Elizabeth Spayd, the first female managing editor in the long history of the Washington Post, is the keynote speaker at the Third Annual CSU Media Festival, sponsored by Colorado State University’s Department of Journalism and Technical Communication.
The Sept. 9 festival includes a day-long gathering of journalists, media producers, and students to discuss a variety of topics, including sports television, branding, agricultural media, advertising, environmental and health reporting, radio, photography and the evolving field of journalism. Also included is the 120th birthday celebration for the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the student-run campus newspaper. A separate showcase of select adventure, comedy and music-oriented media entries is scheduled for 6 pm, Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Behaviorial Sciences Building, room 131.
Spayd, who graduated from CSU in 1981 with a degree in technical journalism, has spent the past 30 years working in the newspaper industry. She joined the Washington Post in 1988 as an assistant business editor and held various posts within the company before being named editor of washingtonpost.com, the newspaper’s online presence, in 2007.
Spayd, 50, was named managing editor in 2009 of the Post’s hard-news sections. Career highlights include managing the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks. The Post won three other Pulitzers while Spayd worked on the national desk.
“Liz Spayd arguably has one of the most important jobs in the entire field of journalism, which is especially critical in the arena of American politics,” said Greg Luft, chairman of CSU’s Department of Journalism and Technical Communication. “It’s worth noting that her career started at the Rocky Mountain Collegian.”
Spayd, who worked for the Collegian during her time at CSU, will deliver her keynote lecture, “Not Your Father’s Washington Post,” at 1 p.m. in the Behavioral Sciences Building, room 131.
All panels and events are free and open to the public. All panel discussions will be held at CSU’s Lory Student Center. For information, contact Greg Luft (970-491-1979 office, 970-219-9408 cell) or Joe Champ, (970 491-3286 office, 970-391-4938 cell).
About CSU’s Department of Journalism and Technical Journalism
The Department of Journalism and Technical Communication is a competitive major, meaning that students must meet competitive admission requirements. Applications to join the program were up 20 percent in 2011.
The fully accredited program prepares students for careers in traditional and online journalism, including newspapers, television, radio, public relations and specialized communication. A new curriculum, developed over the past two years to meet the changing tides of journalism, was implemented this fall.
The department works closely with the independent Rocky Mountain Student Media Corp., which offers opportunities for more than 300 students each year working for the Rocky Mountain Collegian, Campus Television (CTV), KCSU-FM radio station and College Avenue magazine.
The department hosts student chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Relations Student Society of America. CSU also hosts Colorado High School Journalism Day each October, drawing more than 1,500 students and advisors to campus for a day of workshops and activities designed to encourage careers in media.