Public Relations

McCarthey Family Foundation Lecture Series: In Praise of Independent Journalism

when the medium is the message

guest lecturers

2006Helen Thomas
2007Arianna Huffington
2008Anderson Cooper
2009Daniel Schorr
2010Ingrid Betancourt
2011Chris Matthews
2012Doris Kearns Goodwin
2013Madeleine K. Albright
2014David Axelrod
2015Bob Costas
2016Tom Brokaw
2017David Remnick
2018Mika Brzezinski & Joe Scarborough
2019Jon Meacham
2020Jane Mayer, Nov. 7, 2020

Essay Competition


Students at colleges and universities in Utah were invited to submit an original essay of 500 words in conjunction with the lecture. The essay competition was established in 2009 to encourage students to reflect upon independent journalism and the vital role it plays in our democracy. The winning essayist received a cash prize of $2500.00 the evening of the lecture.

In 2018, the essay competition expanded to encourage even younger students to begin thinking about the vital role a free press plays in a democracy. High school and junior high school students statewide were invited to consider this issue in order to stimulate greater awareness and interest among our future citizens and leaders.

The winning Utah college/university essay of 1,000 words received a cash prize of $4,000.00.
The winning Utah high school student essay (grades 9-12) of 750 words received a cash prize of $2,500.00.
The winning Utah junior high school student essay (grades 8-10) of 500 words received a cash prize of $1,500.00.

the message

Honoring a commitment initiated by their great-grandfather United States Senator Thomas Kearns, who purchased The Salt Lake Tribune in 1901, and the request of their father, Thomas K. McCarthey, to cultivate a “lasting legacy for an independent press,” today’s trustees have established this public forum. In recognition of the vital role an independent press plays in a democracy, the series sponsors public lectures by and concerning journalists who have demonstrated the highest level of courageous, thoughtful and unbiased reporting.

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