Susan Catron, executive editor
for the Savannah Morning News, said last Thursday at Savannah State
University’s 59th Southern Regional Press Institute that future journalists should not be discouraged by the fleeting
“Please know it is about the business, not about what we do as journalists,” Catron said. “What we do as journalists’ is very important; find me a business that is not struggling in this economy.”
The annual event, whose theme was “Investigative Reporting, Utilizing New Media,” awarded Catron, a University of North Carolina graduate, the prestigious Louis R. Lautier Award For Career Achievement.
Catron quoted Michael Gartner, a former newspaper editor and one of her many idols, to a packed audience in the Kennedy auditorium.
“Spreading the facts about friend or foe without fear or favor, in good times and bad, in peace and war, the journalist who does that is not a traitor he or she is a patriot,” Catron said. She emphasized a journalist’s duty to have a commitment to the truth.
“People choose jobs, plan medical procedures, decide how their going to vote based on what we do every day, “Catron said. “It is a huge responsibility, so we better get it right.”
Carton’s speech was the backdrop for a host of workshops and presentations aimed at building skills and shaping the professional development of aspiring journalists.
The 59th Southern Regional Press Institute concluded with a speech from its keynote speaker Betty Bayé.
Bayé, national syndicated columnist for the Louisville-Courier Journal, said last Friday at the Milledge-Owens awards luncheon that knowing your gift is the key to success.
“When you know what your gift is it does not matter whether you make $1 mil a year or $100 a year. Bayé said.” When you know what your gift is, you are not jealous of anyone.”
Bayé, who was awarded the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award, spoke to a well attended audience in the King Frazier Ballroom.
“If you come from the rough side of the mountain climb it”. Bayé said. “The rough part of the mountain can make you strong.”
“When God has something for you to do, you do it,” Baye said. “Never get too big for the small stuff, look for the humanity.”
The audience praised Baye’s speech, among them was award recepient Kai C. Walker, assistant professor in mass communications. She received the Service to the Institute Award.
“Bayé’s speech was wonderful,” Walker said. “It was very down- to- earth and very personable. One of the best keynote speakers in a long time.”