Al Tompkins, Broadcast/Online Supervisor at the prestigious Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla, and a member of Belmont University’s New Century Journalism Advisory Board addressed legal and ethical issues facing journalists during Monday’s meeting of Professor Thom Storey’s First Amendment Law class. Tompkins was joined on the panel by two other members of the program’s advisory board – Lorrie Grant, senior retail and business reporter for USA Today (center), and Michelle Williams, Executive Director for the Texas Associate Press. (Click image to expand photo.)
Tompkins writes and teaches about trends in media convergence. He focuses on writing, producing, storytelling, ethics and leadership in broadcast newsrooms. He is winner of more than 100 journalism awards, including a 1999 Clarion Award for co-producing Saving Stefani an hour-long documentary for Dateline NBC.
Grant is a veteran retail reporter for the Money section of USA Today. She has been with the Gannett owned paper since 1997. In 1998, she was among a select number of journalists who participated in the Case Media Fellowship on Business Reporting at Vanderbilt University. She started her reporting career in 1988 at Reuters. While at Reuters, she covered financial news and was promoted to bureau chief in Charlotte, N.C.
Williams, a Belmont journalism graduate, manages the AP’s largest U.S. operation under one new editor, which includes 46 reporters, editors and photographers in eight Texas bureau and a regional bureau in Washington, D.C. The Texas AP now engages in muli-platform reporting at all bureaus. In 2005 she directed coverage of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the indictment of House Majority Leader Tom Delay, the nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court, the trials of Texas soldiers accused in the Abu Graib prison abuse scandal and NASA’s first shuttle launch since the Columbia disaster.