School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Plotting the Future of Newspapers and Journalism

Posted on: August 28th, 2019 by ldrucker

Walter E. Hussman Jr., publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, will speak at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics Thursday, Sept. 5, at 5:30 p.m. about the future of newspapers and journalism.

The third-generation newspaperman recently bought thousands of iPads to distribute to subscribers of the Democrat-Gazette living in parts of the state where the paper no longer circulates – a strategy he hopes will save his newspaper as technological advancements threaten the relevancy of traditional media.

Hussman will be joined in conversation by Charles Overby, the first CEO of the Newseum, chairman of the Overby Center.

“I have believed for many years that Walter Hussman is one of the smartest living newspaper publishers in the country,” said Overby. “He bucked the trend of giving his paper away for free on the internet. He is relentless in trying to make newspapers an integral part of the communities that he serves.”

This event, the first in the semester’s lineup of programs, will be held in the Overby Center Auditorium on the Ole Miss campus. It is free and open to the public, and a reception will be held after the event. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the auditorium.

Hussman is known for what was called a “David vs. Goliath” 13-year newspaper war that began in 1974 after his father purchased the Arkansas Democrat and it became embroiled in a stiff competition with a rival newspaper the Arkansas Gazette. Through imaginative and strategic business maneuvers Hussman emerged the winner, and in 1991 purchased the assets of the Gazette, thus giving birth to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Hussman is the chief executive officer of WEHCO (Walter E. Hussman Company) Media company that runs several daily and weekly newspapers and cable television companies in six different states.  He was named publisher of the year in 2008 by Editor & Publisher Magazine and has served on the board of directors for the Associated Press, C-SPAN and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.