Emmy-winning journalist to talk ethics, inspire students

By Corey Hord

Students will have the opportunity to hear an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter speak at UK.

Society of Professional Journalists President Hagit Limor will meet with students Thursday at noon in the Marguerite McLaughlin Room, better known as the Maggie Room, at the Grehan Journalism Building.

Limor, who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School, currently represents more than 8,000 journalists as the national SPJ president.

In addition to her nine Emmys, Limor has won three national Sigma Delta Chi awards from SPJ, a National Headliner Award and other various national, state and local awards for her aptitude as a writer and reporter.

She welcomes students and professionals, journalists and non-journalists to attend the meeting where she hopes to “inspire students.”

“Rather than define who is a journalist, I avoid all labels and invite anyone interested to come to the Society of Professional Journalists to learn best practices, ethical standards and other information that will make them a more effective communicator,” Limor said.

“In what some see as bleak times as our industry changes, they are the future of our craft, which ensures our democracy.”

Mike Farrell, co-adviser of the SPJ campus chapter and assistant professor at the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, said the school invited her to campus early on.

“The chances that we’ll have another SPJ president within driving distance in the next five years is not very good,” Farrell said.

Al Cross, the other SPJ co-adviser, the director of Rural Journalism and Community Issues and assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications, served as SPJ president from 2001 to 2002. He discussed the demands as president and how difficult it is to arrange many campus visits.

“It’s an honor for the chapter, school and campus to have the president pay a visit,” Cross said.

Speaking from experience as president, Cross mentioned that acting as president of SPJ can amount to another full-time job as well as the responsibility of “improving and protecting journalism.”

Limor stressed that she wants to reach not only journalists, but also non-journalists.

“I believe we’re at a pivotal moment as means of communications expand exponentially, allowing many more people to disseminate their views than in the past,” Limor said.

“Of all people, students today are equipped almost innately with the latest technological skills to take old media into the future. But as they use those skills, they must base them in what never changes — the best practices of journalism,” Limor said.

When visiting chapters, Limor takes pleasure in meeting people who share her passion about what SPJ journalists do and their responsibilities in society.

Farrell said journalism is a rapidly changing profession.

“SPJ works hard to keep journalists abreast of the changes,” Farrell said. “SPJ meetings offer events for students to learn more about their chosen field, as well as to interact and network with professionals.”

Food will be served during the meeting, which is scheduled to last about one hour.