Mr. Michael Fairwell, MMA

Mr. Fairwell is an American educator and independent filmmaker, specializing in documentaries


Mr. Fairwell , an ICFJ, Back in the Newsroom Fellow, completed a fellowship at the Wall Street Journal and continues to shape the careers of students by providing them with both theoretical and practical skills to become media professionals.

As Instructor and Director of Creative Services at Claflin University, Michael Fairwell, for more than a decade, has trained many students who are now working as producers, reporters, anchors and media front-runners all over the country. He recently produced LIVIC a documentary about an iconic photographer during the Civil Rights Movement. His production company produces several commercials, infomercials, shorts and documentaries.

Fairwell recently served as an Artist-In-Residence at Orangeburg Wilkerson high school where he educated drama students on means to incorporate the lens in their craft. Fairwell serves as an academic advisor, supervisor of the labs/studio and executive producer of the Panther News Network (PNN). As well, he also chronicles annual events via digital media for the university and keeps a database of files in the library. Fairwell supervises more than 60 students each year as they produce a proposal and media for their capstone course, Senior Project. Additionally, he assist students with internship placement, throughout the years his students served as interns with CNN, ESPN, SCETV, WIS, WOLO, WLTX, FOX , 103.9FM, just to name a few. He also guides student news in covering news for PNN using the cutting-edge multimedia tools to bring a wide range of stories to the Web.

In the ever-changing field of Mass Communications, technology defines why and how we write, edit and shoot. It is my responsibility to demonstrate application of theory in a practical environment to allow students to develop as practitioners. This allows students to learn in a production-style environment while gaining and utilizing theoretical knowledge. I believe teaching means to employ innovative approaches to make learning fun and unintimidating.


  • B.A. Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina
  • M.M.A. in Television/Film), University of South Carolina
  • Certificate CHYRON Infinit! Basic Operations Training Course, Atlanta, GA
  • Certificate, Applied Magic & Digital (Non-Linear) Classroom Video
  • In-Service, Summer Los Angeles, CA
  • Certificate, Applied Magic Screenplay, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Certificate, AVID Media Composer, Comprehensive Tech. Group, Atlanta, GA
  • Certificate. Adobe Photoshop, SCPA
  • Certificate, Moodle Basic Operations

Research Interests

  • Mobilizations of the still image
  • Documentary cinema and video
  • Video and film production
  • Ethnographic film and issues of representation
  • Cinema verite and the participant camera


A native of Conway, Mr. Michael Fairwell brings institutional memory and industry experience to the Department of Mass Communications. Fairwell served in the initial committee who wrote the proposal for the department to become a full-fledged major. Fairwell brings over 20 years of industry experience in which he worked for WIS-TV, NBC Affiliate and produced television programs and commercials/infomercials that air on ESPN, BET, FOX and TV-One. Better yet, Fairwell is not involved in academia, he’s still a practitioner as he’ actively involved as a Producer/Director and he produces media for his production company.

Activities and Honors

  • 2006 - 2007 recipient of the Professional Employee of the Year Award
  • 2012-2013 Recipient of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences Faculty Excellence Award
  • Recipient of the 2012-2013 University 101/102 Quality Enhancement Plan Instructor of the Year Teacher
  • 2014-2015 Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees
  • Received 2014-15 Academic Advisor of the Year Award
  • 2015 Wall Street Journal Fellow. Later arranged a visit and potential internship opportunities for Claflin University students with the Wall Street Journal and its owner News Corporation
  • 2015-2016 Vice-Chairperson, School Improvement Council –Seven Oaks Media Magnet School
  • 2015 ICFJ (International Center For Journalist) Back in the Newsroom Fellow, assigned to the Wall Street Journal –Digital Media Department in New York
  • 2016 Recipient of the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi) Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Member Broadcast Educators Association (BEA)
  • Member South Carolina Broadcasters Association (SCBA)
  • Member Radio Television and News Directors Association (RTNDA)
  • Member of the South Carolina Media Educators Association (SCMEA)
  • Member of National Academic Advising Association ( NACADA)

Michael Fairwell
Mr. Michael Fairwell, MMA
Instructor of Mass Communications & Director of Creative Services
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Grace Thomas Kennedy, Room 233