Al Tompkins

Al Tompkins

Al Tompkins joins the Newhouse School as a visiting professor in the Department of Broadcast and Digital Journalism.  

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Tompkins was senior faculty at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida for 25 years. He taught thousands of professional journalists in classes, workshops and conventions worldwide. For 12 years, he wrote a daily column read by more than 10,000 journalists globally. 

He also taught and coached journalists in news organizations including CNN, CBS, NBC, Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, CBC (Canada), CTV (Canada) Global (Canada, TV2 (Denmark), SABC (South Africa), The Weather Channel and local news organizations including WNBC, WCBS, WBBM, WCAU, WTVF, WSMV, WMAQ, WFAA, KNBC, KCBS, WTVJ, WFOR, WSB, WCCO and dozens of others. 

From 1984 to 1998, Al worked as a reporter, investigative reporter, director of special projects and investigations and news director at WSMV-TV Nashville. At the time, it was the dominant TV station in the market and the most honored local station in America.  

From 1974 to 1984, Tompkins worked as a photographer and reporter for newspapers, wire services, local radio stations and TV stations in his home state of Kentucky. 

Tompkins has been awarded many of journalism’s top honors including the National Emmy, three Gabriel Awards, The Robert F. Kennedy Award, The Japan Prize, seven National Headliner Awards and the National Press Photographers Association’s Sprague Award, which is NPPA’s highest honor. He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. 

Tompkins has a B.S. in journalism from Western Kentucky University and an M.A. in journalism and digital design from the University of Florida, St. Petersburg. His textbook “Aim for the Heart” has been adopted by more than 100 university journalism programs worldwide.