School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘Robert Kennedy’

Overby Center spring lineup includes visit by Shepard Smith, latest Silver Em recipient

Posted on: February 11th, 2020 by ldrucker

The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi has announced its spring lineup of programs, including one of the first public appearances by Shepard Smith since he stepped down as the chief anchor of Fox News.

Smith, a Mississippi native, was also managing editor of Fox’s breaking news division. Besides his appearance at the Overby Center, Smith will be returning to his alma mater to receive the prestigious Silver Em award, which is given by the School of Journalism and New Media to a Mississippi-connected journalist whose career has exhibited “the highest tenets of honorable, public service journalism, inside or outside the state.”

Shepard Smith

Ole Miss alumnus Shepard Smith hosting FOX Report live from the Grove

“This spring’s programs offer great conversations with and about nationally recognized experts,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the center. “The audience will also have an opportunity to join these conversations.”

Each event will take place in the Overby Center Auditorium at 555 Grove Loop. The programs are free and open to the public, and parking will be available in the lot adjacent to the auditorium. The spring schedule includes:

Tuesday, February 18, 5:30 p.m. – THE INTERSECTION OF RELIGION AND POLITICS
Two nationally known journalists will discuss religion and the 2020 presidential election with Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center.  Terry Mattingly, an Overby fellow and editor of the daily blog GetReligion, and Richard Ostling, former chief religion writer for The Associated Press and former senior correspondent for Time Magazine, have written extensively about religion.

Wednesday, February 26, 5:30 p.m. – “ROBERT PENN WARREN: A VISION”
This documentary by the award-winning filmmaker Tom Thurman offers compelling insight into the life of the acclaimed writer Robert Penn Warren, whose novel “All the King’s Men” is considered one of the great dissections of Southern politics.

Tom Thurman

Tom Thurman

Thurman, a veteran filmmaker who has produced documentaries on director Sam Peckinpah, actor Harry Dean Stanton and writer Harry Crews, probes his fellow Kentuckian’s life, work, and evolution on race. Journalism Professor Joe Atkins will lead a discussion with Thurman after the film.

Wednesday, March 4, 5:30 p.m. – GENEVA OVERHOLSER: JOURNALISM AND DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS

A former editor of the Des Moines Register and now a consultant who writes about the future of journalism, Overholser will discuss how journalists are helping — and hindering – the profession’s role in democracy.

Overholser, who served as an ombudsman with The Washington Post, will be interviewed by Charles Overby and Greg Brock, an Overby fellow. Politics is certain to be part of the conversation since the program comes the day after Super Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 24, 5:30 p.m. – “JOSEPH PULITZER: VOICE OF THE PEOPLE”
Today’s threats to press freedom would be nothing new to Joseph Pulitzer, a leading figure in journalism, who spoke of “fake news” and warned more than 100 years ago that suppression of news threatened our democracy. One of the producers of the documentary, Robert Seidman, will discuss his project for PBS with Overby fellow Curtis Wilkie.Tuesday, March 31, 5:30 p.m. – SHEPARD SMITH COMES HOME

In one of his first public appearances since leaving Fox News, Shepard Smith returns to Ole Miss, his alma mater, and his home state of Mississippi to talk about his career in broadcast journalism in a conversation with Overby and Wilkie. Smith joined the network at its inception in 1996 and is known for his former role as the chief anchor and managing editor of the breaking news division.

Shepard Smith speaks with students. All photos on this page are from professors and University Communications.

Shepard Smith speaks with students and Dean Will Norton, Jr. All photos on this page are from professors and University Communications.

Tuesday, April 7, 5:30 p.m. – ROBERT KENNEDY’S 1966 VISIT TO OLE MISS
The documentary “You Asked for the Facts” traces Robert F. Kennedy’s dramatic appearance at Ole Miss after law school students invited him to speak in hopes that it would derail former Gov. Ross Barnett’s drive to be elected again. It did, after Kennedy revealed details of the deals Barnett tried to cut with the Justice Department during the James Meredith crisis in 1962. Noted civil rights lawyer Barbara Phillips and a lecturer at Ole Miss’s law school, will discuss the film with the producer, Mary Blessey.

Journal of Southern History publishes review of journalism professor’s book

Posted on: February 19th, 2019 by ldrucker

The Journal of Southern History recently published a review of University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor Ellen Meacham’s book Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“The year 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK). Attorney general in the administrations of his brother John F. Kennedy and (briefly) Lyndon B. Johnson, RFK then served as senator from New York and finally as candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 before a sniper’s bullet found him.”

You can read the entire review here.

School of Journalism and New Media journalism professor featured on ‘Hardball’ with Chris Matthews

Posted on: May 30th, 2018 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi journalism professor Ellen Meacham recently appeared on “Hardball” with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GckzdnAkPSE

In the video, Meacham details Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to the Mississippi Delta in 1967 in her new book Delta Epiphany: RFK in Mississippi.

Meacham’s book, published by University Press of Mississippi, examines the history, economics and politics of the Delta and how those factors influenced the lives of people whom Kennedy met there during that visit.

The book was inspired by a description from fellow journalist Curtis Wilkie’s memoir of Kennedy in a dark shack trying to speak to a toddler who was paying more attention to crumbs on the floor.

“I wondered about the impact it had on Kennedy, because it’s mentioned as an important moment in all of his biographies,” Meacham said. “The next question I had was, ‘What happened to the baby?’”

After seven years of searching, Meacham found and interviewed children from the four families Kennedy encountered on his visit, including that toddler.

“As I got into the research, I realized pretty quickly that there was a big part of the story that had not been told,” she said. “Most of the contemporary news accounts and later historians had only looked at RFK on the stage. The people who were living the lives that moved him so were more of a ‘poverty stage set.’”

Meacham wanted to tell the stories of those people.

“It became very important to me to bring those families into the light and find out how they came to be in that place at that time, what struggles they faced and their accomplishments since,” she said. “I think it brings more balance.

“It’s not just a story of a hero or a saint, it’s about a real person meeting real people.”

The book also features about a dozen photos, including the cover, that are published for the first time.

“The photographs were essential to telling this story,” Meacham said. “They brought such a vivid realism that showed the impact of the visit on Kennedy in a powerful way.”

A working journalist for more than two decades, Meacham used her experience as a newspaper reporter in Mississippi, which gave her access to contacts within both politics and journalism in the state, putting her in a unique position to tell these stories.

“Ellen Meacham is a talented and perceptive journalist who recognized, nearly a half-century after the fact, the great impact of Robert Kennedy’s brief trip to the Mississippi Delta in 1967,” said Wilkie, a UM associate professor of journalism and fellow of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

“It was a mission that changed his life, the tortured history of that region and the nation’s attitude toward hungry people in America. Though Ellen was not old enough to have been there, her investigation of the story has brought it back to life, and it is an example of her valuable work.”

Note: Most of this article was written by Christina Stuebe, from University Communications.