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School of Media Faculty and Staff

Tim Broekema, M.S.
Tim Broekema, M.S.
- Professor

Photojournalism and New Media
Digital imaging
Picture editing and news design
Photo management
Communication theory



  • Associate Professor of Photojournalism and New Media, WKU, 2008-present.
  • Assistant Professor of Photojournalism and New Media, WKU, 2002-2008.
  • Professional-in-residence, WKU School of Journalism and Broadcasting, 2001-2002
  • Director of Photography, Kalamazoo Gazette, Kalamazoo, Michigan. 1998-2001
  • Professional-in-residence, sabbatical WKU School of Journalism, Freedom Forum Grant, 1997.
  • Sports picture editor, Chicago Tribune, 1991-1998
  • Picture editor and page designer, The Providence (RI) Journal, 1989-1991
  • Picture editor, The (Louisville) Courier Journal, 1988
  • Photojournalist intern, The Muskegon (Michigan) Chronicle, 1988
  • Photojournalist intern, The Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin, 1987
  • Photojournalist intern, The Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel, 1986


  • M.S. Communications, Grand Valley State University, 2001
  • B.A. Photojournalism, WKU, 1988
  • Poynter Institute Convergence Seminar, 2004
  • Poynter Institute Design Fellowship, 1988


Professional Activities

Contract photojournalist 

  • America 24/7, May, 2003
    Contracted to photograph the nation-wide week in the life of 
    America project.
  • Benoit and Associates, May ' 2002-2003
    Photographed horse races at the Kentucky Oakes, the Kentucky 
    Derby, throughout the season at Arlington Park International Race
    Track in Chicago, the Hall of Fame series in Saratoga Springs, NY
    and the Breeder's Cup.
  • International House of Bowling Green, May, 2002
    Portrait series of International Refugees who have housed in Bowling Green, KY

Freelance photojournalist

  • Published in the Detroit Free Press, the New York Times, the
    Baltimore Sun, Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, USA Today,
    the Washington Post, the New York Times, the LA Times, 
    the (Louisville) Courier-Journal and the Getty Allsport Archives.
  • Consultant, January, 2004
    The Palm Beach (FL) Post on developing new media skills and workflow
  • Consultant, April-May, 2002
    AidsChild ' worked with Chad Stevens on the development of his one-year project working with orphans of AIDs victims in Uganda, Africa

Book editor

  • Three-peat, 1993
    Picture editor for the Chicago Tribune Publishing's 88 page book recapping the Bull's third NBA title.
  • Da Champs, June, 1992
    Picture editor for the Chicago Tribune Publishing's 88 page book recapping the Bull's second NBA title.
  • Stampede, June, 1991 
    Picture editor for the Chicago Tribune Publishing's 144 page book recapping the Bull's first NBA title.

Workshop presentations/Fellowships

  • NPPA Flying Short Course and KNPA annual meeting, Louisville, KY, October 2002
  • Kentucky News Photographers Association, Louisville, KY, January, 2001
  • College Media Advisors, New Orleans. Oct 25-28, 2001
  • The Electronic Times seminar on digital photojournalism. Columbus, OH Oct. 1997
  • Atlanta Seminar of Photojournalism, Atlanta, GA, 1990,97,00,01


  • A Long Road Home, 2003
    A DVD production on the plight of a Chicago area family involved in a car accident resulting in multiple brain injuries. Original photographs and sound gathered by colleague Jeanie Adams-Smith.
  • Behind the scenes at the Kentucky Derby, 2003
    A DVD production on the planning and execution of today's top photojournalists as they cover one the most prestigious sporting events in the country.
  • Day in the life of Timber Ridge, 2003 
    A dual class trip involving practicum photojournalism and web 
    design. Photojournalists covered the routine of operating a ski
    resort while web design produced a live online experience of
    the mid-west ski resort.
  • New York: A City Searching for Hope, 2001
    A 16-minute multi media production of student and faculty work
    Resulting from the events of September 11, 2001 in New York and
    Washington D.C.

Tim Broekema is a busy man. So busy that he didn’t even have the time to write his own damned biography. He had a ghostwriter do it. Tim is a very powerful man if he can command ghosts.

As a tenured professor of Photojournalism at Western Kentucky University and 2016 recipient of the Robin F. Garland Educator Award by the National Press Photographer’s Association, Tim has helped shove hundreds of students out into the real world of photojournalism and they still love him dearly. His students have won truckloads of individual top Hearst honors, NPPA, CPOY and POYi awards and accolades for their work. Since 2000, he and his colleagues have lead their students to 13 Intercollegiate National Photojournalism Championships in the Hearst Competition and they have won the Multimedia Intercollegiate National Championships every year since 2012, the first year of the contest. His students have landed jobs at various alphabet-laden organizations like CNN, MSNBC, TIME, the LA Times and the other Times on the right coast as well as places in the middle. Tim has taught them well.

Apart from being the type of teacher other teachers strive to be (note from ghost writer: that will be an extra 20 bucks), Tim has a long and successful career as a visual journalist. He originally attended WKU himself back in the Stone Age. He worked first as a photog, then an editor at the Louisville Courier-Journal, The Providence Journal, The Kalamazoo Gazette, The Chicago Tribune and Pravda (just seeing if you’re paying attention).

He is generally the consummate professional except for the time he tripped over a video camera crane while filming a room full of journalists. If he breaks out a dolly, hoist or boom, take my advice and run for the exits (or set your cameras on AUTO and wait for the hilarity to ensue.)

Tim is one of the movers and shakers behind the storied Mountain Workshops held every year in small Kentucky towns. And if you can believe it, he is the Creative Director for the University of Kentucky hospital’s 100-foot multimedia installation located in the lobby of the hospital’s ICU and Acute care wing. He may someday actually perform routine gall bladder removals.

Maybe not.

Did we mention his 2011 participation with SHOWTIME / CBS that won an Emmy for best sports documentary, his 1988 team Pulitzer with the Courier-Journal, his National Press Photographer’s Association Best Of Pictures award-winning Obama’s first inauguration coverage, his 10 Pictures Of the Year International “thingys” including Sports Photographer of the Year in newspaper and magazine in 1994, a two-time Telly Award winner in 2016 and 2018 for online video direct marketing, a Governor’s Award in the Arts in 2017 from the Commonwealth of Kentucky as part of his involvement with the Mountain Workshops and some crazy honor from The Daughters of the American Revolution? He was a member of the Chicago Tribune design team in 1994 when The Society of News Design recognized the newspaper as the “Best Designed Newspaper in the World.” He even won something called the Talisman Award which, quite frankly, sounds a bit frightening so don’t mess with him; sit quietly in your seats and don’t make any sudden movements.

So like the old saying goes, if ain’t Broekema, don’t fixema, (note from ghost writer: I’ll give you back those 20 bucks).

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The School of Media & Communication at WKU is ACEJMC accredited for majors in Broadcasting, Journalism and Photojournalism.



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 Last Modified 3/30/23