New York Times icon to visit university
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 22:10
Monday, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller will be visiting Miami University to discuss the ethical challenges of the journalism world, the changes news industry has undergone, and his experience with media and government. Keller served as executive editor from July 2003 until Sept. 2011, during which time the company earned 18 Pulitzer Prizes. Since resigning from his position, he is now an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and writer for The New York Times Magazine. During his visit at Miami, Keller will be meeting with a small group of students and faculty for an informal Q&A and then later giving a formal presentation to the public in the business school.
Patti Newberry, coordinator of the event and advisor of Miami’s Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), said she believes Keller is a modern day historian and the audience can learn about American history through someone who has actually covered it. Newberry made contact with Keller after he resigned in Sept. 2011, hoping he could speak on campus.
“He had to make many decisions that were controversial and brought attention,” Newberry said. “His experience as executive editor can help educate students on the relationship between media and government as well as the role of the media when it comes to holding public officials accountable.”
Since first getting hired by The New York Times in 1984, Keller has covered stories in Washington D.C., South Africa, and even the Soviet Union where he served as a Moscow correspondent and earned a 1989 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the nation’s collapse.
Junior Amanda Schumaker, president of Miami’s SPJ chapter, said she hopes to learn a lot from Keller’s presentation.
“I hope to gain a better understanding of journalism ethics and where they are going as well as information about journalism’s future since I will be going into the business in a year and a half,” Schumaker said. As the president, Schumaker has been working to publicize the campus event alongside Newberry. “Journalism students will not be the only ones to benefit from the presentation,” Schumaker said. “Keller’s discussion of ethical issues and standing up for what is right can apply to any major.” Freshman Lily Zuccaro, a business major, plans on attending Keller’s event Monday. Zuccaro said she is interested in learning about the future of the industry and how the media covers the economy.
“I’d like to learn how the media has changed throughout the years and how news is becoming more accessible,” she said. The Diana Stark Journalism Fund and New York Times Collegiate Readership Program sponsor Keller’s Oct. 29 campus presentation, with support from the journalism department, Miami’s Society of Professional Journalists and the Office of the President. The event will take place 4 p.m. Monday in room 1000 of the Farmer School of Business. It is free and open to the public.