The Public Interest Communications Educators Network launched in the fall of 2021, led by faculty from the University of Florida and University of Washington. Its mission is to build the academic discipline of public interest communications nationwide, so that students can one day major in public interest communications as they major in journalism, public relations, advertising and other communication fields.

The network runs a listserv of 200 educators, researchers, grad students and practitioners. The network’s steering committee has representatives from about two dozen members from institutions across the country and has organized panels about public interest communications at the International Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications conferences and the National Communication Association conferences. It also organizes an annual Public Interest Communications Summer Institute.

Please join us! If you are interested being added to the listserv or joining the steering committee, please contact Angela Bradbery at or Andrea Otáñez at

Network steering committee

Steering committee members include faculty and researchers from:

  • Appalachian State University
  • Columbia University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Howard University
  • James Madison University
  • National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education
  • Sonoma State University
  • Spitfire Strategies
  • University of Florida
  • University of Houston
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Washington
  • West Virginia University


AI and the Public Interest: Ethics, Accessibility and Impact

AI is changing how we think about many areas of public interest, including education, healthcare, marketing, and communication, to name a few. In addition to recognizing that access to AI is not universal, academics, professionals, and activists are concerned about the moral judgment and ethical practices in AI and the potential consequences of AI manipulation of human behavior. On March 19, 2024, the Public Interest Communications Educators Network, of which the UF College of Journalism and Communication is a member, sponsored a webinar featuring prominent experts to address this topic.