BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Jerry Cepas, a distinguished news editor, executive and educator whose career included leading Pulitzer Prize…
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Jerry Seppas, a distinguished news editor, executive and teacher whose career included leading teams, winning Pulitzer Prizes and two journalism schools, died Friday. He was 75.
The cause of death was sepsis caused by a severe infection, according to an obituary approved by the family.
Seppos became a one-time vice president of news at Knight Ridder, one of the nation’s leading newspaper companies. Prior to that, he worked at the San Jose Mercury News, serving as the paper’s managing editor, executive editor and senior vice president. During his work, the newspaper won two Pulitzer Prizes.
In 2016, Seppos was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, the society’s highest honor, which recognizes “journalists who have made an extraordinary contribution to the profession.” He also won the Ethics in Journalism Award in 1997.
From 2011 to 2018, he served as dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada/Reno and dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University.
“A tireless champion of democracy, ethics and diversity, Jerry was a titan of journalism and mass communication education for 50-plus years,” the Manship School of Mass Communication said in a statement about his death.
Under his leadership, the School of Courage established a government bureau staffed by student reporters, and he encouraged students to investigate unsolved Ku Klux Klan murders of the civil rights era. “Jerry knew these programs would give students professional clips and help them find work, and he liked that they brought more news to readers and helped struggling news sites survive,” said Christopher Drew, the Manship professor who is leading the projects. . “He saw them as a way of providing a public service and preserving this industry that he loved so much.”
His most recent publication was editing the 2021 book Covering Politics in the Age of Trump, a collection of essays by journalists.
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