2013 Sammons Lecture explores how JFK’s death changed media

Official portrait of President John F. Kennedy

An official portrait of John F. Kennedy used in a memorial folio. From the Stanley Marcus Collection, used with permission of DeGolyer Library, SMU.

A panel of distinguished Texas journalists, including a longtime SMU professor, will share their insights during the 14th annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics.

The program marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with a special presentation, “How the JFK Assassination Changed North Texas Media.”

Legendary Dallas journalist Hugh Aynesworth will introduce and moderate a panel of journalists who covered the historic events of November 1963, including Bob Huffaker, S. Griffin Singer and SMU Professor Emeritus of Journalism Darwin Payne.

The discussion begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. The event is free; however, tickets are required and must be reserved in advance by calling the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

The Sammons Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

> More on the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination: smu.edu/jfk

Hugh Aynesworth has been a reporter since 1948 and is widely considered the journalistic authority on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As a reporter for The Dallas Morning News, he was an eyewitness to the assassination and covered every major event related to it, including the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald and his murder two days later by Jack Ruby. He is the author of November 22, 1963: Witness to History, published to mark the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

Bob Huffaker, a reporter for KRLD and CBS, broadcast the JFK motorcade, the Parkland vigil and the Oswald shooting. He also interviewed Oswald’s mother and covered Jack Ruby’s trial. The Radio Television News Directors Association awarded his KRLD team its top honor for spot reporting. Huffaker became an English professor, then a Texas Monthly editor. He is a co-author (with his colleagues Wes Wise, Bill Mercer and George Phenix) of When the News Went Live, which next week is being published in a 50th anniversary edition.

Darwin Payne taught journalism at SMU for 30 years and is now professor emeritus. His career in journalism began as a reporter for the Fort Worth Press, and at the time of the Kennedy assassination he was a reporter for The Dallas Times-Herald. He has written several books on Dallas history, as well as biographies of writers Owen Wister and Frederick Lewis Allen, U.S. Judge Sarah T. Hughes, and Dallas’ first African-American judge, Louis A. Bedford Jr. He is the author of In Honor of the Mustangs, the centennial history of SMU athletics, and currently is writing the centennial history of SMU.

S. Griffin (Griff) Singer has devoted almost 60 years to journalism, in practice and as an educator. He retired from the University of Texas School of Journalism in 2003 but still is active part-time; seven of his former students have won Pulitzer Prizes. As a reporter and editor, he has worked at the Arlington Citizen-Journal, The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Light. A Dallas native, Singer was an assistant city editor at The Dallas Morning News at the time of the JFK assassination and the trial of Jack Ruby.

> Read more from the SMU Meadows News site
> Find a full calendar of SMU-sponsored events commemorating the JFK 50th anniversary

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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