Published: Sept. 27, 2000

Distinguished publisher Jay T. Harris to deliver 2000 Siebert Lecture

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Jay T. Harris, publisher of the San Jose Mercury News, will present the annual Frederick S. Siebert Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 4 p.m. at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, Centennial Rooms A, B and C, on the Michigan State University campus.

Harris' address is titled "Press Freedoms and the Responsibility of Journalists in the Age of New Media."

The lecture is free and open to the public.

"Jay Harris is an extraordinary newspaper publisher who is helping define and shape the business of journalism in the new century," said James D. Spaniolo, dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. "We are privileged to have a person of his stature and vision deliver the Siebert Lecture this year."

Harris, publisher of the San Jose Mercury News since 1994, has built upon the paper's continuing commitment to journalism in the public interest. During his tenure, the paper has emphasized more complete coverage of community life, increased the quality of news about Silicon Valley business and high technology, and launched weekly Spanish and Vietnamese language newspapers and on-line sites.

Harris joined Knight Ridder, which owns the Mercury News, in 1985 when he was named executive editor of the Philadelphia Daily News. In 1988, he moved to the Knight Ridder corporate staff where he served as assistant to the president of the Newspaper Division and vice president/operations.

Harris is currently chair of the board of the Bay Area Council and is a member of the boards of several other organizations, including the American Press Institute, the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Council on Foreign Relations.

The MSU School of Journalism established the Siebert Lecture series in 1968 in honor of Frederick S. Siebert, director of the School of Journalism from 1957 to 1960 and dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences from 1960 to 1967. The lecture is co-sponsored this year by The Michigan Press Association and The State News.