Stephen B. Shepard, the first dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, accepted the Society of Professional Journalists’ highest professional honor, a Fellow of the Society, on Sept. 9th.
In his speech, Shepard addressed concerns about the public’s eroding trust in the media and how “many people believe that the mainstream news media is elitist.” He stressed the urgent need for more diverse voices and perspectives in U.S. newsrooms and journalism schools.
“Our profession must find a better way to cover Middle America, blue-collar America, working-class America – whatever you want to call it,” said Shepard. “We needed to widen our gaze, hire more reporters from diverse economic and geographic backgrounds, and change whatever elite attitudes exist in our newsrooms.”
During his long career in magazines, Shepard served as senior editor of Newsweek, editor of Saturday Review, and editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek from 1984 to 2005.
From 1992 to 1994, he was president of the American Society of Magazine Editors. He is the author of a journalistic memoir published in 2012: “Deadlines and Disruption: My Turbulent Path from Print to Digital.”