Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press, will deliver the 35th Joe Alex Morris Jr. Memorial Lecture at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard on Dec. 1, 2016. The annual Morris Lecture honors an American overseas correspondent or commentator on foreign affairs who is invited to Harvard to speak about international news coverage.
Carroll is the top news executive of the world’s largest independent news agency, a role she has held since 2002. She is responsible for news content in all formats from the journalists based in more than 260 bureaus and 110 countries. As an industry leader, she has worked on government challenges to press freedom and on vital security issues for journalists in war zones and other hostile environments.
During Carroll’s time at the AP, the organization has significantly deepened its commitment to investigative and accountability reporting, expanded its footprint to include groundbreaking bureaus in North Korea and Myanmar, transformed the newsroom from analog to digital, modernized video operations to HD and pioneered the use of automation to free journalists for more substantive work.
AP journalists have won numerous awards during her tenure, including five Pulitzer Prizes, notably the Public Service Gold Medal, six George Polk Awards and 15 Overseas Press Club awards. She is vice-chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists Board and was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board from 2003-2012, the last year as co-chair.
In July 2016, Carroll announced she would be stepping down as editor at the end of the year.
The Joe Alex Morris Jr. Memorial Lecture honors the Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent who was killed while covering the Iranian Revolution in Tehran in February 1979. In the fall of 1981, Morris posthumously received the Nieman Fellows’ Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity. The lectureship in his name was created in 1981 by his family, Harvard classmates and friends.
Morris was a member of the Harvard class of 1949. After working as a local reporter at The Hartford Times and the Minneapolis Tribune, he worked at Newsweek and later the Los Angeles Times. He reported from the Middle East for 25 years.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard educates leaders in journalism and elevates the standards of the profession through special programs that convene scholars and experts in all fields. More than 1,500 journalists from 94 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a quarterly print and online magazine that covers thought leadership in journalism; Nieman Journalism Lab, a website that reports on the future of news, innovation and best practices in the digital media age; and Nieman Storyboard, a website that showcases exceptional narrative journalism and explores the future of nonfiction storytelling.