Knight Foundation adviser to deliver keynote at J Days Honor Convocation

Eric Newton, Senior adviser to the president of the Knight FoundationEric Newton, senior adviser to the president of the Knight Foundation, will deliver the Seline Memorial Lecture at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications' annual honors convocation April 7.

The Seline family established the Seline Memorial Lecture fund in memory of their parents to support an annual lecture at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The fund recognizes S. Allen and Kathleen D. Seline for the years they devoted to helping the young people of Nebraska.

J Days celebrates the accomplishments of CoJMC students and faculty during its annual celebration held April 4-8. During the convocation, the college will induct students in to the journalism honor society, Kappa Tau Alpha, and will recognize students who made the Dean's honor roll and university honors. In addition, scholarship recipients and those who won competitions will be recognized at the same time. The college will also present two special awards: The Will and Susan Norton Award for International Journalism to Joel Sartore of Lincoln, Neb., and the Dean's Award for Outstanding Service to Sarah Lahr. Sartore graduated from UNL in 1985 and Lahr in 1938.

Eric Newton is senior adviser to the president of the Knight Foundation where he has developed more than $300 million in grants to advance quality journalism, freedom of expression and media innovation worldwide. He joined the Knight Foundation, headquartered in Miami, Fla., in 2001, first as journalism program director, then as journalism program vice president.

His grants, supporting hundreds of key organizations and ongoing projects, include, News University, seven Knight Chairs in Journalism, the Knight News Challenge, the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities and the Carnegie-Knight Initiative for the Future of Journalism Education.

Prior to joining the Knight Foundation, Newton worked in radio, television and digital media. He was a founding managing editor of the Newseum, the world's first museum of news; a co-founder of the First Amendment Project, a program to advance freedom of information; and founder of a journalism funders group to advance journalism and media grant making. Newton was managing editor at the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune, which has won 150 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer Prize. Newton has been a Pulitzer juror four times and has taught journalism at all levels.

Newton is the author and editor of a dozen books, including "Crusaders, Scoundrels, Journalists," "Capture the Moment," "Mega Media," "News, Improved," and "News in a New America."

Newton's honors include a Peabody Award for "Mosaic: World News From the Middle East," a daily compilation of television news reports from the Middle East; the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award from the University of Texas at Austin, for service to the field of communications; and the First Amendment Award from the Radio and Television Digital News Foundation for helping create Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote the public's right to know what its government is doing and why. Newton received a distinguished alumnus award from San Francisco State University and was named a Rotary International Scholar while he was studying at the University of Birmingham, England.

Newton is a board member of IREX, a leading nonprofit working with international education and media projects, and serves on the advisory board of the Center for International Media Assistance, an initiative of the National Endowment for Democracy. He recently served on the mass media working group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.

Newton holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from San Francisco State University and a master of arts from the University of Birmingham, England.

Joel SartoreJoel Sartore, of Lincoln, Neb., is a renowned photojournalist, contributing to National Geographic Magazine, Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and numerous book projects. His 20 years with the National Geographic Society has allowed him to cover diverse topics from the Amazon rain forest to beer drinking and firefighters in the United Kingdom.

Sartore's books include "Photographing your Family," "Face to Face with Grizzlies," "Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky" and "Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species." He is an active conservationist, especially in the Great Plains and Nebraska, where he grew up and currently still lives. Sartore co-founded the Grassland Foundation and is a founding member of he International League of Conservation Photogrphers.

In addition to his contributions to several magazines, Sartore's work has been the subject of several national broadcasts including National Geographic's Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 and an hour-long PBS documentary. He also regularly contributes to the CBS Monday Morning Show with Charles Osgood.

Sarah LahrSarah Lahr knows the importance of investing in people. Her reward is gratitude and love from the people she helps. She has created the Sarah Lahr Educational Fund provides support to her alma mater, UNL. A board of trustees helps her determine the best way to allocate the funds including scholarships in her father's name to students in the Law College; support for the International Quilt Study Center and Hillestad Gallery in the Textiles Department; and a J school depth report about quilting. Her most recent donation has enabled the journalism college to establish its own bureau for the ABC News' ABC On Campus program. She is a 1938 graduate with a degree in journalism and graphic arts.