Hartman Distinguished Professor of Journalism Brings Prominent Speakers to Campus

September 16, 2008

by Lauren Venegas, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Mike Blackman, a Baylor University journalism graduate and veteran reporter and editor, has joined his alma mater as the Fred Hartman Distinguished Professor of Journalism. As the newest addition to the journalism department, Blackman will bring in several prestigious speakers throughout the year.

The first speaker, Henry Holcomb, will visit Baylor's campus on Tuesday, Sept. 16, and Wednesday, Sept. 17. Holcomb is the former assistant to Gene Roberts, multiple Pulitzer-Prize winning editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Holcomb is a Baylor alum and has stayed very involved within the Baylor community.

"Anytime you can expose students to professionals with success in news operations is beneficial," said Blackman. "It's highly educational and definitely worthwhile in a student's path to becoming a professional."

On Nov. 14, Blackman will bring Tom Belden and Mike Kennedy back to campus. Both were co-editors of the Baylor Lariat in 1969 and went on to have successful careers in journalism. Belden was at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Kennedy was at the Los Angeles Times before joining the staff of The Tennessean in Nashville.

The visitors will be speaking to journalism classes and visiting with professors during their time on campus. All students are welcome to sit in on classes during the speaking sessions.

"It is an honor to have these speakers," said Blackman. "All are Baylor graduates, all have distinguished themselves in journalism, stayed with Baylor on various committees and did quite well in their fields."

About the Fred Hartman Distinguished Professor of Journalism Award

Hartman, a Baylor alumnus who passed away in 1991, served as editor and publisher of the Baytown Sun for 24 years before being named chairman of the board of Southern Newspapers Inc., an organization that owns and operates newspapers in a number of states. He eventually founded his own newspaper group, which has since evolved into the Texas Newspaper Group, owned by his son, Bill Hartman, also a Baylor alumnus.

Hartman Enterprises gave Baylor $500,000 to finance the endowed chair. Dr. Loyal Gould, former chairman of the journalism department, was the first holder of the Hartman Chair.