Janell Shearer Bassett
Professor, Chair, Media Arts Division
- MKS 343
- (714) 997-6647
- University of the Pacific, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Los Angeles, Master of Journalism in Journalism
- "I'm just naturally curious about people," says Janell Shearer, who found magazine writing an excellent fit for someone who wanted "to talk with people I'd never otherwise get to meet and ask them why they do what they do."
Shearer quickly moved up through a variety of editorial positions to managing and then executive editor. It was here, working with writers, artists, designers and photographers, that she began to realize the joy of one of her other lifelong dreams—to be a teacher. "Editing—helping a writer shape a story—is all about teaching."
As she began to write for public relations, Shearer also produced corporate and non-profit videos and a wide range of award-winning public relations pieces. At Chapman, she also served a four-year stint as Director of Public Relations.
In the end, it all comes down to finding the words to produce the effect the writer intends. "For me, it's all about strategy, about finding the right words to humanize the story. Whatever I've done—from designing an entire campaign to writing a simple brochure—it's always about finding how the subject affects people. If you ask enough questions, sooner or later you'll find out why people care."