Overby Center’s Fall Lineup Focuses on Elections

Public programs include discussions of alternative facts, Mississippi elections and a civil rights icon

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi‘s Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics will host a series of public programs this fall with an emphasis on upcoming elections and the future of journalism.

The upcoming session, set for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Overby Center Auditorium, features veteran political journalist Peter J. Boyer for a discussion of “The Battle Between Trump and the Press.” Boyer, who has covered the evolution of American politics and analyzed the intersection of politics and the press, will discuss the negative relationship between the president and the news media in a conversation with Curtis Wilkie, Overby fellow and a longtime correspondent for The Boston Globe.

Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center, said the scheduled topics offer many opportunities for audience engagement.

“This fall’s programs offer great conversations with and about nationally recognized experts,” Overby said. “The audience will also have an opportunity to join these conversations.”

Will Norton Jr., dean of the School of Journalism and New Media, added, “Through the years I have been impressed with how much Charles Overby hopes we as faculty, students and Oxonians will promote civil dialogue on public issues and new media.

“Clearly, the programs this fall are focused on civil discourse.”

All events are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Overby Center Auditorium. The programs are free and open to the public. Parking will be available in the lot adjacent to the Overby Center.

The events rounding out the schedule are:

Oct. 16 – “Looking Ahead to the Mississippi Elections”: Two veteran Mississippi political figures, Austin Barbour, a Republican, and Brandon Jones, a Democrat, will analyze the upcoming state elections, following up on their initial assessments from an Overby program last fall. Overby and Wilkie will join the discussion.

Oct. 30 – “The Fight for Press Freedom”: David E. McCraw, the top newsroom lawyer for The New York Times, a vice president and assistant general counsel, will discuss the struggle for press freedom in an age of alternative facts. McCraw became a social media sensation after his response to Trump’s campaign threat to sue the newspaper for libel went viral on social media. Overby and Greg Brock, a retired Times editor and Overby fellow, will join the discussion.

Nov. 20 – “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America”: A documentary on Hamer, the late Mississippi sharecropper and one of the most powerful voices of the civil rights movement, will be screened. A Q&A session with the film’s director, Joy Elaine Davenport will follow the screening.