Tag Archives: The Tennessean

Getahn Ward Remembered For Excellence, Community Service and Dedication To Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nashville’s most prominent journalists, as well as residents from Middle Tennessee, around the nation and the world, gathered in north Nashville Friday night to celebrate the life of journalist, professor and community leader Getahn Moses Ward.

Ward, who taught journalism as an adjunct professor at Tennessee State University, died Dec. 16 after a brief illness. He was 45 years old.

Varying emotions filled the high-spirited event as family members, coworkers and friends shared heartfelt testimonies in the crowded sanctuary of Born Again Church where Ward served as a deacon.

“He was a man of peace,” said Born Again Church Elder Jerome Brown.  “He was always busy, but he always did it from a place of peace.”

Described by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry as “the hardest-working reporter in Nashville,” Ward migrated from his native Liberia to Nashville in the early 90s, enrolling at TSU where he quickly rose to become editor-in-chief of the university’s student newspaper, The Meter.  He worked as a reporter with the Nashville Banner before it closed in 1997, and then served as a business reporter with The Tennessean beginning in 1998 until his death.

NewsChannel 5 weatherman and “Talk of the Town” co-host Lelan Statom said Ward’s passing is a reminder that “we need to celebrate life.”  Statom, who serves as the treasurer of the Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, worked for years alongside Ward, who served as the organization’s longtime parliamentarian.

“Just last month we asked him if he had an interest in being interim president,” said Statom.  “He politely declined on that because he knew where his passion was.  His passion wasn’t necessarily to be at the top of the chart for the organization.  It was to help students, which is something he did by serving as the chair of the scholarship committee for us.”

Since Ward’s death, TSU, The Tennessean, the Gannett Foundation and NABJ have partnered to create a scholarship in Ward’s name that will benefit aspiring journalists. The new scholarship is the first endowed scholarship in the history of the TSU Department of Communications. Organizers have already raised more than $30,000 with the goal of raising $50,000.

“It is a great way to honor the life of someone who gave back so much to the Nashville Community,” Statom said.

Individuals who would like to give to the scholarship fund should write a check to Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37209-1561. Online donations can be made at bit.ly/getahnward.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Getahn Ward Memorial Scholarship created for journalism students at Tennessee State University

The Tennessean

The Tennessean, Tennessee State University and other organizations have partnered to create a new scholarship in the name of the late Getahn Ward that will benefit aspiring journalists at TSU.

The Getahn Ward Memorial Scholarship, announced Dec. 19, will be awarded to a journalism student each year who meets qualifications established by the school’s Department of Communications. Other partners include the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gannett Foundation.

Ward, a business reporter at the Tennessean since 1998, who was known for his real estate scoops, deep sources and bulldog approach, died on Dec. 9 after a brief illness. Ward, an active community leader, was also a longtime adjunct professor at TSU and a proud alum of the university. He was 45.

►More: Getahn Ward, longtime Tennessean reporter and community leader, dies at 45

Ward, who previously worked at the Nashville Banner before it closed in 1997, had a passion for teaching students and advocating for black journalists.

The new scholarship is the first endowed scholarship in the history of TSU’s Department of Communications.

“At a time when our majors are working multiple jobs to offset the cost of a college education, this will go a long way in helping some of our best and brightest students,” said Tameka Winston, who chairs the TSU Department of Communications.  “This scholarship represents a man who devoted much of his life to the field of journalism and to the education and success of students at Tennessee State University.”

The goal of organizers is to raise $25,000, which would be the minimum required to establish an annual scholarship in perpetuity.

The financial value of the scholarship will be determined by how much money is raised. If the goal of $25,000 is reached, the scholarship would be $1,000 per student annually. It would increase if more money is raised.

Winston said the department is also finalizing plans to honor Ward in a way that will give him “permanent recognition” within the department and university.

“He was one of the kindest individuals that I’ve ever met and the news of his passing is heartbreaking,” Winston said. “Getahn was a stellar professor and the department will never be able to replace him.”

►More: Getahn Ward: In honor of one of Nashville’s finest

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

New Tennessean Editor, Pulitzer Prize Winner Talks Journalism to TSU Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A Pulitzer Prize-winning editor recently visited Tennessee State University journalism students and encouraged them to be a “voice for people who cannot speak for themselves.”

Michael Anastasi, vice president and executive editor of The Tennessean, spoke to the students and the staff of The Meter, TSU’s student newspaper, at a gathering in the Learning Resource Center Auditorium on March 28.

A journalist for nearly 30 years, Anastasi came to The Tennessean from the Los Angeles News Group, one of the nation’s largest news organizations, where he was the senior vice president and executive editor for nearly four years.

Under his leadership, The Daily Breeze, one of the papers owned by the Los Angeles News Group, won the Pulitzer in 2015 for local reporting for an investigation into the Centinela Valley (Calif.) Union High School District, which exposed the superintendent’s excessive salary and annual perks.

“As journalists, we must always be at the forefront in the performance of our duty,” said Anastasi, who started at The Tennessean in November. “Lots of people don’t like us because of our fight against the ills of society. As journalists, we can effect change in how we do our work and in many cases becoming the voice for people who cannot speak for themselves.”

Anastasi urged students to keep up with new technology, saying digital media is fast becoming the way of the future in reporting the news.

“Digital journalism is how you stay ahead,” he said. “Fundamentals like currency will never change, but how we report the news is changing fast.”

Shayla Simmons is a freshman Journalism major and a writer for The Meter. Next year she will become the newspaper’s digital editor.

“The speaker was right on point,” Simmons said. “I expect us to take full advantage of the digital age and engage students across multiple platforms.”

Delvakio Brown, a senior communications major, said Anastasi was inspiring.

“Listening to him share his stories of accomplishments was worth my time and effort,” Brown said. “He shared with us his story of how he accomplished more than writing but how he changed lives through it.”

Dr. Karen Dunlap, former president of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and an adjunct professor of journalism at TSU, said it was important to have someone like Anastasi speak to the students.

“This is so important for students to see what’s happening in the media today, to hear from a senior executive and even just hear about investigative reporting,” Dunlap said. “I am glad the students were here to hear him.”

Meter adviser Sandra Long Weaver agreed.

“I wanted the students to hear what it takes to do that and to know the kinds of people he hires,” Weaver said. “And I think they benefitted from what he talked about today.”

Anastasi said his visit was also about building a relationship with TSU, and seeing how The Tennessean can best work with the university and the administration.

“It is extremely important for The Tennessean, and me personally, to have a meaningful relationship with all of our local universities,” he said. “I think we have a vital role to play in having that relationship with administration to understand what their mission is, and what their strategic priorities are to see where we can work together as partners.”

TSU Assistant Vice President  for Student Affairs, Dr. Cheryl Green, welcomed Anastasi on behalf of President Glenda Glover.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.