The Salim El-Lozi Lecture Series

Objectivity, Moral Clarity and Truth: Defining the Purpose of Journalism

Last June, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Black journalist Wesley Lowery posed a challenge to his profession.

It is time, Lowery wrote, “for our industry to abandon the appearance of objectivity as the aspirational journalistic standard, and for reporters instead to focus on being fair and telling the truth.”

In an op-ed in The New York Times, he called on journalists to abandon the traditional model of “neutral objectivity [which] trips over itself to find ways to avoid telling the truth,” and to commit themselves to an ethos of “moral clarity.”

Lowery’s article amplified several debates that have long roiled America’s newsrooms: the grievances of Black journalists in an industry run largely by white managers, the failure of media organizations to reflect the diversity of the communities they cover, and the persistent question whether traditional standards of “neutral objectivity” serve journalism’s purpose of pursuing the truth.

On Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. ET, Georgetown University’s Journalism Program will sponsor a webinar to discuss these issues, focusing on what journalists can do to help their profession improve, featuring three panelists:

  • Sandra Clark, vice president for news and civic dialogue, WHYY Philadelphia
  • Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and correspondent for CBS News’s 60 Minutes’s “60 in 6” on Quibi
  • Tom Rosenstiel, executive director, American Press Institute and coauthor of “The Elements of Journalism
  • Doyle McManus (moderator), director of Georgetown’s Journalism Program and columnist for the Los Angeles Times

This will be the sixth annual event of The Salim El-Lozi Lecture Series. The lecture series is an annual event with a mission of discussing issues related to press freedom. Click here for the Zoom link.

Journalism and the War on Truth

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, Georgetown’s undergraduate journalism department hosted “Journalism and the War on Truth.” The panel featured:

  • Jim Acosta, CNN chief White House correspondent
  • Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday”
  • Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post columnist
  • Doyle McManus (moderator), Los Angeles Times columnist and Georgetown Journalism Program director

This was the fifth annual event of The Salim El-Lozi Lecture Series. The lecture series is an annual event with a mission of discussing issues related to press freedom.


Women in the Trenches: Stories of War Reporting

On Thursday, April 26, 2018 Georgetown University’s undergraduate journalism department hosted “Women in the Trenches: Stories of Female War Correspondents.” This event brought together three highly accomplished journalists with years of experiencing reporting from some of the most dangerous areas of the world, including Iraq, West Africa and the cartel-infested jungles of South America. These women discussed the unique challenges and dangers facing female correspondents operating in conflict zones. 

The panel featured:

  • Cami McCormick, CBS News correspondent
  • Jessica Donati, International Terrorism and Extremist Movements reporter at The Wall Street Journal
  • Monica Villamizar, Freelance correspondent
  • Haley Muse (Moderator), CNN video producer

This was the fourth annual event of The Salim El-Lozi Lecture Series. The lecture series is an annual event with a mission of discussing issues related to press freedom.


Muckraking in an Era of Liars, Trolls and Swamp Things

Georgetown University’s undergraduate journalism program hosted a panel discussion focusing on issues of press freedom in the Trump era on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.  The event, entitled “Muckraking in an Era of Liars, Trolls and Swamp Things,” looked at the unique challenges today’s Washington presents to journalistic objectivity and how to cover a presidency that paints the media as an enemy. The event’s mission is to discuss issues related to press freedom. 

The panel featured:

  • John Kirby (Moderator), Former spokesperson for the U.S. State Department
  • Yamiche Alcindor, National reporter for the New York Times
  • Lewis Wallace, Writer, editor and radio producer
  • Justin Green, News editor for Axios
  • Sarah Harvard, Staff writer for Mic.com