Baltimore Sun columnist and editorial writer Garland Thompson will be the Freedom Forum professional in residence at Kansas University for 1992-93.
Thompson, 49, brings more than 17 years of newspaper writing and editing experience to KU. He will take leave from the Baltimore Sun, his employer since 1985, to teach students enrolled at KU's William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
"Garland Thompson is an outstanding journalist at one of the nation's finest newspapers," Mike Kautsch, journalism dean, said. "I am delighted that he will join us this fall as our professional in residence."
Thompson will be the 18th journalist to teach at KU under a program sponsored by the Freedom Forum of Arlington, Va. A grant from the foundation finances the program.
THOMPSON, a Chester, Pa., native, earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and a law degree from Temple University, Philadelphia. He worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1975 to 1984 as a reporter, editorial writer and copy editor. In 1984, he became executive editor for the Philadelphia Tribune, the nation's oldest black news weekly, and in 1985 he joined the Baltimore Sun as its first black editorial writer. He also has worked as a visiting professor at City University of New York and as a faculty editor for the Institute for Journalism Education, Tucson, Ariz.
Journalism is Thompson's second career. He was an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy and a telephone switchman before earning degrees at Temple and entering the newspaper field.
"We all bring a sense of mission to the craft of writing I certainly do, having chosen this field after having already started one career," Thompson said in a recent telephone interview. "I'm looking for students who want to go out and have an effect on the world."
AT KU, Thompson will teach beginning reporting, editing and a graduate course in editorial writing. Thompson said he hoped to provide students with knowledge gained from experience and to add a dose of realism to their journalism curriculum.
The Freedom Forum, formerly known as the Gannett Foundation, is the United States' largest information-oriented foundation. Since its inception, the foundation has given more than $50 million to improve journalism education and professionalism.