PULLMAN – Don Hewitt, creator and former executive producer of the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” will accept the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communication at WSU Thursday, April 3, 2008.
 
The award presentation followed by Hewitt’s acceptance speech will take place in Beasley Coliseum at 7:30 p.m.
 
WSU President Elson Floyd said of Hewitt’s selection for the Murrow Award, “It is hard to think of anyone who has played a more significant role in continuing Edward R. Murrow’s legacy of hard-hitting journalism in the public interest than has Don Hewitt. His development and leadership of ’60 Minutes’ clearly sets him apart as one of the true pioneers of television news. We at WSU are absolutely delighted to be able to recognize his work in this way.”
 
“Don Hewitt not only carries forward the best traditions of Edward R. Murrow, he helped to create them,” said Erica Weintraub Austin, professor and interim director of the Murrow School of Communication at WSU.  “He directed Murrow, created ‘60 Minutes’ and produced the famous Kennedy–Nixon debate that demonstrated the power of television. We are humbled to be able to honor one of Murrow’s own colleagues on the occasion of the centennial of Murrow’s birth.”
 
Named for Washington State’s most illustrious graduate, the Edward R. Murrow Symposium is sponsored by the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication and acknowledges exceptional achievement in communication. Murrow was a 1930 graduate of Washington State College, now Washington State University.
 
“The Murrow Award and the annual symposium celebrating Murrow’s achievements and his legacy remind us of the importance of shaping future generations of responsible and ethical journalists and communicators,” said Erich Lear, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
 
Hewitt attended New York University and began his career in journalism in 1942 at the New York Herald Tribune as head copy boy. In 1948 he started at CBS News as the producer-director for the evening news broadcast. He was the first director of “See It Now,” the landmark documentary news program that was coproduced by Fred W. Friendly and host Edward R. Murrow.
 
In 1960 Hewitt produced and directed the first televised presidential debates, between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  He later became the executive producer for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Hewitt is best known, however, for creating the longest-running prime time broadcast on American television, the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes.”
 
During his distinguished career, Hewitt has received many awards, among them two George Foster Peabody Awards, eight Emmy Awards including the second annual Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors’ George Heller Lifetime Achievement Award, the Spirit Award and a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Broadcasters in April 2003.
 
Traveling to Pullman with Hewitt will be his wife, Marilyn Berger. Berger is a former Washington Post reporter and NBC and PBS news correspondent.  Since 1978 she has been a frequent contributor to magazines including “The New Yorker” and the New York Times.
 
Among the previous winners of the Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement are “Frontline” executive producer David Fanning, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Daniel Schorr, Walter Cronkite, Sam Donaldson, Bernard Shaw, Keith Jackson, Ted Turner and Al Neuharth.
The Edward R. Murrow Symposium also celebrates scholarship through the annual scholarship banquet held the evening of the symposium.
 
Workshops throughout the day, led by communication professionals, provide students from WSU and the University of Idaho as well as Washington and Idaho high school students a glimpse of real-life career options.
 
High school students from across the country compete in the annual Edward R. Murrow High School Journalism Awards Competition.
Details about the 2008 Murrow Symposium will soon be available online at www.wsuevents.wsu.edu/murrow.