Pulitzer winner to discuss book

Kat Rogers

Staff Writer

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hank Klibanoff will be speaking at the annual M. Stanton Evans Symposium on Money, Politics and the Media on Thursday, Feb. 11.

“This is an event that has been going on since before I got here, I assume perhaps for several decades,” said Steve Stewart, assistant professor of journalism at Troy University and coordinator of the symposium.

“It’s a chance for students and the public to take a look at issues that relate to journalism and how journalism is practiced.”

Klibanoff, a native of Florence, co-wrote “The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation,” with journalist Gene Roberts.

The book, which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history, tells the impact of the Northern white press in bringing attention to the civil rights movement starting in the 1930s.

“The civil rights movement would have never caught on fire like it did until the Northern or white press in the U.S. started covering the story and telling the rest of the country what was happening in the South,” Stewart said.

Klibanoff is currently a professor of journalism at Emory University. There, he is the director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, where undergraduates look into unsolved hate crimes and racially motivated murders.

For the symposium, Klibanoff will be discussing his book and talking on the importance of journalists in pivotal moments of history, as well as how journalism itself is practiced.

“I am certainly looking forward to it,” Klibanoff said about his upcoming trip to Troy. “I grew up knowing about Troy and always knew about it living in Florence.

“It’s a real honor to be invited. I’m looking forward to meeting the students and taking any questions they might have, even the difficult ones.”

Stewart said that the symposium is important to students in that it helps students understand the history of the topics and also ongoing issues.

“It will cover how journalists working under adverse circumstances can accomplish covering the news,” Stewart said. “When they do it right by keeping it factual and telling people what is going on, they can make a positive difference in society.”

Posts on social media about the symposium will be using the hashtag #RaceBeatTroy.

Stewart said he encourages journalists and journalism majors to attend in order to learn and to be inspired.

However, anyone who is interested in American history, specifically the civil rights movement, will also find the symposium interesting, according to him.

The symposium will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Trojan Center Ballrooms.

Klibanoff is also holding a meeting with interested students and faculty about writing, both as an author and a journalist, in a session at 1 p.m. in Wallace Hall 336B.

Stewart said anyone interested in knowing how to get pieces published or how to properly research and write is encouraged to attend.

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