Pintak LawrenceINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, as a Fellow of the Society for his “extraordinary contribution to the profession of journalism.”

As a former CBS News Middle East correspondent, Pintak’s work has focused on journalism in the Muslim world and preparing American journalists to cover Islam.

The fellowship marks the highest professional honor awarded by Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The award was presented at the SPJ Excellence in Journalism 2017 conference in Anaheim, Calif., Sept. 7-9.

pintak lawrence spj fellowship speech 09-2017
Pintak presents talk on Mid-East journalism and ‘fake news’ at SPJ ceremony.

“The range, depth, and relevance of Larry’s professional experiences across cultures distinguish him from the many other fine journalists and scholars I have known during my own career,” said Rami G. Khouri, senior public policy fellow with SPJ and professor of journalism at American University of Beirut. “His particular strength is his deep, level-headed, and accurate knowledge of Arab and Islamic societies and their many nuances and varieties. Both as a journalist and an academic scholar, he has set an example of constructive engagement with foreign cultures that differ from his own.”

Pintak is also the co-editor of Islam for Journalists, a free e-book with a companion “Covering Islam” course on Poynter’s News U website; he was the director of the graduate journalism program at The American University in Cairo, the only such degree in the Arab world at the time; he worked to provide grant-funded programs that provided free training to more than 1,000 working journalists in the years leading up to the Arab Spring; and Pintak also helped conceive and currently advises the U.S. department of State on Pakistan’s Center for Excellence in Journalism.

For more information on the award, see the SPJ site.