School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

A passion for the profession

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014 by
David Yawn

Photo courtesy of David Yawn

By Chun Wu

Meek School alumnus David Yawn (’81) has dedicated himself to professional journalism for 31 years.

“Even though many of my former classmates in journalism entered other fields, I remained in this field due to my passion for news coverage and the general excitement of the profession,” Yawn said.

His journalism experiences have carried him around the world several times.

The last time he went back to Ole Miss, he took a quiet walk through the old buildings on campus. Memories of his years as a student rushed back.

“Education at Ole Miss played a central role in my career,” Yawn said. “I learned so much from Dr. Hoar about preciseness and thoroughness. I then learned the skills of magazine production from Dr. Denley and, finally, the role of business journalism and ethics from Dr. Norton.”

“David Yawn was a very serious student,” said Will Norton, dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, who was Yawn’s professor in 1981. “He was determined. He wanted to understand what he needed to do in a professionally respected manner.”

David Yawn with his daughter, Lawrence, and wife, Cathy.

David Yawn with his daughter, Lawrence, and wife, Cathy.

When Yawn walked into Farley, he smiled.

Seeing the hard-working and passionate journalism and integrated marketing communications students at Ole Miss, Yawn said he would like to spend a day dialoguing with them about their aspirations and giving them feedback about real- world working situations.

Yawn has worked at the Memphis Business Journal, FedEx, International Paper, the Baker Donelson law firm and The Daily News. He has interviewed the prime minister of the Netherlands, the German federal minister of economics, the Dutch state secretary, and the chairman of the Korean Foreign Trade Association.

“Yawn has had a long career, working in the Memphis area in a variety of roles, ” Norton said.

In 2001 Yawn started David Yawn Communication, an editorial consulting practice and has been working as a sole proprietor, engaged in promotional business writing and editing press releases, newsletters and corporate histories.

His accounts include Clark & Clark, AMRO Music, West Clinic, City of Memphis Medical News, The Commercial Memphis Regional Chamber and others.

Yawn has four commissioned biographies that will appear this year under his Lighthouse Leadership book imprint series: “A Special Breed,” “A Heart for Memphis: The Life of Jack Morris,” “From Hoops to Hope: An Account of Longterm Mentoring” and “Networking Through the Holy Spirit: The Story of Father Don Mowery and Youth Service.”