Dan Rather To Discuss the Crisis of American Journalism and Why People Should Care

Oct. 5, 2009

Dan Rather is the 2009 Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lecturer

Dan Rather is the 2009 Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lecturer. Photo credit Lynton Gardiner.

Event: Distinguished journalist Dan Rather will talk about the crisis of American journalism and why people should care as part of the Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lectureship at The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism.

This lecture is free and open to the public thanks to the Mary Alice Distinguished Lectureship and the School of Journalism. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

When: Oct. 22, 4-5:30 p.m.

Where: Texas Union Ballroom. Maps of campus are available online.

Background: Given his distinguished record and his long exposure on television around the globe, Rather may be the best-known journalist in the world. He has covered almost every major event in the world in the past 50 years, including Hurricane Carla, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the civil rights movement, the White House and national politics, and wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, Yugoslavia and Iraq. From his first days as the Associated Press reporter in Huntsville, Texas, Rather has more than earned his reputation as the "hardest working man in broadcast journalism."

Having been anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News for 24 years, Rather is now the anchor and managing editor of "Dan Rather Reports," which started broadcasting on HDNet in 2006. He continues to interview the world's most important and compelling figures, from the famous to the infamous. He has interviewed every United States president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush and almost every major international leader of the past 30 years. He landed two news-breaking interviews with Saddam Hussein in 1990 and in 2003. In 2004, as a correspondent for "60 Minutes II," Rather also broke what was arguably that year's biggest story-the abuse of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Mary Alice Davis, who died in 2004 from ovarian cancer, is remembered as a remarkable writer who championed the role of journalism in a democracy. She wrote for The Daily Texan as an undergraduate and later wrote for the Austin American-Statesman and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lectureship was created in 2005 by the Davis family and brings notable journalists to campus to discuss the role of journalism in society. Past lecturers include: Maureen Dowd, Molly Ivins, Jim Lehrer and Michele Norris.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071; Hilary Stanco, School of Journalism, 512-471-1845.

1 Comment to "Dan Rather To Discuss the Crisis of American Journalism and Why People Should Care"

1.  Barbara Ann Jackson said on Oct. 6, 2009

Because of collusion in court systems, the last vestige of hope America has for achieving justice and civility is when ethical journalists care enough to expose issues which would otherwise remain concealed.

Particularly now in light of this nation's mortgage crisis, and in light of insultingly ridiculous replies by financial institutions to Congressional inquiries about lender practices and various economically socially harmful activities those industries perform, were it not for journalists' reports, the economic crash would have occurred much sooner and been permanent.

Personally, I thank Mr. Dan Rather for his investigations into activities in New Orleans (from where I am Katrina-displaced) with FEMA trailers, as well as other Louisiana improprieties.

Furthermore, along those lines, I want to call Mr. Rather's--and any other concerned journalist's--attention, to my "Open Letter to President Obama on the Foreclosure Crisis."

I feel certain that the crux of the mortgage crisis can be targeted by looking at specific factors. I hope the open letter will prompt Mr. Rather or others with his integrity and concern to consider solid allegations and evidence.