“People can get their news any way they want. What I love about what's happened is that there are so many different avenues, there are so many different outlets, so many different ways to debate and discuss and to inquire about any given news story.” – Jim Lehrer
Born this day in 1934, Lehrer is the former news anchor of PBS Newshour and known for his role as a debate moderator for a number of U.S. presidential elections. He’s also author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books, which draw upon his experience as a newsman, his interests in history and politics, and his love a good adventure or mytery story. “My writing is extremely important, so I write every day,” Lehrer said. “I just enjoy it. I get a kick out of it.”
Lehrer's career in journalism, which started as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, has been recognized through numerous awards and honors. These include several Emmys, the George Foster Peabody Broadcast Award, the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Medal of Honor, and the William Allen White Foundation Award for Journalistic Merit. He said he’s especially proud of the White Award, named for the great newspaper editor from Emporia – not too far from Lehrer’s hometown of Wichita, Kansas.
(A side note: The young William Allen White and his wife Sallie are key characters in my novel And The Wind Whispered).
Lehrer said he’s pleased for his journalistic recognition because he’s always prided himself on the fairness of his reporting. “I know for certain that it's always possible for a professional journalist who understands what he or she's up to to be fair, and that's the key word. Fairness to individuals, fairness to ideas, and to issues and whatever - that is critical, and that is also part and parcel of what the job is all about.”
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