Index-Journal executive editor, Richard Whiting, joins Lander students and faculty to discuss the Constitution and a free press

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Story by Zack Bennett

Lander University’s student body and faculty was treated to a live discussion surrounding the First Amendment and media on Sept. 16. Richard Whiting, executive editor of Greenwood’s Index-Journal made his way to campus for the discussion with interested Bearcats.

The program discussed the Constitution and freedom of the press, how the press can seek to hold government accountable and help create active citizens, as well as the information literacy in a complex multimedia environment.

The conversation was moderated by Lander’s Dr. Ashley Woodiwiss, chair of the Department of Government, Criminology and Sociology and professor of political science, and also involved Dr. Lucas McMillan, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and professor of political science. The pair spoke with Whiting about media literacy, community involvement in the media and the ways communities view local media outlets, among various other related topics.

Whiting talked about the difficulties they face producing a small, local newspaper, especially with a small team and seemingly fewer prospective reporters applying for jobs. “It’s getting tougher and tougher to find people that have a passion for journalism,” said Whiting. “It’s no secret that it’s not the highest paying job, but it is an honorable profession.”

After the discussion ended, Woodiwiss shifted the discussion to a Q&A where the three fielded questions from the audience. Following the Q&A, Woodiwiss, McMillan and Whiting mingled with the audience and made themselves available for further questions and discussions.

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