LSU Professor of Journalism John Hamilton Honored with American Journalism Historians Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award

August 31. 2023

Jack Hamilton, Ph.D.BATON ROUGE—John Maxwell Hamilton, professor of journalism at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, has been named the 2023 recipient of the Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement, the American Journalism Historians Association’s (AJHA) highest honor.

Hamilton, LSU’s Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor of Journalism and founding dean of the Manship School, is a longtime journalist, author and public servant. He is a global fellow at the Wilson Center and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

AJHA’s Kobre Award honors individuals with an exemplary record of sustained achievement in journalism history through teaching, research, professional activities or other contributions to the field of journalism history.

“Dr. Hamilton has provided a wealth of invaluable contributions to our field over his many decades as an academic,” said Willie Tubbs, chair of the selection committee. “The Service Awards Committee was thoroughly impressed with Dr. Hamilton's nomination packet and were delighted to celebrate his career. In short, John Maxwell Hamilton is the type of scholar who AJHA leadership had in mind many years ago when the Kobre Award was established. His research is incisive, robust and significant, and the scope of his efforts place him in the company of the most accomplished names in our field.”

Hamilton’s bestowal of AJHA’s highest honor follows the release of his nationally acclaimed 2020 book, “Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda,” which tells the story of the enduring threat to American democracy that arose out of World War I: the establishment of pervasive, systematic propaganda as an instrument of the state. “Manipulating the Masses” accolades include the following:

  • AJHA’s 2021 Book of the Year
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) History Division’s 2021 Book Award
  • Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School's 2021 Goldsmith Book Prize

“It has been a privilege to think and write about journalism history, for the roots of our profession provide warnings and inspiration for contemporary reporters and editors,” said Hamilton. “I have been doubly fortunate to have done this work with both professional and academic colleagues from whom I learned much. This award would never have come without them.”

In June 2023, Hamilton was named AEJMC History Division’s Donald L. Shaw Senior Scholar. This honor recognizes a scholar who has a demonstrated record of excellence in media history that has spanned at least 15 years, including division membership.

Hamilton also earned a Goldsmith Prize, AJHA Book of the Year and the AEJMC Tankard Book Award for his 2010 book, “Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting,” an extensive history of American foreign news reporting from its inception to present day, chronicling the economic and technological advances that have influenced coverage abroad.

“Dr. Hamilton’s scholarship bridges the gap between past and present—and policy and practice,” said Kim Bissell, dean of the Manship School. “This accolade reflects his decades of experience and research in American foreign coverage, public affairs and opinion, and media history. He is exceptionally deserving of this milestone.”

Hamilton is author or co-author of seven books and scores of scholarly articles, as well as five decades’ worth of professional reporting and magazine writing. Hamilton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Marquette and Boston universities, respectively, and a doctorate in American civilization from George Washington University.

Hamilton will be presented with AJHA’s Kobre Award at the 42nd annual AJHA national convention in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 28-30.

  • To learn more about Hamilton, visit the Manship School’s website.
  • To learn more about the Kobre Award, visit AJHA’s website.

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LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: Master of Mass Communication, Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs, Certificate of Strategic Communication and a dual MMC/law degree.