Gerald Jordan to be honored for efforts to encourage students of color in journalism

Columbia, Mo. (Aug. 23, 2017) — Gerald Jordan, associate professor of journalism at the University of Arkansas, is the recipient of the 2017 Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship, the American Society of News Editors announced today.

The $1,000 award, given in recognition of an educator's outstanding efforts to encourage students of color in the field of journalism, will be presented Oct. 10 at the ASNE annual convention in Washington, D.C. A merger of ASNE and the Association of Opinion Journalists, which originated the fellowship, was completed in 2016.

Jordan was nominated by Miriam Pepper, associate editor at Opinion in a Pinch and former vice president for the editorial page at The Kansas City Star.

Pepper wrote of Jordan, "I agree with these fine words from his very old friend and former colleague Laura Hockaday, a retired Star editor in features.

"'He personifies warmth, humor and camaraderie. He seems to be always smiling and happy to see a colleague, old or new. He must be a fine and very popular professor at the University of Arkansas's School of Journalism, where he has relished teaching in the home of the Razorbacks.'”  

A published comment from one of his students:

"One of the best professors I've ever had. He treats everyone as an equal. The University of Arkansas is truly lucky to have this dude."

Jordan excelled at The Kansas City Star as a sportswriter, editorial writer and TV columnist.

Not content to take summers off while teaching, he has regularly returned to The Philadelphia Inquirer to edit copy and serve wherever needed during his summer vacation. His many accomplishments include a year of study at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow in 1982.

"Gerald is a classy journalist in all respects: respectful, curious, committed, caring and always, always smiling," Pepper continued. "Students can't do better and Arkansas is lucky to have wooed him home again."

Last year, Jordan was awarded the Arkansas Press Association's Distinguished Service Award.

The association said in honoring Jordan:

"Jordan joined the faculty of the Lemke Department of Journalism in 1995, although he continued to work summers as an editor at The Inquirer for the next 15 years.

"During those summers, Jordan regularly worked with student interns and saw the need for a nontraditional curriculum for journalism students. This led to the idea for the Lemke Newsroom, a block equal to five classes in the fall semester, providing intensive teaching and training for a limited number of students in a realistic multimedia news environment. The journalism department approved the plan, and in 2009, the Lemke Newsroom was launched under Jordan's leadership. The highly successful program has been turning out skilled and committed young journalists ever since.

"Jordan has also been actively involved in diversity efforts at the U of A, working with three chancellors to recruit, retain and support talented African-American and other minority students, staff and faculty. He is the first African-American to serve as president of the Arkansas Alumni
Association Board of Directors, and he is the founding leader of two alumni societies for U of A graduates.

"In 2000, Jordan helped his colleague Katherine Shurlds create the Lemke Journalism Project, designed to bring more minority students interested in journalism to the university. High school students from the region, most of them Latino, spent six Saturdays on campus learning about journalism and publishing a newspaper. The project was recognized by the Latino Alumni Society of the Arkansas Alumni Association and eventually earned financial support from Tyson Foods.

"He was honored in 2010 with the Silas Hunt Legacy Award, the university's top national award presented for contributing to the diversity of the institution and for professional achievement.

"He was also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee. . . ."



Teri Hayt
ASNE Executive Director