MU journalism professor to direct USC journalism school

Sunday, April 13, 2008 | 6:30 p.m. CDT; updated 3:55 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Geneva Overholser, currently an endowed chair for the MU School of Journalism at its Washington, D.C. bureau, has been named the director of the journalism school at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.

“I have had seven wonderful years at the Missouri School of Journalism, and I have just loved it,” Overholser said. “I never had thought I would leave because it’s a great job, but this opportunity came along and I realized I was ready for a new adventure.”

Overholser said that although she will miss her MU colleagues and her students in Washington, D.C., she is ready to embrace the administrative responsibilities of her new position.

“The journalism school at Annenberg is singularly poised for an exciting new chapter, and I am excited for the chance to lead it,” she said.

Overholser previously was editor of the Des Moines Register from 1988 to 1995, during which the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for public service. She has been a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group, an editorial board member of the New York Times, ombudsman of the Washington Post and a reporter for the Colorado Springs Sun.

She is also a print, broadcast and online media critic and co-edited the book “The Press as an Institution of Democracy” with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a communications professor and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Overholser has a bachelor’s degree in history from Wellesley College and a master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, as well as a French language certificate from the University of Paris.

Overholser will replace Michael Parks, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former editor of the Los Angeles Times.

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