J. Michael Lyons

Associate Professor, Chair
Specialization: media and social change • civic media
Office: Bronstein Hall 302
Email: jlyons@sju.edu
Website: website @jmikelyons

My teaching, research and media work focuses on storytelling and civic media, particulaly related to narratives of crime and incarceration. In 2015, I co-founded the The Redemption Project with Abd'Allah Lateef, John Pace and Kempis Songster. Our goal is to bring the voices of incarcerated men and women across prison walls to help lead the movement for criminal justice reform. 

Julija Kulneva and I founded West Philly Local, which covers parts of West Philadelphia - where we live.



  • B.A., Temple University
  • Ph.D., Indiana University

Professional Experience

Former correspondent and editor for the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse in the former Soviet Union and at newspapers in Central Europe, the British West Indies and Alaska.

Courses Taught

  • Civic Media - COM 371
  • Crime, Justice and Media - COM 475
  • Communication Ethics - COM 201
  • Communication Theory and Practice - COM 200


Recent Publications

Lyons, J. Michael, Rosado, Felix. “There’s Urgency Here”: A Pedagogy of Discomfort in a Prison Basement," PUBLIC: The Journal of Imagining America, Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring 2019.


Media, crime and justice; oral history

Magazine Articles

Faculty Expert Profile

  • Expertise: Hyperlocal Journalism, Social Media, Digital Media, Blogging, Urban Journalism, Foreign and International Communications