Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Smith to speak at First Amendment Days


AMES, Iowa – Glenn Smith, who was part of the four-person team that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for public service, will be the keynote speaker during the Greenlee School’s 15th-annual First Amendment Days celebration Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Smith is the Watchdog/Public Service editor for The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. He will speak about the vital role of the First Amendment in community journalism to expose lies, shed light on injustices and give a voice to the downtrodden.

Smith and three other reporters for The Poster and Courier wrote a seven-part series on domestic violence in South Carolina titled, “Till Death Do Us Part.” This report led lawmakers in South Carolina to push for stronger domestic abuse laws.

Smith’s visit to Greenlee is made possible through the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Visiting Professor in Social Media program. The initiative, jointly sponsored by Scripps Howard and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), is a competitive ‘exchange program,’ in which six journalism professors are nationally selected for participation. In the first phase of the program, Greenlee Assistant Professor Jan Lauren Boyles spent two weeks at The Post and Courier newsroom in Charleston, S.C., last summer. In the second phase of the program, Smith has spent this week on campus visiting classes, partnering with student media and talking with faculty.

Boyles said Smith can speak with students about the importance of journalism at the grassroots level.

“It’s important for students to think about stories beyond the walls of ISU, and the larger impact they can have,” Boyles said.

Smith’s speech is one of many First Amendment Days events taking place Wednesday, April 19 through Thursday, April 20.