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Digmon, Fletcher invited to speak at Berkeley

By Atmore News Staff

Atmore News publisher and co-owner Sherry Digmon and reporter Don Fletcher — both arrested last October for allegedly revealing grand jury secrets — have been invited to speak about the experience at this year’s Reva & David Logan Symposium on Investigative Reporting.
The Symposium, held each April on the campus of University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), is set for April 19-21.
The invitation to participate in the prestigious event was tendered by Aysha Pettigrew, director of operations at the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program, a non-profit newsroom at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
The Symposium, held each year in April, brings together top investigative journalists from all over the world, as well as media attorneys, philanthropists who support journalism in the public interest, and journalism students.
Digmon and Fletcher were arrested after a story in the October 25, 2023 edition of the weekly newspaper reported that District Attorney Steve Billy’s office and a county grand jury were investigating “some aspect” of the Escambia County School System’s handling of federal COVID relief funds. The story was based on documents provided to the newspaper.
“I’m writing to both of you to invite you to speak at this year’s Symposium, on a panel, about threats to local investigative journalism, about your investigations into the Board of Education and subsequent arrests,” Ms. Pettigrew wrote. “I think your story will resonate deeply with our audience of investigative journalists and investigative reporting students.”
Ms. Pettigrew added that, “should you agree to speak at the Logan Symposium, our program would happily cover your flights, lodging, and registration for the full 3-day conference.”
Digmon respectfully declined the invitation.
“What an honor to be invited to participate in this program,” she wrote to Pettigrew. “Since our first court date is not until the end of this month and we don’t know how long we’ll be involved in legal proceedings beyond that, we must regretfully decline the invitation. Again, let me say Mr. Fletcher and I are honored.”
UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program is chaired by David Barstow, the first reporter in American history to win four Pulitzer Prizes. He was honored twice for investigative reporting and once each for explanatory reporting and public service reporting during a span of 20 years as a member of the investigative unit at The New York Times.
According to its website, the program is “committed to reporting stories that expose injustice and abuse of power while training the next generation of journalists in the highest standards of our craft.”

One Response

  1. […] Digmon and Fletcher’s story has caught the attention from free press advocates nationwide. The two have bene invited to speak about their experiences at this year’s Reva & David Logan Symposium on Investigative Reporting, April 19-21, at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), according to a story published Wednesday in The Atmore News. […]

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