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Former New York Times executive editor to speak at UF


Howell Raines, former executive editor of the New York Times, will speak at UF in the Bob Graham Center for Public Service in  Pugh Hall at 6 p.m.

Raines is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who became executive editor five days before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mike Foley, master lecturer of journalism at UF, will interview Raines on various topics.

“The quality of the interview is often times determined by the quality of the interviewer, so we’re very excited to have Mike doing the interview this evening,” said Shelby Taylor, digital communications director for the Bob Graham Center.

She said Raines would probably speak about his experience on Sept. 11, 2001 and the Jayson Blair scandal that led to his dismissal. Thirty-six of the 73 national stories Blair wrote for the Times were found to have been plagiarized or faked.

“We’d like to hear what he has to say about the past, present and future of journalism, particularly the lack of investigative journalism that is currently happening in newspapers,” Taylor said.

Raines began working for the New York Times in 1978 as a national correspondent. He held various positions until 1993 when he became the paper’s editorial page editor, a position he held for eight years.

“He was coming in to refresh and renew the image of the New York Times and get notice of the public,” Taylor said. “I think he was successful in doing that by being more aggressive in his editorial style.”

Raines served as executive editor until May 2003. The event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by The Hugh Cunningham Professorship in Journalism Excellence and the College of Journalism and Communications.

It will be streamed live online at www.bobgrahamcenter.ufl.edu.

Michelle Plitnikas wrote this story online.

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