Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to lead McGill Symposium on journalistic courage

October 10, 2012

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Athens, Ga. - Three Pulitzer Prize winners will join four other renowned journalists for the sixth annual McGill Symposium Oct. 24 at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in Grady's Drewry Room.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists are:

· Eli Sanders, associate editor of The Stranger, who won for feature writing in 2012
· Bill Adair, the creator and editor of PolitiFact, who won for national reporting in 2008
· Clay Bennett, political cartoonist at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, who won for cartooning in 2002

Four other journalists from across the U.S. will join Sanders, Adair and Bennett-as well as Grady students and faculty-to discuss what journalistic courage means and how it is exemplified by reporters and editors. These journalists are:

· Selena Roberts, former senior writer at Sports Illustrated
· Bob Davis, editor of the Anniston Star and president of the Association of Opinion Journalists
· Andy Miller, editor of Georgia Health News
· Jim Tharpe, regional editor of PolitiFact, based at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sanders and Miller will begin the day with a discussion "The Courage of Storytelling." Professor Patricia Thomas, Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism at the Grady College, will moderate the discussion.

Roberts will then lead a discussion titled "The Sports Writer's Challenge: Taking on the Beloved Institution," which will be moderated by Vicki Michaelis, the John Huland Carmical Distinguished Professor of Sports Journalism at the Grady College.

Bennett and Davis will discuss "Editorial Cartoons: The Impact of an Evolving Craft" in the first afternoon session. Carter Professor of Journalism John F. Greenman, who was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team for local reporting in 1987, will moderate.

Adair and Tharpe will end the symposium with a discussion titled "The Truth-O-Meter, False Balance and the Promise of Fact-checking." Cynthia Tucker, a 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary who is a visiting professor and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, will moderate the discussion. Later in the afternoon, Adair will deliver the 34th McGill Lecture on the same topic.

For almost 30 years, the McGill program has brought significant figures in journalism to UGA to honor Ralph McGill's courage as an editor. McGill, while editor and publisher of The Atlanta Constitution, was regarded as the "conscience of the south," using the newspaper's editorial pages to challenge segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. McGill was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1958 for "long, courageous and effective leadership."

Established in 1978, this UGA annual lecture series addresses major issues impacting the American press. The McGill Lecture Endowment funds the McGill Symposium. Contributors include the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism.

UGA Grady College
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, public relations, journalism, digital and broadcast journalism, and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu or follow the Grady College on Facebook and @UGAGrady on Twitter.

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