Leading U.S. journalists to gather at UGA’s Grady College

Leading U.S. journalists to gather at UGA's Grady College

Athens, Ga. – Leading journalists from across the U.S. will gather at the University of Georgia on Wednesday, Oct.15, to consider what journalistic courage means and how it is exemplified by reporters and editors.

The setting is the second annual McGill Symposium, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Journalism Building’s Drewry Room. The symposium is being sponsored by UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Six McGill Visiting Journalists will participate. They include John Drescher, executive editor, The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.; Vicki S. Gowler, vice president and editor, Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho; Sarwat Husain, editor-in-chief, Al-Ittihaad, San Antonio, Texas; Judith Martinez-Sadri, editor, Atlanta Latino and atlantalatino.com, Atlanta; Jerry Mitchell, reporter, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.; and Carolyn Cole, staff photographer, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif.

The McGill Symposium brings together students, faculty and leading journalists to consider what journalistic courage means and how it is exemplified by reporters and editors.

Drescher and Gowler will discuss “The private lives of public officials: What’s news?” Drescher oversaw the News & Observer’s coverage of the John Edwards scandal. Gowler oversaw the Idaho Statesman’s coverage of the Larry Craig scandal. Conrad Fink, Grady professor of journalism and William S. Morris Professor of Newspaper Strategy and Management, will moderate the discussion.

Husain and Martinez-Sadri will discuss “Covering communities under siege.” Husain developed a Muslim-awareness web site after the events of September 11, 2001. Martinez-Sadri is co-founder and editor of the leading bilingual Latino publication in metro Atlanta. Patricia Thomas, professor and Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism, will moderate the discussion.

Mitchell, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2006, is best known for his investigations of Civil Rights era murders. He will discuss “Crimes not forgotten: Bringing unpunished killers to justice.” Valerie Boyd, associate professor of journalism and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, will moderate the discussion.

Photojournalist Cole will show and discuss her photographs, including coverage of the siege of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2004. Grady College photojournalism lecturer Mark Johnson will moderate the discussion.

The McGill Symposium is not a public event. Limited seating is available to Grady College students and faculty.

For nearly 30 years, the McGill program has brought significant figures in journalism to the University of Georgia to help 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.”

The annual UGA McGill Lecture, which was first presented in 1978, addresses major issues impacting the American press.

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.