Local journalist Jim Galloway visits NC, discusses media and politics

Jim+Galloway+speaks+to+NC%27s+AP+Comparative+Government+and+US+Government+classes+about+politics+and+media.

Kat Shambaugh

Jim Galloway speaks to NC's AP Comparative Government and US Government classes about politics and media.

Kat Shambaugh, Copy editor

Jim Galloway, local journalist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), visited NC’s AP Comparative Government and US Government classes on Monday, January 30 to speak about the role of media in politics from 1970 to now.

Galloway has worked as a reporter and editor for the AJC for 38 years, and has lived in Cobb County for 35 years. Specializing first in religion and then in international affairs, he served as the foreign editor, allowing him to travel to countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Germany, and Israel. His time covering Tiananmen Square specifically catered to the AP Comparative Government students who will finish their unit on China’s government this week.

“When you’re on Tiananmen Square and you’ve got the People’s Liberation Army lighting up the sky, that’s pretty dangerous,” Galloway said. “For a couple days after the Tiananmen story, it wasn’t much in the news, but I was still in a hotel that was several blocks out and they put a bunch of troops in an open truck and drove to the front of the hotel where we were and then they pointed their guns at the building opposite and shot about a million rounds, just to say ‘this is what we could do to you.’”

Galloway’s visit also highlighted changes in the media since he began working in 1979; he used volunteer students to explain the traditional stages of publishing a story on a newspaper and elaborated on the contrast to the current state of journalism.

Kat Shambaugh
Galloway uses audience volunteers to detail the process of publishing a story in 1979.

“The greatest threat really is people who don’t read,” Galloway said. “For a couple generations now we have people who watch. They don’t read, and that’s the heart of what I do. Everything now is being told through pictures or little 140-character blasts. People like me are disappearing— unless you all want to replace me.”

Galloway quickly opened up the floor for questions from students, which drove the conversation. AP Comparative Government and US Government students tied the experience into their studies with broad questions about how journalism affects government.

“I really liked when he was talking about all of his Chinese experience, and then when he talked about meeting Nelson Mandela. He had opinions about a lot of things, new and old, and so I really appreciated having the opportunity to see the shift in media and politics and tie that into international studies at NC,” senior Madison Kemp said.