Pam Johnson Named First Executive Director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at Missouri

Columbia, Mo. (Oct. 25, 2004) — Pam Johnson will be the first executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, Dean Mills, dean, announced today. She will begin her responsibilities on Nov. 15.

Pam Johnson
Pam Johnson

“We are delighted we could persuade Pam Johnson to lead the Reynolds Institute. She has a unique set of strengths that make her ideal for the job,” Mills said. “She’s been a leader in the industry, a leader in the journalism profession and a leader in the training of journalists. We’re confident she’ll help us build a program that will strengthen journalism around the world.”

Johnson will oversee the Institute’s three areas of emphasis: the Fellows and faculty projects aimed at improving the practice and understanding of journalism, the experiments using new technologies for journalism and advertising, and the forums, workshops, lectures and other programs in which journalists, citizens and academics work together to strengthen the quality of journalism in democratic societies.

“I’m eager to get to Missouri and begin to assemble the Institute alongside Dean Mills, the faculty and the students,” Johnson said. “The Institute’s vision is ambitious and vital. It aims both to challenge and celebrate journalism. It values the public’s voice. It reaches throughout the news industry for partners and expertise. There may not be a building yet, but the work of the Reynolds Institute is well underway.”

Johnson has been a member of the Leadership Faculty at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies since 2001. Previously she served in executive and managing editor positions at The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette and as assistant managing editor at The Kansas City Star. Johnson also worked at The Joplin Globe and the Binghamton (NY) Evening Press.

Johnson has served as president of the Associated Press Managing Editors, as a Pulitzer juror and as a judge for the American Society of Newspaper Editors Best Writing Awards contest. She has served on numerous boards including ASNE, APME, the Freedom Forum Pacific Coast Center, Investigative Reporters and Editors, The Foundation for American Communications and the Missourian Publishing Association. Johnson is a founder of the Journalism and Women’s Symposium, a group formed to help women in newspapers through networking.

A 1969 journalism graduate of the University of Missouri, Johnson was awarded the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 2000. She shared the 1982 Pulitzer Prize that was awarded to The Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times for coverage of the Hyatt Hotel skywalks collapse.

Earlier this year, the school announced a $31 million gift from The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for the creation of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. The award is the largest private donation ever to the University of Missouri.

A new building to house the Reynolds Journalism Institute will open in 2007. Facilities will include a public reception and exhibition area, a 120-seat forum equipped as a broadcast-quality television studio, the Journalism Futures Laboratory, the Technology Demonstration Center, multimedia editing stations, seminar rooms and offices for visiting professionals and scholars.

The School of Journalism, the first in the world, will celebrate its centennial in 2008.

About the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by Mr. Reynolds. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is one of the 50 largest private foundations in the United States.

Updated: March 31, 2020

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