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Journalism Faculty to be Honored at National College Media Convention

Sep-27-2011


James Tidwell
James Tidwell

Lola Burnham
Lola Burnham

Two Eastern Illinois University journalism professors will be honored at the 90th Annual National College Media Convention in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 26-30.

James Tidwell, chair of the department, will be inducted into the College Media Advisers Hall of Fame, and Lola Burnham, editorial adviser to The Daily Eastern News, will receive a four-year college newspaper Honor Roll Adviser Award from the organization.

The Honor Roll award is presented to a CMA member who has fewer than five years' experience in college media advising and has provided distinguished service to his or her students and profession.

Burnham, an assistant professor of journalism, has been the editorial adviser to The Daily Eastern News since fall 2008.

One nomination letter stated that Burnham deserved the award "because of her work with CMA, her strong advising and her commitment to college media development in the state." The letter also noted, "As an adviser, Lola practices her duties using the CMA Code of Ethics. She critiques the paper after it comes out, and she works with the staff to provide training, leadership and mentorship."

CMA Hall of Fame inductees must have contributed to college journalism education for 20 years or more while being active members of CMA. The award recognizes longtime members who have contributed to the betterment and value of student media programs of both the campus and nation. It also pays tribute to members who have devoted extensive service to CMA by serving in leadership roles and presenting programs and sessions at conventions.

Tidwell, a CMA member since 1975, served as student newspaper adviser at Tulsa (Okla.) Junior College and Indiana University Southeast before joining the EIU faculty in January 1987.

Tidwell, who serves as legal adviser to EIU's student media, has presented well over 100 legal sessions at college media conventions and workshops and has served as chair of the CMA Weekly Newspaper Committee, the Research Committee and the Media Law Committee.

"If ever there was a stalwart of CMA, Tidwell would be that person," wrote Mark Witherspoon of Iowa State University in his nomination letter. "He has been steadfast in his support of CMA for decades, and he has shown his support in so many ways.

"He has been a mentor and confidant to many advisers throughout the years, and I am grateful to be included in that group of advisers. Every time I call on him with questions, usually legal in nature, he always provides me with thoughtful and helpful answers in a timely manner."

Another nominator, Mark Goodman former director of the Student Press Law Center now at Kent State University, noted that he has known Tidwell since 1985.

"James was then and remains today a tireless supporter of college and high school journalism and defender of media advisers in need," Goodman wrote.

"I couldn't begin to count how many sessions he has given at CMA conventions over the years, but my guess is that he may well have broken some organization record. And not only were his sessions numerous, they were uniformly substantive and useful.

"I recall dozens of (legal) sessions that James and I presented together where his advice was accurate, practical and often funny. One of the things I like best about James is that he doesn't take himself too seriously. The First Amendment, on the other hand, he is passionate about, and his work with CMA has always reflected that."

Tidwell has previously won two other awards from CMA: the 1998 Louis E. Ingelhart First Amendment Award for extraordinary, long-term contributions in support of the First Amendment; and the 2010 Reid H. Montgomery Distinguished Service Award, given to a person, corporation or institution for extraordinary contributions to journalism or student media advising.

Three other past and present EIU journalism faculty members have been inducted into the CMA Hall of Fame: retired professor David Reed (1996), and current professors Les Hyder (1997) and John Ryan (2008).