
Reisner started the Liberty City Link in 2010 as a pilot project through which students learned real-world street reporting by covering Liberty City, among Miami’s most downtrodden and reputedly most violent neighborhoods. The project morphed into a partnership with the South Florida Times, a weekly paper serving South Florida’s black communities.
Reisner has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Post, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, Nieman Watchdog, the Jewish Daily Forward and numerous other publications. He frequently speaks at journalism conferences 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 degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to Florida, he lived in New York, New Jersey and Israel.