July 14, 2018


Washington Correspondent, The Associated Press

Jesse Holland is a longtime Washington correspondent for The Associated Press, the world’s largest news organization. He hails from Holly Springs, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis in journalism and English. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College in 2012. Jesse writes on Race, Ethnicity & Demographics for The Associated Press. He is also a reporter covering Congress. Since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2000, Holland has covered the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court for The AP. A regular guest on CNN, NBC, Fox News, PBS, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and ABC's News Now, Holland speaks frequently on African American and Washington political topics. Holland is a member of the National Press Club, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Capital Press Club, the Washington Association of Black Journalists, and the Society of Professional Journalists.


11:15 a.m.: Southern Politics in the Age of Trump


CEO, Texas Tribune

Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website,, in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state, and in the print and online editions of the Washington Post. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, thirteen national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association. Evan is also the host of “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country. Previously he spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as the magazine's editor and a year as its president and editor in chief.

1 p.m. KEYNOTE SUBJECT: From the State House to Your House: The Texas Tribune and the Future of Media 

3:30 p.m.: Concluding Panel: The Fourth Estate: The Role of Journalism in our Democracy

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National Political Correspondent, The New York Times

Alexander Burns is a national political correspondent for The New York Times, covering elections and political power across the country. Burns was one of the lead reporters covering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, after coming to The Times in 2015 as a political correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times, Burns was a reporter and editor at Politico, where he covered the 2012 presidential election. Burns is a graduate of Harvard College, where he edited the Harvard Political Review.

11:15 a.m.: Southern Politics in the Age of Trump

3:30 p.m.: Concluding Panel: The Fourth Estate: The Role of Journalism in our Democracy


Emmy-Award Winning Journalist

Randall Pinkston was a correspondent/anchor for Al Jazeera America. Previously he was with CBS News. After a stint as a White House Correspondent in CBS's Washington Bureau, Pinkston became a general assignment reporter, contributing to CBS broadcasts, including CBS Evening News, Morning News, Weekend News, CBS News Sunday Morning and 48 Hours. Pinkston also contributed to the CBS Reports documentary, Legacy of Shame with Correspondent Dan Rather. Pinkston has filled in as anchor on the CBS Evening News-Weekend Edition, Up to the Minute and CBS Morning News.


10:00 a.m.: Fake News, Public Trust and the Media

3:30 p.m.: Concluding Panel: The Fourth Estate: The Role of Journalism in our Democracy


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Jeff Amy

Jeff Amy is a Mississippi Reporter for the Associated Press covering education, economy, state government and courts.

Meg Annison

Meg Annison is the Director of Communications for Mississippi Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn.

Austin Barbour

Austin Barbour is a political consultant and partner with Strategic Partners and Media.

Ko Bragg

Ko Bragg is the city reporter for the Jackson Free Press and has won fellowships from Reveal and the International Center for Journalists.

Adam Ganucheau

Adam Ganucheau covers issues involving state government for Mississippi Today.

David Hampton

David Hampton is an adjunct professor of communication at Jackson State University, a communications consultant and a freelance writer.

Bracey Harris

Bracey Harris is the Education Reporter for the Clarion-Ledger.

Bobby Harrison

Bobby Harrison, formerly of the Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, covers state government and politics for Mississippi Today.

Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones, a former member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, is partner in the Baria-Jones, PLLLC, law firm.

Ray Mosby

Ray Mosby is the owner, as well as a staff member, of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork.

Jake McGraw

Jake McGraw is the public policy coordinator at the William Winter Institute and the editor of Rethink Mississippi.

Ryan Nave

Ryan Nave is the Editor-in-Chief at Mississippi Today.

Jamie Patterson

Jamie Patterson is the managing editor of The Yazoo Herald.

Ashley Norwood

Ashley Norwood, formerly a higher education reporter at Mississippi Today, covers issues involving state government, education and health for Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Emily Pettus

Emily Pettus is a correspondent for the Associated Press covering Mississippi Politics.

Kayleigh Skinner

Kayleigh Skinner covers issues involving state government and education for Mississippi Today.

Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith is the editor and publisher of the Columbian Progress newspaper of Columbia, Mississippi.

Curtis Wilkie

Curtis Wilkie is a journalist, college professor, author, historian of the American South and a Fellow of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi.


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