People & Places


The Freedom Forum honored three college professors for outstanding teaching and leadership in journalism instruction. Each honoree received a medal and $10,000 at the convention of the Association for Education in journalism and Mass Communication in Miami in August. The awards were presented to Lawrence B. Alexander, associate professor of journalism at the University of Florida; Charlyne Berens, associate professor at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Conrad C. Fink, journalism professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. All three winners are current teachers and veteran journalists. Alexander was a staff writer for The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune and later became a copy editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer. After receiving a master's degree in journalism and mass communication at the University of Florida and a juris doctor at Tulane University, Alexander taught journalism at the University of New Orleans and Temple University before joining the faculty of the University of Florida. He has received awards for outstanding teaching, research and service. Before Berens began her teaching career, she spent 14 years as a co-publisher and editor of the Seward County Independent, a weekly newspaper in a town near Lincoln, Neb. During that time she became a leader in the Nebraska Press Association, and in 1989 she was the second woman in Nebraska history to be elected president of the association. An advocate of newsroom diversity, Berens has greatly contributed to the college's commitment to increasing diversity. Fink, who has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin behind him, has 30 years of journalism experience. He began his career at the Bloomington (Ill.) Daily Pantograph as a reporter and photographer. During his 20-year career at The Associated Press, he went from being a reporter in Chicago to an international correspondent in Japan, India and England. He later was a vice president of newspaper membership in New York. Fink joined the faculty of the University of Georgia in 1983 and created an annual weeklong intensive management training program for college newspaper editors and advisers nationwide. The Journalism Teachers of the Year awards, now in their sixth year, recognize excellence in teaching and leadership in the core areas of journalism instruction - reporting, editing, journalism history, media law and ethics. The awardees are selected from nominations submitted to the Freedom Forum by journalism-school administrators, alumni and students across the country.

At least two journalists lost their jobs over the use of company e-mail accounts during the summer. Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune Managing Editor Rosemary Armco responded to a reader with a remarkably candid e-mail - one that wound up costing her job, The Washington Post reported. The paper ran a 4,400-word, three-page spread on Republican congressional candidate Katherine Harris. And when one reader complained that Democratic candidates weren't getting equal coverage, Armco wrote: "She's going to be the next congresswoman from this area, like it or not ... . I have no intentions of covering each of the Democratic candidates to the same extent! Armco added: "I do not intend to vote for Harris ... . I blame the Democrats for not finding a better candidate ..." Armco resigned in June, rather than be fired. Executive Editor Janet Weaver said Armco should not have offered a reader her opinion of Harris or predicted the outcome of the race. In September, she joined the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale as the new Projects Team Leader. On the West Coast, Los Angeles sportswriter Brian Robin, 37, was fired after sending a critical e-- mail to U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas, a Republican, using the company's e-mail system when his personal system was down. Robin stumbled upon an item online about an appearance by Thomas on CNN, where he repeated the Republican Party mantra that blames the year's corporate criminality on Bill Clinton.

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