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Lack of media credibility focus of 2005 Murrow Symposium

A panel of regional media representatives will discuss that industry’s controversial lack of credibility as part of this year’s Edward R. Murrow Symposium. The event will begin 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

The theme for this year’s 31st annual symposium is “Trust Me, I’m a Paid Professional: Telling the Truth Amid Declining Credibility.” Admission is free.

Panelists will  include:

* Stanley Farrar, online managing editor, The Seattle Times

* Richard Brown, news anchor, News 4 KXLY, Spokane

* Mike Fitzsimmons, news director, KXLY Newsradio/afternoon news host

* Bill Kaczarba, executive news director, Q13 Fox News, Seattle

* Patricia McRae, news director, KHQ TV, Spokane

* Dave Ross, talk host, 710 KIRO Newsradio, Seattle

* Steve Smith, editor, The Spokesman-Review

“It seemed especially appropriate this year for the symposium to provide an opportunity for this important dialogue,” said Alexis Tan, director of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State.

“There have been many instances in the past several months where media credibility has been called into question,” he said. “Murrow School faculty felt it would be appropriate to allow media insiders the chance to address some tough questions about credibility and the future of news dissemination.”

Edward R. Murrow, a graduate of Washington State University, was a broadcast foreign correspondent whose name became synonymous with truth and quality.

“The Edward R. Murrow Symposium gives Washington State University a unique format to raise important questions about issues confronting mass media and our society,” said V. Lane Rawlins, president of Washington State University. “Edward R. Murrow recognized the importance of credibility and truthfulness and was known to have strong opinions about the responsibilities facing communicators. I feel, based on his career, that he would heartily support the theme of this year’s symposium.”

In addition to creating panel discussions exploring pressing communication issues, faculty in the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication also frequently honor communication professionals whose careers have demonstrated the qualities associated with Murrow’s career. Previous award winners are Peter Jennings (2004), Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting; Daniel Pearl (2003), Distinguished Achievement in Journalism; Sir Howard Stringer (2002), International and Intercultural Communication; Daniel Schorr (2002), Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting; Christiane Amanpour (2002), Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting; Bernard Shaw (2001), Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting; Ted Turner (2000), Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting; Keith Jackson (1999), Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting; Al Neuharth (1999), Lifetime Achievement in Journalism; Walter Cronkite (1998), Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting; Frank Blethen (1998), Lifetime Achievement in Journalism; Sam Donaldson (1997), Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting.

“So much has changed in recent years,” said symposium director Marvin Marcelo. “We now have hundreds of broadcast channels, satellites and the Internet. People have many, many choices of when and how they get information. We are hoping to learn from this panel what is being done to maintain the public trust with so much competition. Perhaps we will also get a glimpse of what they see in the future for communication,” Marcelo said.

The Murrow Symposium begins at 8 a.m. with industry professionals leading workshops throughout the day for communication students at WSU and students from high schools across the state. Winners of the second annual high school journalism competition will be honored at a special lunch. Students in the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication who have been awarded 2006 scholarships will be honored at a reception and banquet prior to the panel discussion. For more information on events or to book banquet reservations visit: http://www.wsu.edu/murrow.

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