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UK Journalism Grads Discuss
Role of Newspapers

By Ralph Derickson

 

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"We believe this kind of program can demonstrate to both our students and alumni that this school - and what goes on here - has been, and remains, an important part of their respective lives."

-- Richard Wilson, an alumnus and the journalism school's interim director

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Lexington, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2002) -- Several of the University of Kentucky's most successful alumni, all practicing journalists, will return to campus Nov. 21 for the first in a series of forums to focus on major issues in the American media. The forum will be held at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the William T. Young Library.

The alumni, graduates of UK's School of Journalism and Telecommunications, will participate in a new Alumni Speakers' Symposia series aimed at familiarizing students, the UK community and the public with contemporary issues facing journalism, advertising, public relations and telecommunications. During their one or two-day visits, the alumni will also meet with the school's students and faculty, as well as speak in various classes.

"We believe this kind of program can demonstrate to both our students and alumni that this school - and what goes on here - has been, and remains, an important part of their respective lives," said Richard Wilson, an alumnus and the journalism school's interim director.

The new program will allow the symposia to rotate among the school's three sequences - journalism, integrated strategic communications (ISC) and telecommunications. Wilson said current plans call for annual symposia representing each sequence. Each symposium will deal with a current topic related to the sequence sponsoring it.

Participants in the first symposium will be E. J. Mitchell, managing editor of The Detroit News; David Hawpe, editorial director of The Courier-Journal; John Voskuhl, assistant managing editor, Lexington Herald-Leader; Warren Wheat, editor of The Elizabethtown News; and Kakie Urch, editor of the Kentucky Enquirer. The other panelists will be Chip Cosby, a sports reporter for The Lexington Herald-Leader and John "Chip" Hutcheson III, publisher of the Princeton (Ky.) Times Leader.

The school's ISC and telecommunications sequences will hold symposia in January and March.

Wilson, a long-time Courier-Journal reporter and bureau chief, said the new program provides several pluses for the journalism and telecommunications school. "It will show our current students just how successful many of our alumni have become in the field of mass communications," he said. By returning to the campus, Wilson added, "Our alums will recognize the quality of the students now studying at their alma mater. And if a little networking for future employment begins, that's even better."

Wilson said that through the symposia, the campus will have an opportunity "to hear what practitioners think about some of the most pertinent issues in the worlds of journalism, advertising, public relations and telecommunications."

Topic for the November symposium is "The American Newspaper: Is Its Changing Role Affecting Its Usefulness in a Democracy?"

Topics, specific dates and participants have yet to be chosen for this year's other two symposia.
The new program is being funded by contributions from the school's alumni and friends.


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