"The Future of Journalism" Panel Discussion, April 26

In celebration of William Allen White’s 150th birth year, we are honoring the namesake of the KU School of Journalism with panel discussions and lectures from esteemed journalists from around the United States. On April 26, William Allen White Foundation National Citation Award winners Bob Dotson, Gerald Seib and Paul Steiger will be joined by KU journalism students for a panel discussion on "The Future of Journalism." (Free and open to the public.​)

“The Future of Journalism” panel discussion
 3:30 p.m. April 26, Kansas Memorial Union Ballroom

If you'd like to learn more about the events, the schedule is here. All events are free and open to the public. 

 Bob Dotson

Robert Dotson

Bob Dotson grew up in the St. Louis suburbs, the son of a janitor who went 23 years to night school to become an optician and Dottie Bailey, who drove 150 miles each weekend from her home in Hiawatha, Kansas, to take voice lessons. She became a professional singer.

After graduating from KU in 1964, their youngest son began a remarkable Odyssey of his own. Dotson has crisscrossed this country, more than four million miles, searching for people who are practically invisible, the ones who change our lives, but don’t take time to tweet and tell us about it. His quest got noticed. In 1975 NBC News offered him a job. Dotson's longrunning series, “The American Story with Bob Dotson,” became a regular feature on the TODAY Show until his retirement on the 40th anniversary of the day he joined the network.

He is now the author of four books, including the New York Times bestselling “American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.” (Penguin/Random House) His newest, “Make it Memorable: Writing and Packaging Visual News with Style,” is being studied on 26 campuses and in newsrooms around the world. (Rowman & Littlefield) Bob Dotson is one of the most honored storytellers of our time. He earned 120 national and international awards for producing and reporting, including six Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Network News Writing (a record) and 12 more for reporting. He also received eight National Emmy Awards and 11 nominations. The Society of Professional Journalists cited Dotson’s columns as the “best in new media.” His work also has been honored with the Sprague Award from the National Press Photographers Association and grand prizes from duPont-Columbia University, CINE and the Robert F. Kennedy awards. Dotson received the William Allen White Foundation National Citation award in 2015.

 Gerald Seib

Gerald F. Seib is the Executive Washington Editor and Chief Commentator for the Wall Street Journal.

Seib writes the weekly Capital Journal column for the Journal, which brings an insightful, predictive and original understanding to politics, national affairs and foreign policy. In addition, he writes other periodic analyses of national and international affairs for the newspaper and WSJ.com. He also oversees the Journal’s daily Washington newsletter, Capital Journal Daybreak, and produces regular video analyses of events in the nation’s capital.

Seib appears regularly on networks such as CBS, NBC, Fox News, CNN and the BBC as a commentator on Washington affairs. He has moderated three presidential debates. 

Prior to taking his current position, he served for 12 years as the Journal’s Washington bureau chief, and as the Journal’s deputy Washington bureau chief before that. He began writing his column in the spring of 1993.

In 1988, Seib won the Merriman Smith award, which honors coverage of the presidency under deadline, and the Aldo Beckman award for coverage of the White House and the presidency. In 1990, he received the Gerald R. Ford Foundation prize for distinguished reporting on the presidency. In 2004, the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications named Seib the winner of the 2005 William Allen White Foundation National Citation award. In 2012, he won the Loeb lifetime achievement award for contributions to business and financial journalism, and in 2015 the American Academy of Diplomacy’s award for distinguished reporting and analysis of foreign affairs. In 2017, he was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists. Seib earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. He and his wife have three sons and live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

 Paul Steiger

Paul Steiger

Paul E. Steiger was the founding editor-in-chief, CEO, and president of ProPublica from 2008 through 2012. As executive chairman beginning Jan. 1, 2013, he is a board member and remains actively involved in strategic issues, development, representing ProPublica in public venues, and consulting with management on business and editorial issues, as needed.

Steiger served as the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2007. During his tenure as top editor at each organization, members of the Journal’s newsroom staff were awarded 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and ProPublica’s reporters received two. 

From 1999 to 2007, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, serving as its chairman in his final year. From 2005 to 2011, Steiger was the chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He is a senior advisor to the steering committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Besides the William Allen White National Citation, honors include the Gwen Ifill Memorial Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the First Amendment Award from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the American Society of News Editors Leadership Award. He has also been honored by universities including Columbia, Harvard, Missouri, UCLA, Arizona, Brandeis, and Yale.

Steiger worked for 15 years as a reporter, the Washington economics correspondent, and the business editor for the Los Angeles Times, and for 26 years as a reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University in 1964. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Columbia University.

William Allen White 150th birth year events

Lecture and presentation from Pete Souza
• 7 p.m., April 24, Lied Center
Pete Souza, White House photographer for Presidents Obama and Reagan, took nearly two million photographs throughout President Obama's two terms. More than 300 of these images are featured in his New York Time #1 bestselling book, "Obama: An Intimate Portrait." Books will be available for purchase at the event. People who purchase books at the event also will receive a bookplate signed by the author. (Free and open to the public; advance reservations not required.)

"William Allen White: What's the Matter with Kansas?"
• 5:30 p.m., 3139  Wescoe Hall
Film premiere of a new documentary of William Allen White by KU filmmakers Kevin Willmott and Scott Richardson. The William Allen White Foundation commissioned the film. DVDs of the film will be available for order. (Free and open to the public.)

“Politics and the Media” 
• 4-5 p.m. April 25, 3139 Wescoe
William Allen White Foundation National Citation Award winners Bob Dotson, Gerald Seib and Paul Steiger will be joined by KU journalism students for a panel discussion on the importance of journalism what the future holds for journalists and media. (Free and open to the public.)

If you’d like to learn more about the events, the schedule is here