#ProfilesOfTenacity: Eduardo Morales

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study? 

I have lived and worked in Athens for the past 15 years and met and made many good friends at Grady College during my time in the Classic City. While I have worked in journalism for 30 years, I never did study it at a collegiate level, but since I work in communications at UGA, I decided there was no better place to get training in that field than at Grady. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you? 

For a journalist, it means forging on despite disparate odds and chasing every lead that can lead to the truth. One of the best scenes in my favorite movie, “All the President’s Men,” is when Redford and Hoffman, playing Woodward and Bernstein, go through thousands of index cards to find the answer to a question that will only lead them to another question. It’s the essence of being a journalist.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year? 

Being the husband to the greatest woman I ever met, and the father to a daughter and son I would do anything for.

What was the hardest part about adjusting to COVID-19 in your life as a student and early career professional? 

I think it’s the uncertainty of it all – there’s no real sense of what’s to come, and the pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. It feels like we are all disconnected, and I’m not sure how we get a true sense of community back. 

What are you passionate about? 

Fairness and equity. There’s a certain amount of injustice that gets swept aside or disregarded, and it infuriates me. I try my best, in a small way, to make sure everyone has a chance to reach their potential and excel. 

Who is your professional hero? 

When I was a kid I read the Miami Herald sports pages every day, and the sports editor at the time was a seasoned newspaper veteran named Edwin Pope. He wrote clever columns that always made me laugh, and it was his writing that made me want to go into sports writing, which I did for 12 years. It wasn’t until I moved to Athens that I discovered Edwin Pope was born in Athens, received his journalism degree at Grady College and began his career at the Athens Banner-Herald, where I once served as editor in chief. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor/mentor/family member? 

Being the first to report is only meaningful if you get it right.  

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why? 

I don’t know if it’s my favorite app, but the Fitbit app is the one I go to most often. I’m a bit addicted to reaching my goal of 10,000 steps a day and do a constant check to see where I am as the day progresses. 

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

That I have a paralyzed vocal cord, which has made me incapable of yelling. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why? 

On the fifth floor at the Main Library – you can sit and study in quiet while getting a fabulous view of campus. 

McGill Medal for journalistic courage awarded to AP reporting team for coverage in Yemen

A presentation of the McGill Medal takes place April 15 at 3:30 p.m. in the PAF. Maad Al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty will be present to accept the award on behalf of the team. All are invited.

A reporting team that shed light on the civil war in Yemen will receive the 2019 McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage.

Associated Press investigative reporter Maggie Michael, along with visual journalists Maad Al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty, traveled across Yemen to cover the war, resulting in a series of stories that have shaped the world’s image of the war and the role of America’s allies in it. Many of the stories broke new revelations, such as torture in prisons run by U.S.-ally United Arab Emirates and the secret deals struck between the Saudi-led coalition and al-Qaida. Many of these deals have led to hundreds of militants incorporating into coalition forces to fight the rebels. Other stories brought home the personal struggles of Yemenis to survive.

In 2018, the reporting team worked through a grant they received from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting to shed light on “Yemen’s Dirty War.” They reported on famine, revealing secret deals with al-Qaida militants and examining the impact of the U.S. drone war against al-Qaida.

Maggie Michael has 15 years of experience covering conflicts across the Middle East covering the Islamic militancy, the 2011 uprisings and the aftermath in Libya, Yemen and Egypt. She has received several awards including The Joe and Laurie Dine Award from the Overseas Press Club of America in 2017 for reporting about secret prisons run by the United Arab Emirates in Yemen where torture is widespread. Her primary aim is to produce powerful enterprise stories, and part of her responsibility is to supervise a wide network of Arabic-speaking stringers and reporters across the region.

Nariman El-Mofty is a Cairo-based photojournalist. She joined AP in 2011 and has since covered top stories and special projects across the region. In 2017, she was a Magnum Foundation Fellow.

Video journalist Maad Al-Zikry has reported on multiple aspects of Yemen’s civil war, including as part of an investigation team that in 2017 uncovered torture at secret prisons run by the United Arab Emirates in southern Yemen. His March 2016 photo of a severely malnourished infant, Udai Faisal, at a Sanaa hospital became an iconic image from the famine caused by the war. His video featuring the spread of hunger and the plight of those displaced by the war brings stories of the area to life.

The McGill Medal is named for Ralph McGill, the late editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution. McGill was regarded by many as the conscience of the South for his editorials challenging racial segregation in the 1950s and 1960s.

Nominations for the medal came from journalists and journalism educators from across the country. The most recent class of McGill Fellows, 13 students chosen for academic achievement, practical experience and leadership, researched the nominees and made the selection.

“Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens. In the face of militias and international powerhouses, these brave journalists were committed to citizens the rest of the world turned a blind eye to” said Casey Rose, the McGill Fellow responsible for researching the nomination.

The McGill Medal, now in its tenth year, is part of the McGill Program for Journalistic Courage at UGA’s Grady College.

For 40 years, the McGill lecture has brought significant figures in journalism to UGA to help the university honor McGill’s courage as an editor. In 2007, UGA added the McGill Symposium, bringing together students, faculty and leading journalists to consider what journalistic courage means and how reporters and editors exemplify it. The medal was added in 2009.

For more information on the program, see the McGill Program website.