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Tom Brokaw to accept Edward R. Murrow Award at WSU

Tom Brokaw, former anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News, will accept the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting at Washington State University Tuesday, April 18, 2006. The award presentation followed by Brokaw’s acceptance speech will take place in Beasley Coliseum at 7:30 p.m.

“We are pleased Tom Brokaw has accepted our invitation,” said Alex Tan, director of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. “Our faculty and advisory board felt strongly that Brokaw’s record as anchor and managing editor was a strong example for our students and in keeping with the Murrow tradition,” said Tan.

“Tom Brokaw is a legend in broadcast journalism in America,” said V. Lane Rawlins, president, Washington State University. “Like the name Edward R. Murrow, the name Brokaw is one people associate with excellence. I can think of no finer representative of the Murrow legacy,” said Rawlins.

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 make us mindful of the importance of molding the journalists and communication professionals of tomorrow,” said Erich Lear, dean, College of Liberal Arts.

Brokaw, a political science graduate from the University of South Dakota, began his journalism career in Omaha and Atlanta before joining NBC News in 1966. Brokaw was the White House correspondent for NBC News during Watergate, and from 1976 to 1981 he anchored “Today” on NBC. He was the sole anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” from 1983 until stepping down from the anchor desk in 2004.

In his keynote address at the 2004 Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Awards Dinner, Brokaw borrowed the words of Murrow. “Edward R. Murrow, one of the founding fathers of this craft, characteristically said it best,” Brokaw told his peers. “‘We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.’ He also said after taking on Senator Joseph McCarthy, ‘We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and defend causes which were for the moment unpopular.’”

During his distinguished career, Brokaw has won every major award in broadcast journalism, including two DuPont awards, a Peabody Award, and several Emmys. He continues to do projects for NBC and splits his time between New York and Montana. He is the author of three bestsellers: The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, and An Album of Memories.

Among the previous winners of the Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement are: 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.

For more about Edward R. Murrow and the symposium, log on to: http://www.wsu.edu/murrow.

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