Dan Rather. (Photo by Lynton
PULLMAN, Wash. – Veteran journalist Dan Rather has been named distinguished recipient of the 2012 Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement by Washington State University. Rather will accept the honor and deliver a free, public address during the 38th Edward R. Murrow Symposium Sept. 27 in Beasley Coliseum at WSU Pullman.
The fall award presentation will be preceded this spring with three days of seminars, workshops and panel discussions for professionals and students at the Murrow Communicators Summit, April 3-5, also at WSU Pullman.
Advancing the Murrow legacy
Rather’s career in news spans 60 years of world history. His earliest beat was the American South where he reported from the frequently violent front lines of the civil rights movement.
In 1963, he broke the news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In 2001, he anchored four days of live CBS News coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, helping guide his country through the trauma.
“Dan Rather has literally walked in the footsteps of Edward R. Murrow, in the field and at the anchor desk. He embodies the strength and courage that Murrow represented,” said Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU, who worked for Rather as a CBS News correspondent.
From his start with the Associated Press in Huntsville, Texas, in 1950, Rather became inextricably linked with the “eye” of CBS. He was anchor of “CBS Evening News” from March 1981 to March 2005, the longest such tenure in broadcast history.
He has covered every major U.S. military conflict since the Korean War, every U.S. president since Eisenhower and virtually every other major figure who has appeared on the world stage in the past 30 years. His two exclusive interviews with Saddam Hussein in 1990 and 2003 were news-making events in themselves.
As a correspondent for “60 Minutes II,” Rather broke arguably the biggest story of 2004: prisoner abuse at Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison.
A leader in his field
On leaving CBS, Rather founded the company News and Guts. In 2006, he became anchor and managing editor of HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports,” which specializes in investigative journalism and international reporting. Last fall the program was awarded an Emmy for investigative business reporting.
“Like Murrow, Dan has chronicled some of the most extraordinary events of his time,” Pintak said. “And just as Murrow transitioned from radio to become a pioneer of television journalism, Rather has embraced the new digital era.”
Free career-development events for communicators this spring
The three-day Communicators Summit in April will feature career-focused workshops, panels and in-depth discussions among communication professionals, faculty and students. Presented by the Murrow College of Communication and WSU, the Edward R. Murrow Symposium recognizes exceptional achievement in communication as it celebrates scholarship and connects students to industry leaders.