Napoleon Johnson taught journalism at Texas Southern University in the School of Communication, having received a master’s degree in journalism from the university in 1990.
He was an award-winning broadcast journalist at KPRC-TV Channel 2 during a pivotal time when the country was struggling with the momentum of the civil rights movement and early efforts were being made to diversify staffs in local broadcast newsrooms. During eight and a half years at KPRC, Johnson worked as a morning news anchor and covered the education and medical beats. He won numerous awards, including the Texas Medical Association Anson Jones Award Television (First Place – KPRC-TV)
for Excellence in Communicating Health Information to the Public (Five-part series on heart disease); Texas Public Health Association Public Health Award for Media Excellence – Television (First Place – KPRC-TV), for excellence in communicating public health information and outstanding contribution to public understanding of the importance and need for protecting the health of all citizens through organized community efforts.
After television, Mr. Johnson served several years as an executive assistant to Houston mayor Jim McConn, where he was the mayor’s liaison to the Public Health Department, Houston Public Library System and the Solid Waste Management Department.
Professor Johnson came to TSU after 25 years at Houston Community College where he taught journalism, broadcasting, mass communication and speech, and where he served as faculty adviser to the college newspaper. He is especially proud of his service on two committees (one local and one national) during that time.
During 2002-2003, he served as a member of Communication Field of Study Committee, where he worked with community college and university colleagues to develop a field of study for communication. The committee met in Austin at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board six times over the course of a year on this project. This led to an articulation agreement easing the transfer of 12 to 15 hours of communication courses from community colleges to the university. From 1998 to 2000 he was also a member Task Force on Teaching and Learning in the New Millennium (Subcommittee on Inclusivity) for the Association for Educational Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). The subcommittee’s mission was to focus on, but not be limited to, “people with disabilities, minorities, women, non-traditional students, those with obligations, international students and faculty, and gay and lesbian students and faculty.”
Growing up in the Third Ward, Professor Johnson has remained a lifelong resident of Houston. He attended Blackshear Elementary School, Jack Yates High School and New Mexico Highlands University.