PULLMAN – Former White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas and CBS News’ Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer will accept the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism and in Broadcast Journalism, respectively, at WSU at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, in Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.
“Helen Thomas and Bob Schieffer are two veteran political journalists that represent the best of the Murrow legacy: exceptional achievement in communication and a responsible, ethical, productive career,” said Erica Austin, dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU. “We are honored that both accepted the award and will be present at the ceremony to receive it.
“As it happens, Bob has won a Helen Thomas award, so it is especially demonstrative of the Murrow legacy to have them accept this award together.”
The Murrow awards are presented during the daylong Edward R. Murrow Symposium, sponsored by the Murrow College. Murrow was a 1930 graduate of Washington State College, now WSU.
Monday, April 6
Tuesday, April 7
“In recognizing Helen Thomas and Bob Schieffer, the Murrow Symposium is highlighting the contributions of two reporters who exemplify the timeless attributes of great journalism. Their dedication, their curiosity, their willingness to speak truth to power–these qualities are every bit as essential to young journalists today as they were when Thomas and Schieffer began their careers. It will be exciting to welcome them to our campus.”
In November 1960, she began covering then-President-elect John F. Kennedy, following him to the White House in 1961 as a member of the UPI team. It was during this first White House assignment that Thomas began the tradition of closing presidential press conferences with, “Thank you, Mr. President.”
She has traveled around the world several times with presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, during the course of which she covered every Economic Summit. “The World Almanac” has cited her as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in America.”
2009 marks Schieffer’s 52nd year as a reporter and his 40th year at CBS News. He is one of the few broadcast or print journalists to have covered all four major beats in the nation’s capital – the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill. He has covered every presidential campaign and been a floor reporter at all of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions since 1972.
He moderated the final presidential debate in 2004 and his handling of the third and final presidential debate of the 2008 campaign was widely praised by colleagues and those across the political spectrum.
Over the years, he has won seven Emmys and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards. In 2002, the National Press Foundation chose Schieffer as Broadcaster of the Year. He has been a principal anchor for CBS News since 1973. He is also a member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was awarded the 2003 Paul White Award by the Radio-Television News Directors Association. In March 2005 his alma mater, Texas Christian University, created the Schieffer School of Journalism in his honor.
Schieffer joined CBS News in 1969 and has anchored the Saturday edition of the CBS Evening News from 1976 to 1996 and from March 2005 to August 2006, an 18 month period that saw a substantial increase in viewers. He had previously anchored the Sunday edition of the CBS Evening News from 1973 to 1976. Schieffer has been CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent since 1982.
He is the author of four books: “Bob Schieffer’s America” (2008), The New York Times bestseller “This Just In, What I Couldn’t Tell You on TV” (2003), “Face the Nation” (2004) and the best-selling “Acting President” (1989).
Among the previous winners of the Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement are Don Hewitt, creator and former executive producer of the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes;” “Frontline” executive producer David Fanning, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Daniel Schorr, Walter Cronkite, Sam Donaldson, Bernard Shaw, Keith Jackson, Ted Turner and Al Neuharth.
The Murrow Symposium also features workshops led by communication professionals who provide a glimpse of real-life career options to students from WSU, the University of Idaho and high schools in both states. High schoolers from across the country compete in the annual Edward R. Murrow High School Journalism Awards Competition.
For more information about the 2009 Murrow Symposium, visit www.wsuevents.wsu.edu/murrow.