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Friday, May 19, 2023

'Fairness: The key to good journalism'



“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 in Wichita, KS on this date in 1934, Lehrer was the longtime news anchor of PBS Newshour and known for his role as a debate moderator for a number of U.S. presidential elections.  He also authored numerous books, drawing on his experiences as a newsman and his interests in history and politics. 


Lehrer's journalistic career -- starting as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News -- earned him numerous awards and honors, including 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 was especially proud of the White Award, named for the great newspaper editor from Emporia (not far from his hometown of Wichita).  


Lehrer, who died in 2020, said he was pleased with his journalistic recognition because he’d always prided himself on fairness in 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 -- that is critical, and that is also part and parcel of what the job is all about.”

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