Overby. Photo: The Overby Center

Millsaps College will host a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Newspapers: The Clarion Ledger‘s Pulitzer Prize 30 Years Later” on April 15 at 12:30 p.m. in the Robert and Dee Leggett Special Events Center located in the A. Boyd Campbell Center on campus.

The discussion will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service that The Clarion-Ledger earned in 1983 for stories and editorials on education reform in Mississippi, and will also consider the future of newspapers, including the challenges and opportunities created by new media.

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter will make opening remarks. Charles Overby, executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger in 1982 who led the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning team, will serve as moderator.

Panel members will include Fred Anklam, operations editor of USA TODAY and political reporter for The Clarion-Ledger‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning team in 1982; Bill Nichols, managing editor of Politico and a reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in 1982; Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting and former executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger; Brian Tolley, executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger; Rick Cleveland, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and former sports editor for The Clarion-Ledger; Pat Thompson, director of student media at the University of Mississippi; and Nancy Weaver Teichert, author and investigative reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in 1982.

Among other things, the panel discussion will explore questions such as:

  • What can the media today learn from The Clarion Ledger‘s award-winning 1983 coverage of education reform?
  • What role can and should newspapers and other media play in public policy debates?  How can newspapers take sides on public issues without compromising journalistic norms of objectivity?
  • Can newspapers avoid taking stands on important public matters and maintain the respect of interested readers and concerned citizens?
  • Will new media platforms force newspapers to target increasingly niched audiences with primarily local content?
  • Should newspapers view new media alternatives as allies, competitors, or both?

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kenneth Townsend at 601-974-1061 or kenneth.townsend@millsaps.edu.

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