PULLMAN, Wash. — Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC News “World News Tonight,” will accept the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting and speak on current events April 14 at Washington State University in Pullman.
“It is our tradition that the award winner picks the topic of his or her choice,” said Alexis Tan, director of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at WSU. “Mr. Jennings has expressed his desire to use topics from the headlines for his address.”
Recent special reports by Jennings for ABC News have focused on the story of Christianity in its first decades, the growing number of people using the drug Ecstasy despite warnings by the federal government and the U.S. war effort in Iraq.
Jennings joined ABC News in 1964 and has covered the biggest national and international stories including reports from every European nation formerly behind the Iron Curtain. He served as chief foreign correspondent for ABC News and as the foreign desk anchor for World News Tonight. He was the network’s bureau chief in Beirut, Lebanon for seven years. Jennings was named anchor and senior editor of “World News Tonight” in 1983.
“This university through the Edward R. Murrow Symposium and numerous other programs and events has a reputation for celebrating excellence,” said WSU President V. Lane Rawlins. “Most people know by now that we strive for world-class quality and involvement for our students. What could possibly be a better example of that than our students learning from Peter Jennings?”
Edward R. Murrow, a 1930 graduate of Washington State College (now Washington State University), is regarded as broadcasting’s most illustrious journalist. His reporting work for CBS during World War II was groundbreaking and showed the potential of the medium. Many journalists credit Murrow with establishing the standards to which broadcast professionals still aspire.
The Edward R. Murrow Symposium began more than thirty years ago as a panel discussion and lecture series that attracted well-known communication professionals. In the 1990’s, the faculty of the Murrow School began to recognize the achievements of communication leaders by honoring them with awards including the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting, for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, for International and Intercultural Communication and for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting.
Previous award winners include the late Daniel Pearl (2003), Sir Howard Stringer (2002), Daniel Schorr (2002), Christiane Amanpour (2002), Bernard Shaw (2001), Ted Turner (2000), Keith Jackson (1999), Al Neuharth (1999), Walter Cronkite (1998), Frank Blethen (1998) and Sam Donaldson (1997).
The Murrow Symposium will also include a career day designed to give high school and college students insights into the field of communication through presentations by top communication professionals in the Northwest. A technology and career fair will highlight the latest gadgetry and provide students a chance to talk to prospective employers. Newly awarded scholarships in the Murrow School of Communication will be announced at an awards dinner. Reservations are required for the dinner.
The day’s events culminate with the presentation of the Murrow Award to Jennings at 7:30 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the symposium visit www.wsu.edu/murrow.