S. Griffin (Griff) Singer retired from the School of Journalism in 2003 after 34 years of service. But he still is active in the department in several ways on a part-time basis.
Singer continues as director of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund's Center for Editing Excellence at UT since its inception in 1998. This highly competitive internship program is designed to encourage top students from the nation's universities to commit to becoming copy editors on newspapers, wire services and online news organizations. He also teaches an online course in headline writing for the School of Journalism and volunteers for other programs sponsored by the school.
His UT career was primarily centered in the classroom, working with upper division journalism students, helping them master professional skills in writing, editing and design. He also served as associate chairman and head of newspaper studies for many years. Over the past 50 years, it could be said he has participated in virtually all areas related to the newspaper business - as a printer, a reporter, editor, teacher and newspaper consultant.
In his teaching career of three-plus decades at UT Austin, Singer taught courses in reporting, copyediting, newspaper layout and design and computer-assisted reporting. He continues to participate in seminars and workshops conducted by state, regional and national journalistic organizations, including the National and Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association, the Texas Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He has been a judge in scores of state and national journalism competitions and in 1993 was one of 13 jurors selected for the international competition of the Society of News Design.
He has served in reporter and editor positions at the Arlington (Texas) Citizen-Journal (1956-59), The Dallas Morning News (1959-67) and the San Antonio Light (1979-81).
Among his career highlights was helping direct coverage of the assassination of President John Kennedy and the ensuing investigation and the trial of Jack Ruby for the slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy's assassin.
From 1988-2003, he was a news department consultant as well as a part-time assistant metro editor at the Houston Chronicle. One of his key contributions while working in Houston was serving as primary line editor and rewrite in the first weeks of the tragic story of Andrea Yates, the mother who drowned her five children in 2001. He also has consulted with Freedom Communications, Inc., a California-based corporation with 26 daily newspapers. Of late, Singer has developed and taught online courses in headline writing and sports writing for the UT School of Journalism and the Texas Press Association.
In 1996, he was a copy editor on the Olympics Daily published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution during the Summer Olympic Games and in 1994 was on the first team of Western journalists to go to the former Soviet state of Krygyzstan to work with Russian-trained journalists in the ways of a free press.