Longtime St. Bonaventure dean to discuss anti-media mentality April 25 at Jackson Center

Lee Coppola

Award-winning journalist Lee Coppola, former dean of the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University, will talk about the rising anti-media mentality at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.

Michael Hill, new president of the Chautauqua Institution, and Jackson Center co-founder Greg Peterson will moderate the discussion. A meet-and-greet with Coppola begins at 5 p.m. Both are free and open to the public; complimentary refreshments will be available.

Located at 305 E. Fourth St., the Jackson Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting liberty under law through the examination of the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson.

The idea for the talk was inspired by Dr. Andrew Roth, interim president at St. Bonaventure, who expressed his desire to build on Jackson’s “Saturday Night Club” model of regular forums for impartial discussion, debating, and studying the problems and issues of the day.

“We are thrilled to host this forum featuring Lee Coppola and to welcome Michael Hill as an integral part of the program,” said Susan Moran Murphy, president and CEO of the Jackson Center.

“This program fits squarely with our mission to engage, educate, and inspire broad audiences on issues and challenges faced locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally and with the goals of our strategic partnership with St. Bonaventure.”

Coppola was a newspaper reporter, a TV investigative reporter, and an assistant U.S. attorney before becoming dean (1996 to 2011) at the place his storied career began as a student. He graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1964.

Following two-and-a-half years of military service, Coppola was hired in 1967 by the Buffalo News. His articles on organized crime and the Witness Protection Program were the inspiration for the 1980 movie “Hide in Plain Sight,” starring James Caan.

Coppola left the newspaper after 16 years to pursue a career as a TV journalist. In 1983, he was hired as the troubleshooter for WKBW-TV’s “Eyewitness News” and later served as an investigative reporter for WIVB. As a television reporter, he won the prestigious George Polk Award, as well as awards from the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Press Club.

Coppola received his law degree from the University at Buffalo’s School of Law in 1983. He eventually left TV news in 1991 and became an assistant U.S. attorney in Buffalo, where he spent five years prosecuting drug dealers.