Pulitzer winner holds forum lecture


by John Jacobsen

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Bill Kovach is visiting campus today with workshops, lectures and class visits planned to instruct students on the role of journalism in the Simpson community and beyond.

Kovach, director of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, will take part in the Simpson Forum series tonight in Camp Lounge with his lecture “The Elements of Journalism.

“He is a Pulitzer Prize winner, he covered the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s and is the former editor of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution,” said Brian Steffen, associate professor of communication studies.

Through the years, Kovach has gained a wealth of knowledge concerning journalism as the field has undergone dramatic change.

“The field has changed quite a bit over the past 20 years,” said Steffen.

Kovach resigned from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution in opposition to the declining journalistic standards and the executives’ need for glorified stories to sell newspapers. “About four years ago or so he got involved with the Committee of Concerned Journalists. They study contemporary problems concerning journalism,” said Steffen. “They are doing a good job of articulating where journalism has gone wrong.”

Kovach’s co-authored book, “The Elements of Journalism” has served as a text for Steffen’s Ethical Issues in Communication Studies class.

During his visit, Kovach will meet with members of The Simpsononian staff to discuss journalism’s impact on campus.

“He will be helping them get a picture of what their function is in this community,” Steffen said.

The workshops will not be a one-way discussion of journalism, but a chance for students to use Kovach as a source to improve their writing for the community.

“We will do interactive workshops where the goal is to identify the core values of journalism at Simpson,” said Steffen. “For us to have him here at Simpson is a credit to the program.”

Kovach will be speaking with two communications classes as well as at the Society of Collegiate Journalists’ annual banquet tonight. The forum will be held at 7:30 p.m in Camp Lounge.