Cross Named Director of Rural Journalism

Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver

 

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Cross comes to UK from the Louisville Courier-Journal. He has been the Courier-Journal’s lead political reporter since January 1989, covering elections at all levels as well as writing about state government. His last assignment with the Courier-Journal was coverage of last week’s Democratic National Convention in Boston.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2004) -- Veteran journalist Al Cross is joining University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications as interim director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. Cross will begin his new duties August 1.

UK Provost Michael T. Nietzel said, “I am extremely pleased that Al Cross will be joining the University of Kentucky's School of Journalism and Telecommunications. He brings a career of distinguished accomplishments to the university, which will be of direct benefit to our students and to the profile of our journalism program.”

Cross will lead the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues during the 2004-05 academic year. The institute is dedicated to strengthening and invigorating local newspapers, broadcasting stations, and other mass media instruments in central Appalachia. It focuses on the role of the media in community infrastructure, stimulates reporting of local and regional social and economic issues, and seeks to energize public discourse. The institute organizes collaborative research, fosters professional growth, and promotes career development. It emphasizes the regional character of the major social and economic issues and demonstrates the importance of vigorous news organizations in the challenging circumstances of rural Appalachia.

As part of his responsibilities with the institute, Cross will teach a course in Community Journalism at UK this fall.

Beth E. Barnes, director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, said, “We are delighted that our students will be able to benefit from Al’s expertise. I'm certain that his passion for journalism will inspire our students to further develop their own skills.”

Cross comes to UK from the Louisville Courier-Journal. He has been the Courier-Journal’s lead political reporter since January 1989, covering elections at all levels as well as writing about state government. His last assignment with the Courier-Journal was coverage of last week’s Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Cross has been a frequent guest on KET’s “ Comment on Kentucky.” He has received awards for reporting and column writing from the Louisville Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is credited with helping the Courier-Journal win a Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Cross is the past president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s oldest and largest journalism organization.

The UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications will conduct a national search for a permanent director for the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues beginning this fall.


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