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Mcgill Symposium

2012 Visiting Journalists

Bill Adair, editor, PolitiFact, Washington, D.C.

Clay Bennett, cartoonist, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga, TN

Bob Davis, editor, Anniston Star, Anniston, AL

Andy Miller, editor and chief executive officer, Georgia Health News, Atlanta, GA

Selena Roberts, founder of Roopstigo, former senior writer, Sports Illustrated, New York, NY

Eli Sanders, associate editor, The Stranger, Seattle, WA

Jim Tharpe, editor, PolitiFact Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta, GA


Biographies

Bill Adair is the creator and editor of PolitiFact. He also serves as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Tampa Bay Times and as an adjunct faculty member at the Poynter Institute. He has worked in Washington since 1997 and has covered Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, national politics and aviation safety. Adair is the author of "The Mystery of Flight 427: Inside a Crash Investigation," a behind-the-scenes account of how the National Transportation Safety Board solved one of the biggest mysteries in aviation. He is the winner of the Everett Dirksen Award for Distinguished Coverage of Congress, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award and the Manship Prize for New Media in Democratic Discourse. He lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife and three children.

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Clay Bennett

The son of a career army officer, Clay Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in art and history.

After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press in late 2007. His work is syndicated internationally by The Washington Post Writers Group.

Recipient of The Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 2002, Bennett has earned almost every honor his profession has to offer, including the Sigma Delta Chi Award (2001), the National Journalism Award (2002), the John Fischetti Award (2001, 2005), the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award (2007), the Overseas Press Club Award (2005, 2007), and the National Headliner Award (1999, 2000, 2004).

Past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, Bennett is the husband of artist Cindy Procious and father of Matt, Ben and Sarah.

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Bob Davis has been editor of The Anniston Star's news and opinion divisions since 2005. He sits on the boards of directors of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Alabama APME, the National Conference of Editorial Writers and his employer, Consolidated Publishing Co. His work has been honored by the Society for Newspaper Design, the Dallas Press Club, the Georgia Press Association, Alabama Press Association, the Alabama APME and the Association of Opinion Page Editors. He is the 2007 and 2009 winner of the Carmage Walls Prize for Commentary.

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Andy Miller has been a health care journalist for the past 20 years.

From 1992 to mid-2009, he covered health care for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He won numerous awards for his newspaper reporting on hospitals and health insurers, state government and Georgia's mental hospitals.

Miller has been an Association of Health Care Journalists member for 10 years and serves as the president of the organization's Atlanta chapter. Recently he was elected to the AHCJ board. He was a Kaiser Family Foundation health journalism fellow in 2001-2002.

He has worked as a freelance health care reporter for several organizations, including WebMD, AOL's WalletPop, Kaiser Health News, msnbc.com and AARP Bulletin.

Miller graduated from Duke University in 1973 and received a master's in education from Duke in 1979. He was a social studies teacher and basketball coach in a school system in North Carolina before switching careers to journalism.

Miller lives in Atlanta with his wife and children.

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Selena Roberts is the founder of Roopstigo Mobile Sports Network, an app for tablets and smartphones set to launch in October 2012. It's a new venture for short films, storytelling and animation rooted in a love of sports, which can be traced to a decision made in 1975, when, at age 9, she grabbed a pair of sewing scissors and cut her bangs a la Pete Rose. It was the first of many bad hair moments in life -- all detailed in various column headshots over the years -- during a career as a best-selling author and award-winning sportswriter.

In four years at Sports Illustrated, she wrote commentaries that were cited by the American Society of Magazine Editors and appeared in "The Best American Sports Writing" and "The Best American Magazine Writing." She was also recognized for her news-breaking investigations, including Alex Rodriguez's steroid use in 2009.

From 1996 to 2007, Selena was a sports reporter for The New York Times and was honored by the APSE for her work as a beat writer and columnist. A graduate of Auburn University, she has been a contributor for ESPN and written two books, "A Necessary Spectacle: Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs and the Tennis Match that Leveled the Game" and The New York Times Bestseller "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez."

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Eli Sanders lives in Seattle, Washington, where he's an associate editor at The Stranger. There were some years when he lived and studied in New York, and occasionally found myself next to the likes of Andy Rooney. But that was a long time and many haircuts ago.

Since then his work has appeared in three books—The Contenders (Seven Stories Press), The Best Sex Writing 2006 (Cleis Press), and What to Read in the Rain (826 Seattle)—as well as in The New York Times, Esquire.com, Tablet, The American Prospect, The Seattle Times, The Boston Globe, Time Magazine, The Stranger, The Boston Phoenix, and Salon.com. In 2012, Sanders won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.

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Jim Tharpe is PolitiFact Georgia Editor. He began work at the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 1999 after previously working as an editor and reporter in Florida, South Carolina and Alabama. At the AJC, Tharpe has written about everything from state and national government to the airline industry to whale sharks. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Florida and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1989.

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Read the 2012 Symposium report [pdf]