Geneva Overholser: Transparency Trumps Tradition

On Saturday I attended an event held by the Northern CA chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. I was covering the keynote panel, “New Money, New Media, New Hope,” live via my amylive Twitter account. Fellow journo and Twitter user Saleem Khan submitted a couple of questions for me to ask the panel. However, the panel ended before I got a chance to pose them.

Fortunately afterward I caught up with one of the panelists, Geneva Overholser, who’s about to take the helm at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism. She was kind enough to offer some thoughtful answers to Khan. Here’s what she had to say.

(Note: My apologies for the different audio levels between the intro and the interview. I recorded on two different devices and edited in iMovie HD, which I don’t yet know very well, so it’s a little clunky. I’m still learning.)

Here’s more info about who was on this panel…

From the SPJ event info page:

KEYNOTE: New Money, New Media, New Hope

  • Rose Aguilar hosts the daily public affairs show Your Call on KALW-FM. Her forthcoming book, “Red Highways,” will be out in September. The book collects political interviews with people living and voting in so-called “red states,” and calls for a more thoughtful and productive dialogue in the media and between people with differing views. She will speak about what the public wants from journalism, and what it gets.
  • Persephone Miel is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at The Harvard Law School where she directs the Media Re:public project, examining the impact of participatory journalism on the information environment. Prior to joining Berkman, she spent more than 12 years with Internews Network, an international NGO supporting independent media around the world.
  • Geneva Overholser is the newly appointed director of the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications. She previously held the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting for the Missouri School of Journalism, in its Washington, D.C., bureau. She is a frequent print, broadcast and online media critic, and the author of “On Behalf of Journalism: A Manifesto for Change.”
  • David Talbot, the founder and former editor-in-chief of, is also the author of New York Times bestseller “Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.” He recently launched a media and entertainment company called The Talbot Players with his brother Steve, executive producer of PBS’ Frontline World. He is also helping develop the San Francisco Free Press, a nonprofit Bay Area news engine that aims to combine the best of professional and citizens’ journalism.
  • Moderator: Cynthia Gorney is a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism, U.C. Berkeley, a magazine writer (with regular contributions to National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Oprah, Runners World and Harpers, among others), an occasional radio host of KQED-FM’s Forum, and the author of “Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars.”

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