Brian E. Richardson, professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee University, will give his inaugural lecture, marking his appointment as the Harry E. and Mary Jane W. Redenbaugh Professor, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.
The title of his talk is "It Ain't What You Tell 'Em; It's What They Hear: Or, You'd Think I'd Have Learned by Now." The talk is free and open to the public.
"After spending my entire life since the age of 16 as a journalist and then a teacher of journalism, I am still so in awe of both callings that I feel inadequate to pontificate about either. But I am going to anyway," Richardson said.
"Our culture, particularly our political culture, seems to have become convinced that it is more important to teach a lot of people marginally and cheaply than to teach people well," Richardson continued. "For too many elected officials, good teaching means job training. But the future of our democratic society lies in our continued embrace of the liberal arts. There is no way to help people understand the complexities and interconnections of modern life without it."
Richardson graduated from Washington and Lee in 1973 and received his M.A. in communications and Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Florida. He joined the W&L faculty in 1990 after teaching at the University of Florida from 1986 to 1990. He served as department head from 2003 to 2010.
He worked for local television and radio news operations in Virginia and Florida and was a reporter and editor at The Tallahassee Democrat, The Miami Herald and The Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 10 years. During his reporting career he covered local government, courts, urban affairs and education. In 1996-97 he was a visiting research fellow at University College, Oxford, in Media and Culture, The Politics of Representation and Media and Citizenship.
Richardson is the author of the textbook "The Process of Writing News: From Information to Story," (2012, 2nd ed.) He is the author of five articles and two book reviews. His research and scholarly interests include journalism ethics, the role of news media in subnational governance and new media.
The Harry E. and Mary Jayne W. Redenbaugh Term Professorship, established in 2008 by Mary Jayne Redenbaugh in honor and memory of Harry E. Redenbaugh, W&L Class of 1939A, is awarded to a professor for a fixed term. Richardson was named the Redenbaugh Professor in May 2012.