RTÉ News and Current Affairs managing director, Jon Williams.

'Why the Truth Matters' theme of John Cunningham lecture

The importance of public service journalism and the dangers of misinformation

RTÉ News and Current Affairs managing director, Jon Williams will give the 2020 'John Cunningham Journalism Lecture’ hosted by NUI Galway. The virtual conference will take place on Monday 23rd November, at 5pm with Mr Williams discussing 'Why the Truth Matters' and issues such as the importance of public service journalism and the dangers of misinformation.

This is the second year that NUI Galway has hosted the lecture which honours the late Connacht Tribune Editor and long-time journalism lecturer John Cunningham. The inaugural lecture was given by the British academic and media commentator Professor Roy Greenslade in 2019.

Tom Felle, Head of journalism and communication at NUI Galway, said: “John Cunningham was one of Ireland’s best local newspaper editors and he made an indelible impression on the lives of the hundreds of journalists he trained as a lecturer in journalism. We are delighted to be able to honour his memory with this public lecture that has become an important annual event.”

Jon Williams is Managing Director of News and Current Affairs at RTÉ since January 2017. Previously he was Managing Editor, International News, at ABC News in New York, where he shaped the organisation’s international news coverage and strategy. He led that station’s reporting of the war in Ukraine, the European refugee crisis, and the coverage of the ISIS terrorist attacks in Europe, as well as driving innovation, including the use of 360 and virtual reality video. Previously he held positions as Deputy Editor of the Six O’Clock News; World News Editor; and UK News Editor with BBC News. Jon holds numerous accolades including the 2013 International Prize from the Royal Television Society.

The event is free and open to the public. To register email journalism@nuigalway.ie or join the webinar on Monday, 23 November at https://bit.ly/cunninghamlecture .

About John Cunningham

The late John Cunningham was one of Ireland’s most respected local newspaper editors and political commentators. A native of Tuam, he began his career in journalism as a junior reporter with the Connacht Tribune in 1964. He was appointed as that newspaper’s news editor in 1978 and in 1982 took up an appointment as editor of The Waterford News and Star and The East Cork News with Examiner Group.

He returned to Galway as editor of the Connacht Tribune, in succession to Sean Fahy, in 1984 and was part of a team that introduced a number of important developments and changes in the group’s newspapers. John was a regular contributor to national newspapers and to radio and television over many years. He won the Journalist of The Year Award in 1979 for his ‘Corridors of Power’ column for his relentless investigative focus on the misuse of planning laws. The column was one of the longest running in the country.

A former member of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, John lectured in journalism practice on the MA Journalism programme at NUI Galway for 18 years, and in 2006 was conferred with an Honorary Master of Arts degree by NUI Galway for his work in journalism education.

He was editor of the Connacht Tribune from 1984 until his retirement in 2007 and he continued to write on politics in his weekly ‘Corridors of Power’ column until his death in 2012

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