Award-Winning Reporter, News Executive Mizell Stewart III to Deliver Third Annual Dix Media Ethics Lecture: ‘Journalism as a Civic Good’

One of the more critical issues facing media professionals today, according to award-winning newsroom executive and reporter Mizell Stewart III, is the market failure of independent, non-partisan, fact-based journalism.

Stewart will discuss that topic and more at Kent State University as the keynote speaker for the David and Janet Dix Lecture in Media Ethics, returning this spring following a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The School of Media and Journalism will host the lecture, "Journalism as a Civic Good," at 7 p.m. on March 1, 2023, in Franklin Hall’s First Energy Auditorium (Room 340).

“The market failure of independent, non-partisan, fact-based journalism as it came to be practiced in the late 20th and early 21st centuries is the greatest ethical challenge facing our profession," said Stewart. "Addressing this dilemma gives us a great opportunity to redefine accountability journalism as a civic good, not a subscription-based luxury."

The signature lecture series was launched in 2018 with an endowment gift of $100,000 from David and Janet Dix, to bring nationally recognized figures discussing critical issues in media ethics to Kent State — further enhancing MDJ’s national reputation as a leader in the field. Past guests include Eric Deggans (NPR) and Brian Stelter (formerly CNN).

In 2019, David Dix said:

“We need a strong press and media that reports the news and acts as a watchdog for the American people and keeps our democracy functioning as it should. The role of ethics in accomplishing this is very important.”

The event will be streamed below:


This year’s speaker, Stewart, is now President and CEO of Emerging Leaders LLC, a leadership development consulting firm working with national media organizations and local start-ups in the United States and Canada. Previously, he was the Vice President of News Performance, Talent & Partnerships for Gannett and the USA TODAY Network. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, where he was the founding co-director of the Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media.

"Mizell Stewart is a longtime media professional who will be sharing insights from his career and the importance of ethics in everything that media professionals do," says Emily Metzgar, Ph.D., Director of the School of Media and Journalism. "Although his experience has been in the journalism space in particular, we know that his insights about the importance of ethics will be valuable for students in all of the areas of study across our school."

A four-time Pulitzer Prize juror, Stewart helped lead the team at The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. that won the 2006 Pulitzer Gold Medal in Public Service for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Stewart is a journalism graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he is now a member of the Board of Trustees. He completed the Advanced Executive Program, a joint program of the Kellogg School of Business and the Medill School of Journalism, at Northwestern University and earned a master’s degree in Executive Leadership and Organizational Change from Northern Kentucky University. In addition to BGSU, Stewart serves on the boards of the National Trust for Local News, Public Agenda, the National Press Club Journalism Institute and Journalism Funding Partners and is a member of advisory boards for PBS Frontline and Report for America.

David Dix is the retired publisher of Record Publishing, a division of Dix 1898, a media company founded by Emmett Dix in 1898. The Dix family has a long history of supporting Kent State; David’s father, Robert, served the Board of Trustees for 32 years, and his mother, Helen, was one of the first female editors of the Daily Kent Stater. David served as a Kent State University trustee from 1976 to 1985. Janet Dix is a counseling psychologist at Western Reserve Psychological Associates. She received her bachelor’s degree in English, her master’s degree in higher education and her doctorate in counseling psychology —all from Kent State University.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 14, 2023 08:53 AM
Updated: Monday, March 6, 2023 02:44 PM