News Release: Arts and Humanities, People, Teaching, University News

Jun. 11,  2010

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Journalist Klibanoff Appointed Cox Professor

News Article ImageHank Klibanoff

Hank Klibanoff, a veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, has been appointed the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University.

Klibanoff, a former editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Philadelphia Inquirer, co-authored "The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation" that won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for history. He oversees the Civil Rights Cold Case Project, which uses multimedia reporting to investigate unsolved racial murders that took place during the modern civil rights era in the South.

Emory students are learning to be journalists at "a historic and stimulating period of experimentation and entrepreneurship," Klibanoff says. "This is an exciting time to teach and learn about journalism as the profession undergoes transformational change, and news consumers play a larger role than ever before in assessing information and sorting truth from fiction."

Klibanoff is the fourth Cox Professor since the James M. Cox Foundation provided an endowment in 1996 to revive Emory's journalism program. A selection committee headed by Jim Grimsley, director of the Emory Creative Writing and Journalism Programs, made the appointment.

"Hank Klibanoff's stature as a journalist, editor and writer make him an ideal fit for this distinguished chair. As a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian of journalism and the civil rights movement, he will add to Emory's growing collection of resources dedicated to the study of the freedom struggles of the 20th century," says Michael Elliott, senior associate dean for faculty in Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

Klibanoff says journalism history and ethics will be an important focus for him in the classroom. Maintaining ethics and professionalism are key concerns as old media models change before the new media can adapt to economic difficulties, he says. 

"The fragmentation of the news media is challenging the capacity of mainstream news organizations to provide the broad and penetrating level of professionalism, authoritativeness and integrity they once offered," he says. "Non-traditional sources of news and information often are doing so without the standards, practices and ethical firewalls necessary to guarantee the quality and integrity of news reporting and writing."

A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Klibanoff taught an urban journalism course at the University of Pennsylvania for six years. He also is chair of VOX Teen Communications, an after-school journalism program for Atlanta area high schoolers who publish a website and monthly newspaper that helps them develop skills in writing and expression.

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