Loren Ghiglione, a veteran of four decades in journalism and journalism education, teaches global journalism and media history.
Born in New York City, he attended McBurney School in Manhattan and received his B.A. in history and English from Haverford (PA) College. There he served as editor of the student newspaper and won a Newspaper Fund Fellowship to intern at the Claremont (CA) Courier. After graduating from Haverford in May 1963, he interned that summer as a reporter at The Washington Post.
In 1966, Ghiglione earned a Master of Urban Studies and J.D. from Yale, where he had helped start the Southern Teaching Program in 1964. The program recruited graduate students at Yale, Columbia and other universities to teach summer school at historically black colleges and universities in the South so that faculty members of color there could spend that summer, with foundation support, studying for advanced degrees. Yale Law School awarded him an Irving M. Engel Fund Fellowship to undertake a research project in Louisiana in summer 1965. His book-length study of the case of Edgar Labat and Alton Poret, who served 14 years on death row at Louisiana State Penitentiary before gaining their freedom, won second-place in Yale Law School’s Benjamin Sharps Prize competition (“most meritorious essay or research” by a third-year student).
Upon graduation from Yale, Ghiglione was awarded a year-long Congressional Fellowship and worked in Washington, D.C., on the staffs of Representative Frank Thompson (D-NJ) and Senator Robert Kennedy (D-NY). Growing out of his work in Congress, he joined the planning staff of a new federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and, on the side, took courses at George Washington University toward a Ph.D. in American civilization, which he received in 1976.
Ghiglione purchased the Southbridge (MA) Evening News in 1969, becoming, at age 28, one of the youngest editor/owners of a daily newspaper in the United States. He put out the News and ran its parent company, Worcester County Newspapers, for 26 years. During that period he won more than two dozen regional and national awards for reporting, editorial and column writing, community service and diversity initiatives. He chaired the diversity committee of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, served on the diversity committee of the Newspaper Association of America and founded the Task Force on Minorities in the Newspaper Business. He received national awards from the Asian American Journalists Association, National Conference of Editorial Writers, National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Multicultural Media Executives.
Ghiglione was active in efforts to encourage the press to be more self-critical, participating as a founding officer in the deliberations of the National News Council, initiating an ombudsman’s column and conducting daily accuracy checks at his newspaper, teaching media evaluation and ethics at the University of Massachusetts and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, serving on the editorial advisory board of “Inside Story” (a public television series on the press), and, assisted by a $70,000 Markle Foundation grant, directing a year-long study of New England’s 106 daily newspapers. The book that resulted from that study, Evaluating the Press, won a national Sigma Delta Chi Award for research about journalism. A column he wrote critical of newspapers’ reporting of suicides and his book The Buying and Selling of America’s Newspapers won special citations in 1986 and 1993 in Lowell Mellett Award for Improving Journalism Through Critical Evaluation competitions.
Ghiglione also authored, edited or co-edited five other books on journalism, contributed chapters or prefaces to 19 more books, served as a Pulitzer Prize juror four times, guest-curated a 1990 Library of Congress exhibit on the American journalist and wrote the accompanying history book, The American Journalist: Paradox of the Press. He was elected president of the New England Press Association, the New England Society of Newspaper Editors and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. As ASNE president in 1989-1990, he established journalism history and disabilities committees, pushed for greater inclusivity throughout the news industry and initiated a groundbreaking study of gays and lesbians in America’s newsrooms.
Haverford College presented Ghiglione with its Haverford Award in 1974 (“to alumni who best reflect the uses to which its students put their knowledge, humanity, initiative and individuality”). The New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists gave him its highest award for leadership in journalism, the Yankee Quill Award, in 1976. The New England Press Association presented him with its Horace Greeley Award (“excellence, dedication, courage and outstanding effectiveness in serving the public interest”) in 1985. He received a Reuters Foundation Fellowship to Oxford University and fellowships to the Media Studies Center at Columbia University and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1980, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1985 and a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1991.
Ghiglione left the newspaper business in 1995. Drawing on his interest in journalism history, he served the following year as a consultant to the Freedom Forum on its creation of The Newseum, a museum of news in Washington, D.C. He joined the faculty of Emory University in 1996 as its inaugural James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism. He restarted and directed Emory’s journalism program, which had been terminated by the university four decades earlier.
For his efforts at Emory, including the introduction of a reporting program for Emory students in South Africa, Ghiglione was awarded the William David Sloan/Byron St. Dizier Outstanding Journalism Educator Award at the 1999 Southeast Journalism Conference. That year he moved to the University of Southern California to direct its Annenberg School of Journalism and in 2001 began a five-year term as dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He was the inaugural Richard A. Schwarzlose Professor of Media Ethics at Medill in 2007 - 2010 He was elected by the deans and directors of U.S. journalism and mass communication schools to serve as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2006-07.
CBS’s Don Hollenbeck: An Honest Reporter in the Age of McCarthyism (Columbia University Press), Ghiglione’s biography of a talented but tormented CBS correspondent who committed suicide, and Radio’s Revolution: Don Hollenbeck’s CBS Views the Press (University of Nebraska Press), his collection of Hollenbeck’s pioneering radio broadcasts of press criticism, were published in 2008. Walter Cronkite, Ted Koppel, Bob Schieffer and other broadcast veterans applauded the Hollenbeck biography. Koppel praised “this wonderful and elegantly written book.” Schieffer described it as “a skillfully written, meticulously researched account of a real-life tragedy that reads like a fast-paced crime novel.” Equally enthusiastic were pre-publication reviews by such services as Booklist (“engrossing biography”), Kirkus Reviews (“well-written and clear-eyed portrait of a crusading newsman”) and Library Journal. The reviewer for Library Journal concluded: “Ghiglione’s attention to detail and use of numerous personal interviews make this both a compelling biography and a rich contextual history of the McCarthy era. Highly recommended.”
Ghiglione currently is completing a book about the dramatic changes in digital-age journalism, as viewed through the prism of speculative fiction about the future. Elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, he served as contributing editor of an edition of the Academy’s Daedalus journal devoted to “The Future of News in America.”
Ghiglione writes book reviews and articles for journalism publications, scholarly journals, law reviews and newspapers, advises Medill’s student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and serves on the advisory boards of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, The Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook (NY) University and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. He appears occasionally as a guest on “Nightline,” “On the Media,” “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” “The Bob Edwards Show,” “The Tavis Smiley Show,” “The Abrams Report,” “The Jesse Jackson Show,” “Talk of the Nation” and other radio and television programs.
Ghiglione and his wife of 42 years, Nancy, have two daughters, Jessica Ghiglione and Laura MacMillan, and two grandchildren, Emily and Matthew MacMillan. He can be reached at 847-491-4837 and firstname.lastname@example.org.