James Tidwell is professor and chair of the Department of Journalism at Eastern Illinois University. He has been on the EIU faculty since January 1987. He taught journalism at Indiana University Southeast from 1978-87 and at Tulsa (Okla.) Junior College from 1973-78. From 1969-73 he was a reporter and editor for several daily newspapers in Oklahoma.
The EIU Journalism Department employs 13 fulltime faculty members and has 155 majors. It is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).
Tidwell, an Oklahoma native, has a bachelor's degree in journalism and government from Oklahoma Baptist University (1970), a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (1972), and has a juris doctor degree from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville (1984). He is licensed to practice law in Indiana and Kentucky.
His teaching responsibility during fall and spring semesters is Journalism 4771--Communication Law; He also has taught News Writing, Online Journalism, News Editing (now Publication Design), and Freedom of Expression senior seminar.
Tidwell served as executive secretary of the Illinois Journalism Education Association from 1989-2005 when he stepped down because of his additional duties as department chair.
During the 2004-05 academic year
Tidwell was chair of the Council on Academic Affairs, the university's curriculum
committee. During 1998-99 and 2000-01 he was chair of the EIU Faculty Senate.
Tidwell is co-author of News Scene 4.0: Interactive news assignments, and Guide to Online Resources for Journalism published by Cengage Learning in 2012. It replaces the first, second and third editions published in 2004, 2007 and 2009. He also is the author of Media Law in Illinois: A Reporter's Handbook published by Stipes Publishing Co. in 2005. He has published artlcles on legal issues in such publications as the Illinois Bar Journal, the Journal of Law and Education, the Journal of Family Law, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, College Media Review and Quill.