On a Mission  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   June 2002

On a Mission   

Lorraine Branham, a former executive editor of the Tallahassee Democrat, is named director of the University of Texas School of Journalism.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     


Lorraine Branham, a former executive editor of the Tallahassee Democrat who has been assistant to the publisher at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since fall 2000, is named director of the University of Texas School of Journalism in Austin. "I have mixed emotions about leaving daily journalism," says Branham, 48. Recently, she says, she was criticizing a friend for quitting journalism, "bemoaning the fact that yet another African American was leaving the business and how terrible this was. When this [opening] came along I thought, 'Maybe this is an opportunity to serve in another way.' " Branham blames journalism schools in part for low numbers of minorities in newsrooms. She wants to interest more high-school and middle-school students of color in journalism, attract more diverse faculty to give students a broader range of role models and help women develop newsroom leadership skills. Branham held editing jobs at the Baltimore Sun and the Philadelphia Inquirer before becoming editor in Tallahassee in 1996, a difficult stint that ended with her forced resignation in October 1999.

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