Award, lecture program to focus on media diversity

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is holding the fourth annual Robert G. McGruder Distinguished Lecture and Award Program at 1:30 p.m. today in the Kiva.

During the program, titled “A Celebration of Diversity in the Media,” a pair of media practitioners will be awarded for their efforts in promoting media diversity.

Leonard Pitts Jr., Pulitzer Prize winner and Miami Herald columnist, will receive the Robert G. McGruder Distinguished Guest Lecture Award. Wayne Dawson, co-anchor on Cleveland’s “Fox 8 News in the Morning,” will receive the Diversity in Media Leadership Award. This is the first year the Diversity in Media Leadership Award has been offered.

Steve O. Michael, vice provost of diversity, came up with the idea for this award, which recognizes local media leaders.

“It is my thought that Kent State, being a major institution in this region, can identify and recognize people who are shaping diversity vision for this region,” Michael said.

Gene Shelton, JMC academic diversity adviser, is in charge of putting the event together. He nominated Pitts for the McGruder award.

Shelton said he suggested Dawson, a 1979 Kent State graduate, for the Diversity in Media Leadership Award because of Dawson’s commitment to the university and the importance of diversity in his life.

The award and lecture program was started in honor of 1963 Kent State graduate Robert G. McGruder, the Daily Kent Stater‘s first black editor, according to a press release. McGruder was the first black reporter for The Plain Dealer, the first black editor of the Detroit Free Press and the first black president of The Associated Press Managing Editors.

Kristen Russo