James Niedbalski

Adjunct Instructor, English & Communications

Jim Niedbalski
(413) 662-5418
Mark Hopkins Hall Rm 107A


M.A., University of Massachusetts-
Dartmouth, 1997

B.A., North Adams State College, 1982




Courses Taught

About Me

Jim Niedbalski currently teaches Writing and Reporting the News I and II, and Radio Practicum, and is adviser to WJJW, 91.1 FM, the FCC-licensed student radio station. In two stints at MCLA totaling 23 years, Jim has taught a wide variety of English/Communications courses, including College Writing, Introduction to Mass Media, Literary Journalism, Business Writing, Publication Design, Magazine Writing, and Media Law and Ethics.  Jim was an adviser to The Beacon from 1991-2002, 2012-2014, and 2018-2020.

“Despite the significant changes of the last 10-15 years in journalism and media, there is still an acute need for good journalism – clear, concise reporting and writing, presented in multimedia formats.  And we have to continue to be as accurate and fair as possible in our reporting – that will never change.

“I love working with student media. It’s a chance for students to get their names, faces and voices out to the public, and provides great training for a variety of careers. Whether it’s the studios of WJJW, The Beacon newsroom or the television studio, learning and teaching in a professional-style media environment is a great experience for students and advisers.”

Jim worked as a reporter and copy editor at the now-defunct North Adams Transcript (“that really hurt – a 150-year-old voice of the community shut down, where I had my first journalism job”) and The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.  Over the last 30 years Jim has published a variety of columns, articles and photographs in newspapers and magazines, many focused on environmental issues and outdoor recreation. He has hiked the entire lengths of four national Scenic Trails – the Appalachian, Continental Divide, Pacific Crest and New England trails – and has paddled over 2,000 miles on wilderness Canadian rivers, much of it as part of research for his literary journalism-style graduate thesis: “The Power of Water: The Land and People of James Bay.”

Jim has a master’s degree in Professional Writing from U-Mass Dartmouth and graduated from North Adams State College in 1982. He has also taught at the former Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vt., and Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

Special Projects/Activities

Faculty adviser for WJJW 91.1 FM, the college's FCC-licensed radio station

Research/Creative Interests

Freelance journalist, focusing on environmental issues and outdoor recreation

Literary journalism

Selected publications

Hubbard Revisited. Paddler magazine, 2005.

A forest balancing act. The Berkshire Eagle, 2005.

Fun with math and the electoral college. The Berkshire Eagle, 2016.

A trail for everyone, and everyone’s legacy of trails. The Berkshire Eagle, 2018.