Visiting editor to discuss ‘How Journalism Can Recapture Its Mojo'

February 28, 2018

A veteran journalist who has worked in Cleveland, Boston and Orlando, and now leads The Commerical Appeal -- a newspaper with more than 175 years of history in Memphis, Tennessee -- will discuss journalism ethics during a free public lecture at 7 p.m. March 20 in Kern Auditorium (112 Kern Building) on the University Park campus.

Mark Russell was named executive editor of the paper in June 2017. While the city of Memphis is nearly 63 percent black, he became the first African-American to hold the top paper’s position. His lecture is titled, “Winning Trust and Cementing Credibility: How Journalism Can Recapture Its Mojo.”

Previously, Russell had been head of opinion/engagement for the USA Today Network-Tennessee as well as managing editor and news director for The Commercial Appeal. 

He started his career as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, covering a range of business topics as well as local government. He also worked as an assistant metro editor at The Plain Dealer and the Boston Globe. 

At The Plain Dealer, Russell was business editor for four years, and then the assistant managing editor/region for five years. He was named managing editor of the Orlando Sentinel in October 2004 and rose to executive editor in October 2010. During his tenure, the Orlando paper was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2013 for coverage of the hazing death of a band member at Florida A&M University.

Russell earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He is a board member, and a former board president, of the Missourian Publishing Association, which oversees the student-run, multiplatform newspaper and advises the school’s dean. In addition, he is a former board member of the Florida Society of News Editors, a current board member of the American Society of News Editors and the board of visitors at Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication in Baltimore. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Married for 30 years, Mark and Christina Russell have two grown children: Mark Jr., 28, and Alexandra, 24.  Russell’s hobbies include golf, traveling in the United States, reading biographies and sports books and attending college football games. He has been known to drive long distances to play golf or watch football games. 

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

  • Mark Russell

    Mark Russell

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated March 01, 2018