Photo courtesy of Bob Severi

PULLMAN, Wash. – Television news veteran Ted Koppel will be honored with the 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcast Journalism during a free public program at Washington State University.

He will present the keynote address, “…and Murrow was worried back then!” during the program, which will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at Beasley Coliseum as part of the 37th Edward R. Murrow Symposium.

Koppel may be best known for his work as anchor of ABC’s “Nightline” – from its launch during the 1980 Iran hostage crisis until he left the network in 2005. Now a news analyst for National Public Radio and a contributor to BBC America, he has been a vocal critic of the state of American journalism and a champion of the high standards set by Murrow. 

Legacies of solid reporting

The subject of his address derives from his unique perspective as one of the leading broadcast journalists of our time.

“Ted Koppel is a living example of the values that drove Edward R. Murrow,” said Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU. “He’s a reminder in this age of opinion and factoids that solid, balanced reporting is fundamental to our democracy.”

“I never met Ed Murrow,” said Koppel, “but my life has been bracketed by his influence, first as a boy in London, listening with my father as the BBC re-broadcast some of his wartime reports for CBS – those gave me my first appetite for journalism – and now (by) the great honor of receiving this award that bears his name, which still sets the standard for what broadcast journalism can and should be.”

50-year career
Koppel began his broadcasting career at WMCA Radio in New York. In 1963, he joined ABC Radio News as its youngest-ever correspondent, reporting for its daily “Flair Reports” program.

One of his first assignments was to cover the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

He moved to television in 1966, reporting on the Vietnam War, and has since covered countless headline events, including the tragedies of 9/11 and ensuing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During his 42 years at ABC News, Koppel also worked as anchor of the “ABC Saturday Night News,” as chief diplomatic correspondent and as Hong Kong bureau chief. He has held a significant reporting role in every U.S. presidential campaign since 1964.

Multiple honors
Koppel has won every major American broadcast industry honor, including 41 Emmy Awards, eight George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 duPont-Columbia Awards, 10 Overseas Press Club Awards, two George Polk Awards and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards. Among his other tributes are the first Gold Baton in the history of the duPont-Columbia Awards, for “Nightline’s” weeklong series originating from South Africa, and the Gabriel Personal Achievement Award from the National Catholic Association of Broadcasters and Communicators.
He was selected as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France and has received more than 20 honorary degrees from universities in the United States.
About the symposium
Presented by WSU and The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, the annual symposium recognizes exceptional achievement in communication as it celebrates scholarship and connects students to industry leaders. In April, the symposium hosted a day of career-focused workshops, panels and in-depth discussions between communication professionals, faculty and students.
About the college
Through The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas, the Murrow College of Communication aims to build upon its legacy of ethics, responsibility and professionalism to meet growing international demand for highly skilled and responsible communicators. To support the college, contact Carol Kowalski at or 206-448-1332.

Media contact:
Marvin Marcelo, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, 509-335-8835,