HuffPost editor to discuss role of journalism, free press


HuffPost editor-in-chief and Livingston Award winner Lydia Polgreen will discuss the role of journalism in a democracy and its responsibility in the current moment at a lecture hosted by Wallace House.

The discussion is part of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium and begins at 2 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Rackham Graduate School Amphitheatre. The event is free and open to the public and will be live-streamed online at

Lydia Polgreen

Before leading HuffPost, Polgreen served as an editor and foreign correspondent with The New York Times. She held several positions, including associate masthead editor and editorial director of NYT Global, deputy international editor and West Africa and Johannesburg bureau chief.

Polgreen has received a Livingston Award for her series on the exploitation of Africa’s natural resources, and a George Polk Award in recognition of her coverage of the war in Darfur.

Wallace House Director Lynette Clemetson said when looking at the overall theme for the MLK symposium, “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” one must consider journalism in that mandate of urgency.

“Overall, we just wanted to make sure that journalism was represented in the symposium as one of these pillars of society that we need to understand and commit to and be diligent about protecting in this moment,” she said.

Clemetson said Polgreen’s discussion will touch on perspectives relevant to both citizens and journalists.

“She will be talking about the role of journalism in a democratic society … what it means to understand, consume and participate in news and … what’s the responsibility of journalists in this current moment to uphold the values of the profession and to capture stories at a time when not only is society shifting but also journalism is shifting.”


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