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Emory hosts journalism panel to kick off Decatur Book Festival

National Public Radio host Brooke Gladstone (pictured) joins Carolyn Ryan, an editor with the New York Times, and Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the Washington Post, for "Journalism in Our Current Environment," the Sept. 1 keynote event for the Decatur Book Festival. Tickets will be available starting Aug. 8. Photo by NPR.

The role of journalism in today’s ever-changing world takes center stage at Emory on Sept. 1 to open the 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (DBF), the largest independent book festival in the country.

Tickets for "Journalism in Our Current Environment" will be available to the public starting at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 8. The event, slated for Friday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m. in Emory's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, features a panel of renowned reporters and editors 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. 

Participants include National Public Radio host Brooke Gladstone; Carolyn Ryan, an editor with the New York Times; and Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the Washington Post. Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will serve as moderator.

“Journalism has played an incredibly important role in our nation’s history, and continues to do so in this new environment,” said Daren Wang, DBF founder and executive director. “One of our goals is to celebrate writing that has an impact, so the topic fits perfectly and sets a tone for this year’s programming.”

Gladstone is the co-host of the Peabody Award-winning radio show and podcast “On the Media” from WNYC Studios, heard weekly by 1.2 million listeners via more than 420 NPR affiliate stations. Gladstone also will speak in a separate session about her new book “The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time.”

In early 2017, Ryan was named assistant editor in charge of recruitment for the New York Times. Before being moved into her new position, she led the Times' political coverage during the 2016 presidential election. Ryan also served as Washington bureau chief after helping run its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Lowery, who covers law enforcement and justice for the Washington Post, led the paper’s coverage of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Black Lives Matter protest movement. As part of the festival, Lowery will discuss his book “They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of the Struggle for Black Lives.” Lowery’s work also has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Tickets for the DBF keynote are required but free and limited to two per person. Tickets will be available beginning at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Attendees may pick up tickets by visiting the Arts at Emory Box Office at 1700 North Decatur Road, Suite 251. Box Office hours are 12-6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Tickets also may be obtained by calling the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050 or online at Phone and online orders include a $4 processing fee. 

A limited number of keynote tickets will be available at A Cappella Books, Charis Books & More, Eagle Eye Books, Tall Tales Books and Little Shop of Stories.

Emory authors at the festival

Following the Friday night keynote event at Emory, the Decatur Book Festival continues Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3, on stages throughout downtown Decatur.

Emory is a major sponsor of the Labor Day Weekend festival, which draws tens of thousands from metro Atlanta and beyond to share the historic Decatur Square with world-class authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and booksellers for a weekend filled with literature, music, food and fun.

As in years past, Emory faculty and staff members will be well-represented in the lineup. Those currently scheduled to offer readings or participate in panel discussions during the festival include the following:

  • Arya Basu, visual information specialist, Emory Center for Digital Scholarship
  • Jericho Brown, associate professor of English and creative writing, author of "The New Testament"
  • Robert J. Davis, visiting instructor, Rollins School of Public Health, author of "Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day"
  • Clinton Fluker, outreach coordinator, Emory Center for Digital Scholarship
  • Randy Gue, curator of modern political and historical collections, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
  • Jim Grimsley, professor of practice, English and creative writing, author of "How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood"
  • Hank Klibanoff, professor of practice, English and creative writing, author of "The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation"
  • Daniel LaChance, assistant professor of history, author of "Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States"
  • Michael Lucker, screenwriting adjunct faculty, English and Creative Writing, author of "Crash! Boom! Bang!: How to Write Action Movies"
  • Marie Marquardt, scholar in residence, Candler School of Theology, author of "The Radius of Us"
  • Anthony J. Martin, professor of practice, environmental sciences, author of "The Evolution Underground"
  • Pellom McDaniels III, curator of African American collections, Rose Library, author of "Porter, Steward, Citizen: An African American’s Memoir of World War I"
  • Janet Metzger, adjunct professor of law, audiobook narrator
  • Stacia Pelletier, director of development, Health Sciences, author of "The Half Wives"
  • Benjamin Reiss, professor of English, author of "Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World"
  • Megan Slemons, geospatial data librarian, Emory Center for Digital Scholarship 

The full festival programming schedule, along with special events, is now available on the DBF website.

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