Athens, Ga. – A newspaper editor described as fearless and inventive will deliver the 29th McGill Lecture at the University of Georgia on
Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Julia Wallace, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and www.ajc.com, will speak at 4 p.m. in Room 101 of the Student Learning Center. She will address the question, “Who is killing the First Amendment? The search for fingerprints.”
Sponsored by UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the event is free and open to the public. A reception follows the lecture.
The McGill Lecture honors the life and memory of Ralph McGill, the outspoken Southern journalist who fought persistently for civil rights during the ‘50s and ‘60s. Established in 1978, the annual lecture typically addresses major issues impacting the American press.
Wallace is profiled in the current edition of American Journalism Review that explores how four U.S. newspaper editors are “dramatically revamping the way U.S. newsrooms operate.”
“The newsroom of tomorrow may be arising today in Atlanta,” AJR’s Carl Sessions Stepp wrote, where Wallace “has fearlessly upended the organization chart and reinvented the news process.”
Wallace directs a team of more than 400 journalists. She joined the AJC in 2000 as managing editor and was named editor in 2002. During her tenure, www.ajc.com has grown into one of the most popular newspaper Web sites in the country, logging almost a billion page views in 2006.
Her focus, she says, is “unique local content, watchdog reporting and great storytelling.”
Wallace was named editor of the year by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2004. The industry trade journal praised Wallace for “bringing the passion, discipline, and top newsroom talent that has transformed Dixie’s most storied daily into a newspaper for an utterly changed Southern metropolis.”
The paper was awarded Pulitzer Prizes in 2005 and 2006.
Wallace grew up in Rock Island, Ill. and attended Northwestern University. In 1977, she interned in the features section of the Atlanta Journal. She began her career at the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Va., then moved to the Dallas Times-Herald.
In 1982, she joined USA Today as a reporter and worked her way up to managing editor/special projects. During that time, she worked in news, sports and special projects. She joined the Chicago Sun-Times in 1992 as managing editor. She left in 1996 and joined the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., as executive editor. In 1998, she became managing editor at the Arizona Republic and served two years before moving to Atlanta.
Wallace is a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication 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, visit www.grady.uga.edu.