Wednesday, January 30, 8 a.m.
“THE FLOOD OF THE CENTURY”
Overby Fellow Bill Rose and his students tell how they traveled from Memphis to New Orleans to investigate the Mississippi River’s Great Flood of 2011 and to determine how close we came to disaster. Their study has been published in the latest edition in the award-winning “depths report” series by the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. (Co-sponsored by Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College)
Friday, February 22, 1 p.m.
“A COURAGEOUS COMMITMENT”
Fifty years after a mob attacked a biracial group challenging segregation at a sit-in at Woolworth’s in Jackson, the event will be recalled in a panel discussion about a new book and a documentary being shown at the Oxford Film Festival that touches on the role of a handful of whites in Mississippi who dared to join blacks in the movement.
Tuesday, March 26, 4:30 p.m.
A special showing of Lisa Biagotti’s powerful new documentary on HIV in the Mississippi Delta followed by a panel discussion on the issue. (Co-sponsored by the Isom Center at Ole Miss in connection with Women’s History Month.)
Friday, April 5, 5 p.m.
“REMEMBERING MEDGAR EVERS”
In connection with a 50th anniversary observance celebrating the life and work of the Mississippi civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1963, family members and friends take part in a discussion of Evers’ legacy.
Wednesday, April 10, 8 a.m.
“THE FUTURE OF FORBES”
Lewis DVorkin, chief product manager of Forbes Media, tells how he turned Forbes.com into a global media platform and shares his thoughts on how to blow up a traditional approach to journalism and
create a different course for the news industry.
Tuesday, April 23, 6 p.m.
“NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER”
Stuart Stevens, who got his start in Mississippi politics in the 1970s and rose to the top level -- managing Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign -- returns to the state to talk about the dynamics, pitfalls and strategy of the contest.
All programs will be held in the Overby Center Auditorium. There is no admission and the public
is invited to attend.
TODAY'S FRONT PAGES
FROM THE SOUTH
The Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics’ mission is to create better understanding of the media, politicians and the role of the First Amendment in our democracy. The Center is funded through a $5 million grant from the Freedom Forum, a foundation dedicated to educating people about the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.
The Overby Center features programs, multimedia displays and writings which examine the complex relationships between the media and politicians - past, present and future. The Overby Center pays special attention to Southern perspectives.
Adjacent to the newly renovated journalism department facility at Farley Hall, the Overby Center is a new building that features 16,000 square feet of conference space. It includes a 225-seat auditorium, a multipurpose conference room that will accommodate 100 people for seminars and dinners, and a boardroom seating up to 24 people.
The center has state-of-the-art technology and video throughout the building, including a news wall with nine large-screen TV monitors for showing live news programs and current front pages from 12 Southern states.
"We expect to be able to take advantage of the technology and the content at the Newseum," said Overby, who is CEO of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. It is the world's most interactive museum and focuses on the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. It opened in 2008.
The center is named for Charles L. Overby, editor of the Daily Mississippian at Ole Miss from 1967-1968. Overby has been the CEO of the Freedom Forum since 1989 and CEO of the Newseum since its inception in 1996.
Overby Center Auditorium
“Over the past four decades no reporter has critiqued the American South with such evocative sensitivity and bedrock honesty as Curtis Wilkie.”
The Fall of the House of Zeus tells the story of Dickie Scruggs, arguably the most successful plaintiff's lawyer in America. A brother-in-law of Trent Lott, the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Scruggs made a fortune taking on mass tort lawsuits against “Big Tobacco” and the asbestos industries. He was hailed by Newsweek as a latter day Robin Hood, and portrayed in the movie, The Insider, as a dapper aviator-lawyer. Scruggs’ legal triumphs rewarded him lavishly, and his success emboldened both his career maneuvering and his influence in Southern politics—but at a terrible cost, culminating in his spectacular fall, when he was convicted for conspiring to bribe a Mississippi state judge.
Here Mississippi is emblematic of the modern South, with its influx of new money and its rising professional class, including lawyers such as Scruggs, whose interests became inextricably entwined with state and national politics.
Based on extensive interviews, transcripts, and FBI recordings never made public, The Fall of the House of Zeus exposes the dark side of Southern and Washington legal games and power politics: the swirl of fixed cases, blocked investigations, judicial tampering, and a zealous prosecution that would eventually ensnare not only Scruggs but his own son, Zach, in the midst of their struggle with insurance companies over Hurricane Katrina damages. In gripping detail, Curtis Wilkie crafts an authentic legal thriller propelled by a “welter of betrayals and personal hatreds,” providing large supporting parts for Trent Lott and Jim Biden, brother of then-Senator Joe, and cameos by John McCain, Al Gore, and other DC insiders and influence peddlers. Above all, we get to see how and why the mighty fail and fall, a story as gripping and timeless as a Greek tragedy.
- Random House, Inc.