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Redskins Name, Integrity of Journalism Discussed at Povich Symposium

Kevin Blackistone, Christine Brennan, Mike Wise headlined UMD event
By Jack Godfrey
Special to ExPress News

ESPN's Kevin Blackistone, USA Today's Christine Brennan, The Washington Post's Mike Wise, The Nation's Dave Zirin and The Diamondback's Daniel Gallen discussed covering hot topics in journalism including the Washington Redskins’ name change, paying NCAA student-athletes and the conflict between journalists and the leagues they cover in front of students, professors and community members Wednesday night at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

A standing-room only crowd at Knight Hall's Eaton Theater came out Wednesday night to listen to a panel discussion titled “Covering the Hot Topic.” The evening's dialogue was hosted by the Shirley Povich Center of Sports Journalism and moderated by Povich Center director George Solomon, the last editor in the legendary career of Washington Post sports writer Shirley Povich.

Brennan, a USA Today columnist and former beat writer for the Redskins, started the conversation regarding the team's controversial moniker by declaring, “That name is awful, isn’t it?” The panelists went on to debate the how and why and when the name would be changed among the other "hot topics" of the sports and sports journalism industry. The event ended with a question and answer session between the panel and the audience where topics of the joys and challenges of being a journalist were discussed.

Zirin summed up the ethical responsibility of a journalist perfectly when he said, “In the end, all you’ve got in this business is integrity.”

The Povich Center for Sports Journalism is headquartered within Knight Hall and hosts a handful of roundtable-styled events annually on the Maryland campus.

The Povich Center will host another symposium event on Nov. 5. when the center hosts a powerhouse discussion about Maryland's blockbuster decision to cede from the Atlantic Coast Conference in favor of the Midwest's Big Ten Conference. The event will be held in the university's Stamp Student Union’s Grand Ballroom. Panelists include Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, Maryland graduates Bonnie Bernstein and Tom McMillian and ESPN's Scott Van Pelt.

Maury Povich, son of Shirley Povich, will moderated the evening's discussion. The Nov. 5 event preview page is found here.

—Thanks for Povich Center coordinator Beth Mechum for provided ExPress News this story

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