Jack Hamilton’s career has traced
a path through newsrooms, corridors of government, and a university
Hamilton came to Louisiana State University in 1992 to
head the Manship School of Mass Communication.
He stepped down as dean in 2010 to become the executive
vice-chancellor and provost.
As a journalist, Hamilton reported for the
Milwaukee Journal, the
Christian Science Monitor, and
ABC radio. He was a longtime
commentator for MarketPlace, broadcast nationally by Public Radio
International. His work also
has appeared in the New York Times,
Foreign Affairs, and The
Nation, among other publications.
In government, Hamilton oversaw nuclear
non-proliferation issues for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, served
in the State Department during the Carter administration as an advisor
to head of the U.S. foreign aid program in Asia, and managed a World
Bank program to educate Americans about economic development.
He served in Vietnam as a Marine Corps platoon commander and
subsequently as a reconnaissance company commander.
While Hamilton headed the Manship School, it became
a free-standing college-level unit.
It added a one-of-a-kind doctoral degree devoted to media and
public affairs, launched the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs
and a research facility that carries out public opinion surveys and
media effects experiments, and assumed oversight of Student Media, which
consists of the daily newspaper, magazine, and television and radio
stations. The number of
majors more than doubled as did the size of the faculty and staff; the
school’s endowment more than sextupled.
The school, which has the highest admission standards on campus,
was named a priority program at LSU – the only college-level unit so
Asked to serve as executive vice-chancellor at a
time of economic turmoil, Hamilton led a reorganization that
consolidated and merged colleges, schools, and departments in order to
save money and stabilize vulnerable academic programs.
He developed external groups to provide political support for
preserving funding and winning approval for university autonomies that
brought cost savings and efficiency.
During his twenty years as an administrator,
Hamilton enthusiastically taught students and guided graduates students’
research, an activity to which he remains dedicated as a professor in
the Manship School.
In the course of his career, Hamilton has had assignments in more
than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
In addition to covering foreign news, Hamilton has written
extensively on foreign newsgathering and sought to improve it.
In the mid-1980s he created and directed a Society of
Professional Journalist’s project to develop techniques for local
reporting of foreign news, especially on relations with developing
countries. He later worked
on a similar project for the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
In the 1980s, the National Journal said Hamilton has shaped public opinion about the
complexity of U.S.-Third World relations “more than any other single
Hamilton’s most recent book,
Journalism’s Roving Eye: A
History of American Newsgathering Abroad,
won the Goldsmith Prize from the Shorenstein
Center on Press, Politics & Public Policy, the Book of the Year
Award from the American Journalism Historians Association, and the
2010 Tankard Award from the Association of Educators in Journalism
and Mass Communication.
In addition he is author of
Main Street America and the
Third World; Entangling
Alliances: How The Third World Shapes Our Lives;
Edgar Snow: A Biography;
Hold the Press: The Inside
Story on Newspapers (with
co-author George Krimsky);
Casanova Was a Book Lover: And
Other Naked Truths and Provocative Curiosities About the Writing,
Selling, and Reading of Books.
He is editor of the LSU Press
book series “From Our Correspondent.”
Hamilton serves on the boards of the International Center for
Journalists, of which he is treasurer, and Lamar Corporation, listed
on Nasdaq as the largest outdoor advertising company in the U.S. as
measured by number of displays.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Hamilton was named the Freedom Forum’s Administrator of the Year
Award in 2003. His other
awards include two Green Eyeshade Excellence in Journalism Awards,
the By-Line Award from Marquette University, and an MLK Day
diversity award from LSU.
Hamilton has had funding support from the Carnegie and Ford
Foundations, among others. In
2002 he was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy
School of Government. He has
served as a Pulitzer Prize jurist.