August 27, 2018 — Georgetown University has appointed longtime Los Angeles Times reporter and columnist Doyle McManus as the director of the Georgetown College undergraduate program in journalism.
McManus will be charged with executing Dean Christopher Celenza’s goal of expanding and strengthening the program to keep pace with a changing media landscape.
A WASHINGTON VETERAN
Over his 35-year career as a Washington correspondent, McManus has won several awards for reporting and commentary on foreign policy, including Georgetown’s Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting in 1986.
A distinguished record as a foreign correspondent and White House reporter earned him the nod as Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, a position he held from 1996 to 2008. He also made frequent appearances as a panelist on “Washington Week,” the long-running PBS political analysis show featuring prominent members of the D.C. press corps.
McManus left the Times staff last year but continues to publish work there as an op-ed contributor.
“Journalism has never been more important to American democracy, and we’ve seen growing interest in the field from students,” said College Dean Christopher Celenza. “Doyle has a distinguished record as a Washington correspondent, and he’s the right person to lead our journalism program to new heights of quality and impact.”
McManus replaces Interim Director Ann Oldenburg, who has managed the program since the retirement of founding director and longtime professor Barbara Feinman Todd. Oldenburg will serve as Assistant Director and continue to teach Introduction to Journalism and Digital News, two of the program’s core courses.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Georgetown College has a long history of producing prominent journalists and media figures — it counts Condé Nast, Maria Shriver and Norah O’Donnell among its alumni — but it wasn’t until 2012 that the school formally introduced a journalism program, under the supervision of Feinman Todd.
The journalism program offers undergraduates an 18-credit minor, composed of three core courses, two electives and a capstone project. The College expects students to major in a traditional liberal arts discipline as the foundation of their education, while learning the tools of the journalism trade from experienced practitioners in their minor courses.
Most of the program’s faculty are professional journalists who teach part-time. This year’s faculty roster includes CNN political analyst David Gregory, Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig, and former State Department and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
The program has also contributed to dialogue on campus, organizing and co-sponsoring panels on issues of press freedom, war reporting, and other pressing journalistic issues.
Celenza envisions the journalism program as an integral piece of the College’s academic offerings, building on the current skills-based courses and expanding to train students in effective navigation of a complex media ecosystem.
“Our current program does a solid job of teaching the basics of journalism,” Celenza said. “We want to explore areas where we can expand our offerings, including information literacy, and ensure that the program is fully connected to all of Georgetown’s resources.”
McManus hopes to bring both energy and experience to the position while building on his predecessors’ work.
“Educating the next generation of the nation’s journalists is a sacred trust, and Barbara Feinman Todd and Ann Oldenburg have built a solid foundation here at Georgetown,” McManus said. “This journalism program is young but strong, complete with a superb faculty and institutional backing. I’m honored that the university has entrusted its continued excellence and growth to me.”
— Patrick Curran