Reporters Committee Executive Director Dalglish named dean at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Press Release | May 17, 2012

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, has been named dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, effective Aug. 1.

“Twelve years ago, the Reporters Committee's Steering Committee gave an aspiring media lawyer a chance to lead the nation’s premiere organization devoted to protecting the First Amendment rights of journalists,” Dalglish said. “Serving as executive director of the Reporters Committee has been an honor and a privilege. This job, and the outstanding people who came with it, have been so much more than I expected.

“Now, I have been given the opportunity to meet a new challenge that I believe will also further the cause of the public’s right to know. This is an exciting and challenging time to embark on a journalism career, and I look forward to teaching and mentoring young journalists by leading one of the nation's best journalism schools. I am very grateful to the leaders at the University of Maryland for putting their trust in me, and I am anxious to get started.”

During Dalglish’s tenure at the Reporters Committee, it has built on an outstanding legal fellowship program; has been instrumental in building coalitions of journalists and open government advocates during the challenging post-9/11 years; has led the charge in hundreds of amicus curiae briefs in federal and state courts across America; and has seen its endowment double. It also has expanded its capacity to reach journalists working in digital formats with a completely redeveloped website, an online legal guide specifically addressing digital issues, regional seminars for journalists at the growing number of non-profit online investigative news sites, and through soon-to-be-released mobile applications.

“Lucy’s contribution to the Reporters Committee cannot be summed up in a few words,” said Reporters Committee Steering Committee Chairman John C. Henry. “The organization is better off today than it was when she joined us. In addition to her experience as a reporter and lawyer, she brought tremendous energy and spine to the fight for reporters’ rights. She’s had the back of every journalist who published, broadcast or posted a story, photo, video or blog.

“The Reporters Committee has been fortunate to have her as executive director for the past 12 years,” added Henry, a freelance journalist and former news editor for The Associated Press in Washington. “Under her leadership, the committee has moved onto sounder financial footing and expanded our reach among digital journalists. At the same time, she has stayed focused on protecting our rights to do our jobs – gather and distribute the news without government interference.

“I’m confident she will do well at the University of Maryland. On behalf of other journalists on the Steering Committee, we thank her for all she has done and wish her the best.”

Dalglish joined the Reporters Committee in January 2000. She had been a media lawyer for almost five years in the trial department of the Minneapolis law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. From 1980-93, she was a reporter and editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Earlier this year, Dalglish was awarded the Kiplinger Award from the National Press Foundation for her contributions to journalism. She was awarded the Wells Memorial Key, the highest honor bestowed by the Society of Professional Journalists, in 1995 for her work as chairman of SPJ's national Freedom of Information Committee from 1992-95 and for her service as a national board member from 1988-91. She also was named to the inaugural class of the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame in 1996.

Dalglish earned a juris doctor degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1995; a master of studies in law degree from Yale Law School, where she was a Knight Journalism Fellow, in 1988; and a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of North Dakota in 1980. She lives with her husband, Mark McNair, in McLean, Virginia.

The University’s announcement is on its website.

About the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Founded in 1970, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers free legal support to thousands of working journalists and media lawyers each year. It is a leader in the fight against persistent efforts by government officials to impede the release of public information, whether by withholding documents or threatening reporters with jail. In addition to its 24/7 Legal Defense Hotline, the Reporters Committee conducts cutting-edge legal research, publishes handbooks and guides on media law issues, files frequent friend-of-the-court legal briefs and offers challenging fellowships and internships for young lawyers and journalists. For more information, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.

Related Reporters Committee resources:

· Lucy Dalglish

· Release: Reporters Committee Executive Director Dalglish honored with Kiplinger Award by National Press Foundation