Investigative reporter, The Athletic editorial director next in Speakers Forum

September 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — An award-winning investigative reporter and the editorial director of The Athletic will present separate talks and participate in question-and-answer sessions on consecutive nights, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, respectively, during the Journalism Speakers Forum, which features weekly speakers during the fall semester at Penn State.

Investigative reporter Madeleine Baran of APM Reports will discuss her reporting on a death penalty case in Mississippi and provide practical tips on story selection, interviewing and gathering records during her session at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 on Zoom.

Baran is the host and lead reporter of the podcast "In the Dark." According to Baran, her work focuses on holding powerful people and institutions accountable. Her reporting for "In the Dark" helped lead the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the conviction of a Black man on death row in Mississippi. 

Baran's reporting has also appeared on NPR and has been cited by the The New York Times. She has received numerous national awards for her reporting, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting; the George Polk Award; three George Foster Peabody Awards; and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

The forum pivots to sports with Lisa Wilson of The Athletic at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 on Zoom.

Wilson serves as editorial director for The Athletic. She moved to that position earlier this month after previously serving as managing editor/NFL for the company. Wilson, the former executive sports editor for The Buffalo News and a senior editor for The Undefeated, is the first African-American woman to be elected as president of Associated Press Sports Editors.

The Athletic, a subscription sports site cofounded by a Penn State alumnus, announced in early September that it had surpassed one million subscribers. The site focused on professional and college sports and initially included only features and longer-form stories. It added breaking news and headlines in recent months.

Wilson’s visit is co-sponsored by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism.

The series of special guest presentations was coordinated by Will Yurman, the Norman Eberly Professor of Practice in Journalism in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. A complete schedule for the Journalism Speakers Forum may be found online.

Last Updated September 22, 2020