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Journalist-in-residence Smith arrives on campus

Jennifer Metz | Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Terence Smith was on campus last year for a lecture named after his father, the famous sports writer Red Smith. Today, Terence Smith is back at Notre Dame because of his own accomplishments.

Smith, this year’s Gallivan Program for Journalism, Ethics and Democracy’s journalist-in-residence, will appear at several functions today and this week in the first of two weeks Smith will spend at Notre Dame this year.

After graduating from Notre Dame in 1960, Smith spent 20 years as a national and foreign correspondent for The New York Times, and 13 years at CBS News. Currently, Smith a special correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Smith came back to Notre Dame last spring for the annual Red Smith Lecture, which was given by Ken Auletta, media correspondent for The New Yorker. At the time, Smith said, he spoke with University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh, who suggested that Smith return to campus for more than the weekend.

The journalist-in-residence program is planned for two weeks but due to scheduling problems, his second week will take place in the spring.

So far, Smith said, his experience on campus has been enjoyable, but he “hope[s] to get a little more time with students … [to] do a little more listening than talking.”

His itinerary for the week includes sitting in on classes with American Studies professors Richard Ciccone and Robert Schmuhl, director of the Gallivan program. Smith also visited the South Bend Tribune offices Tuesday afternoon, where he met with members of the editorial staff.

As part of the program, Smith spoke to journalism students Tuesday in O’Shaughnessy Hall along with Schmuhl and American Studies Professor Matt Storin about the future of print journalism and opportunities for internships in the field.

Smith discussed the general decline in demand for print publications, which has accelerated over the past few years. The decrease has been most striking, he said, in big city newspapers, like the Los Angeles Times, with declines of up to eight percent in the last six months.

“Earth to editors,” Smith said. “There’s a message there.”

The trouble is in the industry itself, he said, which is experiencing a break between media outlets and their audience.

That doesn’t mean all hope for young journalists is lost.

Interest in journalism as a field of study is increasing, Smith said, which is “encouraging.”

“Journalism will be there as a front row seat to the world,” he said, “offering a chance to influence others through information.”