Society & Culture

Media Advisory: Coverage of Mexican drug war opens UGA’s McGill Symposium

Athens, Ga. – The risks Mexican journalists confront in covering that nation’s drug war will open an all-day discussion of journalistic courage on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Journalism Building’s Drewry Room.

Javier Garza, editorial director of El Siglo de Torreon, will discuss the steps he’s taking to protect his reporters and photographers while covering one of Mexico’s most compelling stories.

Five other journalists from across the U.S. will join Garza to consider what journalistic courage means and how it is exemplified by reporters and editors during the 4th annual McGill Symposium.

Although not a public event, the symposium is open to members of the media. Limited seating is available to Grady students and faculty.

Besides Garza, the McGill Visiting Journalists who will participate are:

Kayla Williams, Truman National Security Project Fellow, author of Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.

Aaron Glantz, editor, New American Media, Rosalyn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism at the Carter Center, San Francisco

Eric Gay, Associated Press, San Antonio, Texas

Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief, ProPublica, New York, N.Y.

Hank Klibanoff, project managing director, The Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, co-author The Race Beat, James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism, Emory University, Atlanta

Garza will discuss “Covering the Mexican drug war: Murder, kidnapping, intimidation and fear.” Williams and Glantz will discuss “When war comes home: Covering the impact of war on veterans and their communities.” Photojournalist Gay will show photographs and discuss “Photojournalists in a storm: A look back at Katrina coverage.”

Steiger and Klibanoff will discuss “Non-profit investigative reporting to the rescue?”

Grady College journalism professors will moderate each session.

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 McGill Symposium is funded by the McGill Lecture Endowment. Contributors include Gannett Foundation and Grady College’s Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism.

Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to WNEG-TV, 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 or follow Grady on Twitter at