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SPJ names University of Mississippi 2010 National Historic Site in Journalism


For immediate release

Kathleen Wickham, Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, University of Mississippi School of Journalism & New Media,
Karen Grabowski, SPJ Communications Coordinator,
317-927-8000 ext. 215,

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is proud to announce the naming of the University of Mississippi as the 2010 National Historic Site in Journalism. The university will celebrate the honor on April 14 with two guest speakers, former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather and investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell.

SPJ’s Historic Sites in Journalism program honors the people and places that have played important roles in U.S. journalism history. The University of Mississippi was chosen by the SPJ board of directors to honor the reporters who covered the civil rights integration riots sparked by James Meredith’s enrollment. The riots resulted in two deaths, including that of French journalist Paul Guihard, the only known reporter killed while covering protests during the civil rights era.

The actual site of Guihard’s murder is currently beneath a campus building, but the university’s SPJ student chapter installed a memorial bench outside Farley Hall, which houses the university’s School of Journalism. The bench was dedicated April 17, 2009, in conjunction with the chapter’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of SPJ. Now, one year later, the campus celebrates being named a National Historic Site and its rich history in journalism with a ceremony at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. Rather and Mitchell, two journalists who have acted as significant voices in civil rights journalism over the last 40 years, will speak at the ceremony at 11 a.m.

Learn more about the SPJ Historic Sites in Journalism and view a list of previous sites online.

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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