He has been a visiting lecturer at Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was a board member of the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication, Pristina, Kosovo.
He served as president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2000–01) and as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications (1989–90). He was vice president of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and is chair of the Accrediting Committee of ACEJMC. He has made more than 90 campus visits as a consultant, a member or chair of site teams of ACEJMC or as a state board program evaluator.
Norton is a partner in ownership of The South Reporter, Inc., Holly Springs, Miss., a corporation that publishes two newspapers and a total market publication. He was publisher of The Daily Iowan. He previously was on the staff of the Chicago Tribune and was sports editor of The Daily Journal, Wheaton, Ill. Norton is a trustee of the Freedom Forum, the Diversity Institute and the Newseum.
He was dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1990–2009) and interim chair and chair of the Department of Journalism at The University of Mississippi (1977–1990) and was recently Dean of the school. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history from Wheaton College, a Master of Arts degree in mass communications from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Iowa.