Spring Panels Announced


The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics is proud to announce a fantastic lineup of events for the spring semester. 

The slate opens with a “Digital Threats to Democracy” panel on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The conversation will feature ProPublica’s Andy Kroll, who just published his first book about online conspiracy theories and the murder of political staffer Seth Rich in Washington, D.C.  The program also features UM journalism dean Andrea Hickerson, whose research focuses on Deep Fake technology, and EdgeTheory founder Joe Stradinger, whose company monitors narrative AI interactions across the globe. Overby fellow R.J. Morgan will moderate.. 

“It’s kinda weird to think about, but some of the biggest challenges we face in terms of democracy and free speech didn’t even exist a decade ago,” Morgan said. “All of this semester’s programs sort of speak to that fact, actually.” 

Later in the month (Feb. 22), Mississippi’s chief health officer, Dr. Dan Edney, will headline a panel discussing the state’s new medical marijuana program, its implementation and what might happen with the drug moving forward. Newly-announced Overby fellow Charlie Mitchell will moderate.

“The plan is to present details of the state’s new law allowing medicinal use of a substance that not too long ago people were serving prison sentences for possessing,” Mitchell said. “We will also look at this in practical terms such as eligibility, costs, effectiveness, and what the future may hold. People ‘hear’ a lot about medical marijuana. The panelists will be composed of people who can relate facts.”

OC chairman Charles Overby will moderate the semester’s final panel, “A Pulitzer Turns 40: How Politics and Media Have Changed.” In 1983 Overby and panelist Fred Anklam led the Clarion Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Miss., to its first and only Pulitzer prize for its coverage of Governor William Winter’s Education Reform Act. Forty years later, a different statewide publication, Mississippi Today, is leading a similar charge with their extensive coverage of a still-unfolding welfare scandal, the largest in state history.  Investigative reporter Anna Wolfe and editor Adam Ganucheau will round out the panel to discuss that work. 

All programs are open to the public and begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Overby Center Auditorium on the campus of the University of Mississippi. A generous reception and open bar will follow.