About

Bill Kovarik  is a Professor of Communication at Radford University in Virginia.  RU is a publicly funded university that was a distaff branch of Virginia Tech until 1973. Dr. Kovarik teaches media history, media law, photojournalism, science and environment writing and environmental history. He has written extensively about environmental and energy issues for publications ranging from the New York Times to Earth Island Journal. As  an environmental historian he has served as a consultant with the Nebraska State Historical Society, Lloyds of London, the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure,  and other organizations. 

He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (1974), the University of South Carolina (M.A., 1983) and the University of Maryland (Ph.D., 1993). His Ph.D. dissertation, The Ethyl Controversy, explored the role of the news media in protecting the public interest in a scientific controversy over leaded gasoline and safer alternatives.   .  

Kovarik has also served on the faculty at the University of Western Ontario as the CanWest Media Fellow for 2009. He has also served on the faculty of Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland,  the University of South Carolina and Unity College (Maine).  

His professional experience  includes reporting and editing for columnist Jack Anderson, the Associated Press, The Charleston (S.C.) Post-Courier, The Baltimore Sun, Time Magazine, Time-Life Books, Business Publishers, A.T. Times, Appalachian Voice and others.  Freelance work has appeared in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Earth Island Journal, Daily Climate, Environmental Health News, and other publications.    

Kovarik’s books include: “The Forbidden Fuel” (1982,  republished 2010) with Hal Bernton and Scott Sklar), The Ethyl Controversy (1993); “Mass Media and Environmental Conflict” (1996, with Mark Neuzil, Sage); “Web Design for the Mass Media” (2001, Pearson) and “Revolutions in Communication” (2011, 2016, Bloomsbury).  

Kovarik has also served as an academic representative on the board of directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists and on the editorial board of Appalachian Voice.

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