WSU named veteran journalist Dan Rather distinguished recipient of the 2012 Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement. Rather accepted the honor and delivered a free, public address during the Thirty-Eighth Edward R. Murrow Symposium Sept. 27 in Beasley Coliseum 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, and, 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 and, in 2006, 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. And just as Murrow transitioned from radio to become a pioneer of television journalism, Rather has embraced the new digital era,” Pintak said.