Columbia, Mo. (Oct. 24, 2008) — The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) honored two Missouri School of Journalism alumni and one faculty member at the 2008 Faculty-Alumni Awards during a ceremony on campus on Oct. 10.
Among the 17 University of Missouri alumni and faculty who received awards this year are Russ Mitchell, BJ ’82, a broadcast anchor and correspondent for CBS News; Jean Gaddy Wilson, BJ ’66, a retired professor, founder, and leader of several international media companies and trade organizations; and Charles N. Davis, professor and executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.
For more than 40 years, MAA has recognized distinguished MU faculty and alumni and their contributions that promote the best interests of the University.
The 2008 winners from the School of Journalism are:
Charles N. Davis is executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, an alliance of citizen-driven nonprofit freedom of information organizations, academic and First Amendment centers, journalistic societies and attorneys that works to ensure everyone’s right to information. He teaches nearly 300 students each semester in his Principles of American Journalism course, a cornerstone course for all Missouri Journalism students. Davis’ research explores access to governmental information, new media law, intellectual property and online libel. “Access Denied: Freedom of Information in the Information Age” is one of many of his published works of research. Davis is adviser to the Mizzou chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which he helped expand to become the largest and most active student chapter in the country. SPJ has honored Davis with two awards: the Sunshine Award for Freedom of Information in 1999 and the David K. Eshelman Chapter Adviser Award in 2001. MU has also recognized Davis by granting him the Excellence in Education Award in 2003 and the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching in 2001. In 2003 he was inducted into the MU chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society.
Russ Mitchell, BJ ’82, has contributed to almost every CBS News program since he joined the network in 1992. He is a correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, an anchor of The Early Show and an anchor for CBS Evening News Sunday Edition. He reported from Florida on the devastation and aftermath of Hurricane Frances in 2004 and co-anchored special coverage of the Columbia shuttle disaster with Dan Rather. In 1994 Mitchell covered the U.S. military operation in Haiti. His reporting has taken him all over the world, including Russia, Chile, Bosnia, Indonesia and France. Sigma Delta Chi awarded him in 2001 for spot-news coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case. He has won three Emmys, two National Headliner Awards and a National Association of Black Journalists News Award. Mitchell won best reporter honors from the Missouri United Press International. In 2007, the School awarded him a Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.
Jean Gaddy Wilson, BJ ’66, is a media visionary who has led national and international media executives, companies and trade organizations to create successful strategies for journalism’s future. The news think tank Wilson founded and directed, New Directions for News, initiated the first commercial online newspaper. Her Web site was one of the first 10,000 to appear in the early 1990’s. From the mid-1980’s, Wilson’s quarterly roundtables provided media executives ways to cope with how the Internet would revolutionize the media business. She contributed heavily to the creation of four national organizations: Council of Presidents for executives of journalism-related organizations, the National Women in Media Collection, Journalism and Women’s Symposium and the International Women’s Media Foundation. After retiring in 2000 from the School where she was an adjunct professor, Wilson began and continues to provide media representation to Fortune 500 companies with Weiner, Edrich, Brown Inc. in New York City.
Updated: April 30, 2020