Expert on Latino, borderland issues to present Oweida Lecture

A respected journalist who leads a cross-disciplinary specialization in the coverage of issues related to Latinos and the U.S.-Mexico border at Arizona State University will present the annual Oweida Lecture in Journalism Ethics at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Kern Auditorium on Penn State's University Park campus.

The free public lecture featuring Rick Rodriguez will be titled "Publish and Perish: Covering the Drug Wars and Human Trafficking on the Border." Rodriguez worked 25 years for the Sacramento Bee, most recently as executive editor and senior vice president, before joining ASU in 2008.

As the Carnegie Professor of Journalism at Arizona State, Rodriguez specializes in Latino and transnational news coverage. He was brought to the university to develop and lead Southwest Borderlands Initiative.

"Rick is one of the leading editors of his generation, a national voice who has always championed great journalism and in-depth, investigative news reporting," said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State. "Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. We need to create a cadre of young journalists who can not only speak the language but are equipped with a deep understanding of the cultural, historical, political, religious and sociological backgrounds of the wide variety of Latino populations."

Rodriguez is also working on the News21 project as students develop alternative ways of telling in-depth stories.

While Rodriguez was at the Bee, the paper won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. He is a former president of the American Society of News Editors -- the first Latino to hold the post -- and is known nationally as a champion of watchdog journalism and newsroom diversity.

The Dr. N.N. Oweida Lecture in Journalism Ethics is supported by an endowment from Margaret L. Oweida in memory of her husband, the late Dr. M.N. Oweida, a surgeon from New Kensington, Pa.

Previous visitors for the lecture include: Marty Kaiser, president of the American Society of News Editors; Thomas Kunkel, former dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; Keith Woods, dean of faculty, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies; Alex Jones, director, the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University; Michael Getler, ombudsman, The Washington Post; and Michael Josephson, founder, the Joseph and Edna Josephson institute of Ethics.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015