Robert and Mabel Ruhl Lecture

Made possible by the Robert and Mabel Ruhl Endowment, the annual Ruhl Lecture brings the industry’s most influential voices in mass communication to the UO campus. Mabel W. Ruhl established the endowment in 1976 to honor her husband, the late Robert W. Ruhl. A celebrated publisher and editor of the Medford Mail Tribune, Robert Ruhl’s editorial battle against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s clinched his reputation as an archetypal crusading small-town newspaper editor.

2024 Ruhl Lecture: “Press Freedoms, Hostage Diplomacy, and International Policy”

The 2024 Ruhl Lecture featured Jason Rezaian, award-winning journalist and global opinions columnist for The Washington Post. Rezaian spoke about his harrowing experience as a journalist wrongfully detained in an Iranian prison for 544 days as well as his advocacy for hostages around the globe and journalists exiled from hostile regions. He also addressed international policy and the emergent use of visual forensics in search of the truth. Rezaian is the host of 544 Days, the acclaimed Spotify Original podcast series based on his 2019 best-selling memoir, Prisoner.

Read a Q&A with Jason Rezaian

2023 Ruhl Lecture: “The Promise of Immersive Realities”

The 2023 Ruhl Lecture featured Wesley Della Volla, founder of Meridian Treehouse and an immersive media nonfiction storyteller. Using a combination of virtual reality (VR) headsets, traditional media, and in-person narration, Della Volla created a shared experience among participants to spark connection, curiosity, and discussion. He took the audience, wearing VR headsets, to places most will never go in real life, from the depths of the ocean to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere. Throughout the moving experience, attendees learned about the immersive technology’s potential to enhance storytelling and communication.

Learn More about Wesley Della Volla

2022 Ruhl Lecture: “The Art of Science Journalism”

Ed Yong of The Atlantic chats with UO SOJC professor Hollie Smith during the 2022 Ruhl Lecture

Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Ed Yong of The Atlantic visited the UO campus in April 2022 to discuss the art of science journalism. Speaking from his experience writing before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, he explored the core of what it means to be a science journalist, how inseparable science is from the rest of society, and how it is shaped by our culture, our social norms, and our collective decisions.

Learn More about Ed Yong

2021 Ruhl Lecture: "1619 and the Legacy that Built a Nation"

Nikole Hannah-Jones

In February 2021, the SOJC welcomed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, George Polk Award receiver, and MacArthur Foundation fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones to discuss "The 1619 Project.” The groundbreaking multimedia initiative observes the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves arriving in America. Andrew DeVigal, journalism professor of practice and director of the Agora Journalism Center, facilitated a virtual panel discussion and Q&A with UO assistant professor Courtney Cox and SOJC journalism senior Shyann Montgomery on the lasting legacy of Black enslavement on the nation, specifically how Black Americans pushed for the democracy the country has today. “The 1619 Project” was also the fall 2020 selection for the UO Common Reading Program.

2019 Ruhl Lecture: In Google We Trust

In February 2019, the SOJC welcomed Google’s Vice President of News Richard Gingras and Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affairs Corey duBrowa ’88 to discuss technology’s influence on society and news and the rising role of the “chief conscience officer.” SOJC Associate Professor Seth Lewis facilitated the conversation and an audience Q&A.

Watch the Full Talk

Past Ruhl Lecturers

  • 2018: Dennis Dimick, National Geographic | Watch the Talk
  • 2017: Ta-Nehisi Coates, journalist and author | See a Photo Gallery
  • 2016: Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica | Watch a Video
  • 2015: Karen Pensiero, The Wall Street Journal
  • 2014: Eric Liu, author
  • 2013: Ann Curry, NBC
  • 2012: Anand Giridharadas, author and columnist
  • 2011: Jere Van Dyk, author and journalist
  • 2010: Philip Meyer, professor ermeritus, UNC Chapel Hill
  • 2009: Martin Baron, editor, Washington Post
  • 2008: Jan Schaffer, executive director, J-Lab
  • 2007: Leonard Pitts, commentator, journalist, novelist
  • 2006: Jay T. Harris, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Journalism and Democracy, University of Southern California
  • 2005: Ann Marie Lipinski, journalist, curator of Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
  • 2004: John Carroll, editor, The Los Angeles Times
  • 2003: Tom Rosenstiel, author, journalist, press critic and executive director of the American Press Institute
  • 2002: Frank A. Blethen, publisher, The Seattle Times
  • 2001: Nicholas Kristof, columnist, the New York Times
  • 2000: Sandra Mims Rowe, former editor, The Oregonian
  • 1999: Susan Meiselas, Magnum Photos
  • 1998: Jerry Ceppos, San Jose Mercury News
  • 1997: Suzanne Braun Levine, Ms. Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review
  • 1996: Lawrence K. Grossman, NBC News, PBS
  • 1995: Ellis Cose, Newsweek
  • 1994: Jonathan Alter, Newsweek
  • 1993: Joann Byrd, Washington Post
  • 1991: Geneva Overholser, Des Moines Register
  • 1990: Jay T. Harris, Knight-Ridder, Inc.
  • 1989: David Shaw, The Los Angeles Times
  • 1988: James H. Ottoway, Jr., Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
  • 1987: Deborah Howell, St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch
  • 1986: Frederick Taylor, The Wall Street Journal
  • 1985: Lewis Lapham, Harper’s Magazine
  • 1984: Steve Neal, Chicago Tribune
  • 1983: Seymour M. Hersh, journalist and author