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School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

Smith honored with News Leaders Association award for encouraging students of color in the field of journalism

Posted on: August 9th, 2022 by ldrucker

A photo of Marquita Smith outside.A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media assistant dean has been named the 2022 recipient of the Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship, awarded by the News Leaders Association.

Marquita Smith, Ed.D., assistant dean for graduate programs, won the $1,000 award given in recognition of an educator’s outstanding efforts to encourage students of color in the field of journalism. Smith’s achievements will be recognized at next year’s News Leaders Association Awards Ceremony.

According to the News Leaders Association website, “NLA provides support and training that empowers news leaders and emerging news leaders to build diverse, sustainable newsrooms that use fact-based information to inform and engage the communities they reflect and serve.”

The website reports that the Bingham Fellowship selection committee was particularly impressed by Smith’s career-long commitment to diversity from her days at Knight Ridder, McClatchy and Gannett to those in academia.

The graphic reads Congratulations Marquita Smith.

According to her School of Journalism and New Media bio, Smith has a background in journalism and worked in various newsrooms in Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia for 16 years. Her last newsroom position was Virginia Beach bureau chief at The Virginian-Pilot.

In 2008, Smith went on leave from The Pilot to complete a Knight International Journalism Fellowship in Liberia. During her time in West Africa, she created a judicial and justice reporting network. Both networks continue to operate in the post-war country today. Smith, selected as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana for the 2016-2017 academic year, is passionate about teaching and researching in West Africa.

Smith earned her doctorate from the University of Arkansas focusing on curriculum and instruction and faculty leadership. In her bio, she said she believes graduate education is a privilege and opportunity for students to gain outstanding communication and research skills.

To read the full story about Smith’s win, visit

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