Eric Freedman

Eric  Freedman
  • Knight Foundation Endowed Chair in Environmental Journalism
  • Established through a gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Journalism


Eric Freedman is the Knight Foundation Endowed Chair in Environmental Journalism, director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, and a professor in the School of Journalism at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. 

Freedman earned his BA in government from Cornell University, his JD from New York University, and his MS in resource development from Michigan State University. He began his career as a congressional aide before embarking on a 20-year newspaper career. He became a full-time faculty member at Michigan State University in 1996. 

Freedman has written for newspapers and magazines reporting on public affairs, environmental issues, and legal affairs. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his coverage of a legislative corruption scandal. As a Fulbright Scholar, Freedman has taught journalism internationally in Lithuania and Uzbekistan, led workshops and seminars for professional journalists in Central Asia, and lectured to students in Singapore, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Japan and Kyrgyzstan.

Among his books are Environmental Crises in Central Asia: from Steppes to Seas, from Deserts to Glaciers; Presidents & Black America: A Documentary History; Great Lakes, Great National Forests: A Recreational Guide; After the Czars & Commissars: Journalism in Authoritarian Post-Soviet Central Asia; and African Americans in Congress: A Documentary History. As a professional journalist and freelancer, Freedman has written on such environmental issues as habitat protection, parks and public lands, toxic substances, extinction, ecotourism, and government regulation.