Journalism in our Current Environment

Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Friday, 8:00-10:00

The role of journalism in today’s ever-changing world takes center stage to open the 2017 AJC Decatur Book Festival. National Public Radio host Brooke Gladstone headlines a panel of journalists who will be discussing the importance of journalism in a time of the 24-hour news cycle, social media generated fake news and society’s perceptions of media today. Led in discussion by Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,the panel also will include Carolyn Ryan, an editor with The New York Times, and Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from The Washington Post.

NOTE: The Keynote address is free but requires a ticket to attend. At this time, all tickets have been distributed.


Brooke Gladstone

Brooke Gladstone is a Peabody Award–winning journalist and media analyst. She is the co-host and managing editor of the public radio newsmagazine radio show and podcast On the Media, and has written for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Slate. She is also the author of The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media. She lives with her husband, the journalist Fred Kaplan, in Brooklyn, NY.

Wesley Lowery

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter for the Washington Post who covers law enforcement and justice. He was the paper's lead reporter in Ferguson, Missouri and covering the Black Lives Matter protest movement, and was a member of the team awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for the paper's coverage of police shootings. His reporting has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Carolyn Ryan

Carolyn Ryan is the senior editor for politics at The New York Times and ran the publication's coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before she was named senior editor for politics in 2015, Ryan oversaw coverage of Washington as politics editor and Washington bureau chief. She had been deputy editor for the Metro section’s government and politics coverage since joining The Times in 2007.

Earlier this year, The Times added Ryan to the masthead. She joined the highest leadership ranks of the newsroom as assistant editor in charge of recruiting journalists.

Before coming to The Times, Ryan worked for The Boston Globe where she held several positions including deputy city editor, political editor, assistant managing editor for local news and deputy managing editor for local news. Before joining The Globe, Ryan was a statehouse bureau chief for the Boston Herald.

Ryan was a member of the team that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for its swift and sweeping coverage of the sex scandal that resulted in the resignation of Governor Eliot Spitzer.


Kevin Riley

Kevin Riley is the Editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a position he was named to in January 2011.

Riley is a long-time employee of Cox Enterprises, which owns the Journal-Constitution. He started his career in 1983 at the Dayton Daily News in Ohio while a student at the University of Dayton. During his time in Ohio, Riley had many roles for Cox, including Editor-in-Chief of Cox’s four daily Ohio newspapers, publisher of the Springfield News-Sun and general manager for the Ohio online operations. He also wrote a column as editor in Dayton, something he also does in Sunday editions of the Journal-Constitution.

During his time in Atlanta, he has led a rejuvenation of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with an emphasis on investigative and watchdog journalism. The newspaper won the 2012 Hillman Prize for Newspaper Journalism, and was a finalist for the 2013 Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize, awarded by Harvard University.

He is currently deeply engaged in the AJC’s transformation in the digital age, as the newspaper serves an ever-growing digital audience with new and innovative approaches to journalism.