Joe Creason Lecture

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Joe Creason: A Legend Worth Knowing

Joe Creason, though not well known, is a legend and role model for journalists as well as all Kentuckians. The Benton, Ky. native was a master of all trades. During his lifetime he was a journalist all over Kentucky, published two books, had a radio series and most importantly he was someone who touched the hearts of all those me met and worked with.

Al Cross, Director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, had some of his most precious memories alongside Creason. Working as a young journalist, Creason was the first writer he ever met. A picture of Creason sitting on a box and typing out a last minute news story hangs in Cross’ office to remind him of the hard work and commitment to journalism that Creason possessed.

The 30th annual Joe Creason Lecture, a tribute to the late journalist, was held at University of Kentucky’s Singletary Center for the Arts on Tuesday, April 10, 2007. The Joe Creason lecture takes place every year to reflect on journalism and to bring an esteemed journalist right on to UK’s campus. This year’s speaker was Molly Bingham. Bingham has been involved in the business ever since her family took over Louisville’s newspaper, The Courier-Journal. She has had a passion for journalism, photography and film making from a very young age. Bingham’s passion has taken her from her native Louisville to The White House, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, The Gaza Strip and Central Africa. Along the way she has seen the media change in more ways than one. Gone are the days of a morning newspaper, Bingham believes that all media is headed to the Web. "The web is amazing," she said. According to Bingham 89 percent of youth under the age of twenty-two use the internet as their main source of news. Bingham believes that the web’s sense of "global community," is what is bringing our world together. "Through the web people are realizing that their community is not alone and there is a sense of connectedness" she said.

However, there are several problems facing this new phenomenon. As the grounds of media are shifting, journalists and the public alike are noticing the need for change. Bingham’s top three worries are financial threats and insecurity from media outlets, low quality work, and the confusing shift from print to Web based news. "The biggest struggle for journalists will be to remain valid" Bingham said.

Kara Barker, ISC sophomore, agrees with the need for change. "I have and always will get my news from the internet. I think it is the most reliable and quick fix for news."

Bingham closed the lecture with a challenge for the future. "We need to lead the way to a new human era."

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