Jim Hayes Symposium

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Photo: Wayne Nicholls/The Tribune

Advancing Integrity in Journalism and Communication

A forum where media leaders talk of courage, truth and enduring values. The goal is to inspire a new generation of journalists, content providers and storytellers to act with integrity.

About the Jim Hayes Symposium

Even as respected media institutions struggle to maintain their competitive edge in a world of digital disruption, the core values of journalism still apply. That was the message from six leading lights in journalism, communication and ethics who spoke at the inaugural Jim Hayes Symposium on the Cal Poly campus Oct. 10, 2014.

A tribute to a beloved journalism professor, the symposium drew more than 100 alumni, students, faculty and friends to Chumash Auditorium for a daylong exploration of the challenges facing today’s news media professionals who are committed to practicing their craft with integrity.

Jim Hayes, a Cal Poly journalism professor, chair of the journalism department and founding director of the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication, was a staunch advocate for fact checking, integrity and ethics. For more than 60 years in his role as teacher, mentor, editor and writing coach, Hayes taught thousands of students, journalists and communication professionals. Even in retirement, he continued to actively engage with colleagues and former students until his death in June 2014.

Jim Hayes retired from Cal Poly Journalism in 1993. His retirement speech can be found on YouTube.

The Jim Hayes Symposium is meant to inspire a new generation of storytellers to do the right thing. 


  • To promote the journalistic practices that produce trustworthy and responsible development of news and information.
  • To bring together students, educators, journalists, communications professionals, scholars, and the public to address current challenges to ethical communication.
  • To raise the profile for Cal Poly Journalism.
  • To become a premier event in the journalistic community nationwide.
  • To involve alumni in meaningful professional development.

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