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SPJ Honors Ralph Izard With Distinguished Teaching Award

For Immediate Release:

Heather Porter, Programs Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext. 204
Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Ralph Izard with the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award.

Izard is the Sig Mickelson/CBS professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University and professor emeritus in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He previously served a two-year term with the Media Studies Center/First Amendment Center in New York, where he was online editor of publications and coordinator of the International Initiative for Journalism Education. His work at Ohio University for 32 years included 12 years as director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Co-author or editor of three books, Izard’s articles include several on journalism ethics, media diversity and professional development in journalism.

Included in his journalistic background is work for two newspapers and in four bureaus of The Associated Press. He has served as a consultant for the United States Information Service in the South Pacific and for Mitchell College of Advanced Education in Australia and has conducted professional journalism workshops on five continents. He was president in 1992-93 of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and vice president for campus chapter affairs of the Society of Professional Journalists from 1976 to 1979. In 1985, he received the Wells Memorial Key, SPJ’s highest national award for service.

For 12 years Izard was editor of Newspaper Research Journal. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois.

Together with Adrienne Moore, director of the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs, Izard founded Mass Communicating: The Forum on Media Diversity (, a Web site offering information to help reporters and editors improve news coverage on minority issues. The Web site also features a host of resources to support increased diversity in newsrooms and academia. An online library boasts an impressive collection of information and research on media, gender, religion and race. More than 100 course syllabi can be found on the site.

“Under Izard’s guidance, the faculty at Louisiana State increased efforts to recruit doctoral candidates of color, tapping historically black colleges for leads,” wrote Sally Lehrman, SPJ’s national diversity chairwoman in her nomination letter. “They developed relationships with high schools in Baton Rouge and New Orleans to introduce journalism to the students.”

The Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession and/or journalism education. Students, former students, alumni, colleagues and professionals may submit nominations. Nominees do not have to be members of SPJ.

Izard will be recognized Friday, Oct. 5 during a luncheon at the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C. at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit


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