Photo of University Hall

View Profile Page

Faculty/Staff Login:

Thomas Franklin

Associate Professor, School of Communication and Media

Morehead Hall 140
Download vCard


Professor Franklin is an award-winning photographer, multimedia journalist, and educator. He joined Montclair State in 2015 after nearly 30-years in the news industry, including 23-years at The Record and, where his photography and multimedia work has been nationally recognized by POYi, NPPA, SPJ. Franklin's independent work has been published worldwide including publications such as The Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today.

He is best known for photographs taken at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. His iconic image of three New York City firefighters raising the American flag above the rubble of the World Trade Center following the attacks is one of the most widely recognized images in history, and was featured on the USPS’s Heroes stamp, generating over $10 million for those affected by 9/11Links to an external site.. In 2002, he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his 9/11 photo. His work on 9/11 will air in a PBS Special called, The Bigger Picture, with Vince Brown in September 2022.

He has produced award-winning multimedia projects on a wide range of subjects such as the heroin epidemic in North Jersey, the Syrian Refugee Crisis,toxic dumping by the Ford Motor Company on a Native American community, and immigration issues in sanctuary cities. In 2020, Professor Franklin launched a virtual exhibit at the Paterson Museum called Seeking Refuge; Images of the displaced by war, poverty, and persecution, a multimedia project related to immigration and forced migration.

Professor Franklin has led several student reporting trips, including Greece to report on Syrian refugees, Puerto Rico to cover the recovery from Hurricane Maria, Yellowstone National Park for a collaborative reporting project with students from the U.K on conservation and the environment, and most recently to Dundee, Scotland. In 2017, he was visiting professor at UNIVA University in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Under his mentorship, students have won several coveted journalism awards, including an RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video Reporting, national collegiate Emmy® award, the Bricker Humanitarian Award at the Television Academy Foundation 39th College Television Awards, and several photojournalism and multimedia awards in the annual by the Associated Collegiate Press competition.

Professor Franklin has been a frequent on-air guest, including NBC’s Today show and Nightly News with Lester Holt, CNN, Good Morning America, Oprah, and NPR. He has served as an invited juror for several national media contests, including the Pulitzer Prize.


Multimedia. Photojournalism. Visual storytelling.