The Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics’ mission is to create better understanding of the media, politicians and the role of the First Amendment in our democracy. The Center is funded through a $5 million grant from the Freedom Forum, a foundation dedicated to educating people about the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.
The Overby Center features programs, multimedia displays and writings which examine the complex relationships between the media and politicians - past, present and future. The Overby Center pays special attention to Southern perspectives.
Adjacent to the newly renovated journalism department facility at Farley Hall, the Overby Center is a new building that features 16,000 square feet of conference space. It includes a 225-seat auditorium, a multipurpose conference room that will accommodate 100 people for seminars and dinners, and a boardroom seating up to 24 people.
The center has state-of-the-art technology and video throughout the building, including a news wall with nine large-screen TV monitors for showing live news programs and current front pages from 12 Southern states.
"We expect to be able to take advantage of the technology and the content at the Newseum," said Overby, who is CEO of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. It is the world's most interactive museum and focuses on the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. It opened in 2008.
The center is named for Charles L. Overby, editor of the Daily Mississippian at Ole Miss from 1967-1968. Overby has been the CEO of the Freedom Forum since 1989 and CEO of the Newseum since its inception in 1996.