If Walter Williams were alive today, how would he react to the challenges that face journalists? What might the author of “The Journalist’s Creed” make of digital technology and its impact on the profession of journalism?
Dean Mills, Dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, and Dr. Ronald Farrar, author of "A Creed for My Profession," a biography of Walter Williams, explore these questions in a conversation moderated by Mike Fancher, Reynolds Fellow.
The Missouri Press Association is like the older sibling of the Missouri School of Journalism. Founded in 1867, 41 years before the J-School, MPA provided an early platform for Walter Williams to make his case that journalists needed to be trained as professionals. Williams was in the first class of inductees to the Association’s Hall of Fame in 1991.
When I asked MPA Executive Director Doug Crew if I could use the Association’s wonderful video about “The Journalist’s Creed” as part of my project for the Reynolds Journalism Institute, he said, “Yes,” without hesitation.
I want to thank the Missouri Press Association, not only for the use of this video, but for its generous cooperation. Special thanks to Crews and Vicki Russell, MPA president for 2009, for their encouragement and support.
Ronald T. Farrar, a former newspaperman, is Reynolds-Faunt Memorial Professor of Journalism and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He is the author of numerous books, including most recently The Law of Advertising and Public Relations.
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Dean Mills is a professor and the dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. His research interests include international journalism, journalism ethics, cross-cultural journalism and qualitative methods. Mills is an author of a Ford Foundation study on race and the news and a book on cross-cultural journalism, Journalism Across Cultures, that he co-wrote with Missouri School of Journalism colleagues Fritz Cropp and Cynthia Frisby.
Mills began his academic career at the University of Illinois, where he completed a doctorate in communications in 1981. Before coming to Missouri in 1989, he served as director of Pennsylvania State University's School of Journalism and then as coordinator of graduate study in communications at California State University, Fullerton.
Before entering academia, Mills worked as a professional journalist. He became Moscow Bureau Chief for the Baltimore Sun in 1969, after earning a master's degree in journalism at the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in Russian and journalism at the University of Iowa. From 1972 to 1975, he was a Sun correspondent in Washington, D.C., where he covered the Watergate scandal, the resignation of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew and the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.
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