April 3, 2019, e-Cursor: School to give Zenger to Amanpour on Sept. 20; 
diverse voices event; Tucson Citizen reunion; Carson HS Diversity Workshop.

CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, whose reporting on violence and human rights abuses in Iraq, Bosnia and Syria has earned her worldwide respect, has been named the 2019 winner of the Zenger Award for Press Freedom by the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

Amanpour will be honored Friday, Sept. 20, at a public reception and lunch at 11:30 a.m. at the Marriott University Park Hotel, 880 E. Second St.

Tax-deductible tickets ($100 each) or tables of 10 ($1,000 each) are available now through a secure UA Foundation site, with proceeds going toward student reporting projects and travel. 

UA School of Journalism Professor Mort Rosenblum, a former bureau chief and special correspondent for The Associated Press, will introduce Amanpour. He met her during the 1991 Gulf War on her first major international assignment for CNN. He also worked with her in the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

“Since her insightful coverage of Desert Storm nearly three decades ago, Christiane has exemplified the gutsy, up-close reporting and thoughtful analysis that helps a wobbly world stay on course,” Rosenblum said. “She shows how news is not about grand events but rather the real people behind them.”

Started in 1954 by the UA journalism program, the John Peter and Catherine Anne Zenger Award honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to press freedom and the people’s right to know around the world. Past recipients include the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham; Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times; and Carmen Aristegui of CNN en Español.

“I’m proud to receive the Zenger award, named for a couple whose powerful partnership laid the foundation for press freedom in the nascent United States, a freedom that has been the envy of the world, and emulated with great sacrifice wherever possible,” Amanpour said. “This redoubles my struggle for the freedom, safety and independence of the press, the most vital pillar of any democracy.”

Amanpour, known for her tough interviewing style, is CNN’s chief international anchor of the network’s global affairs program “Amanpour,” which is based in London. An expanded show, “Amanpour & Co.,” also airs on PBS in the United States.

In Sarajevo in the early 1990s, she exposed the brutality of the Bosnian War and genocide committed against Muslims. In 2004, she reported exclusively from the courtroom at the trial of Saddam Hussein, where the former dictator was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity. In 2014, Amanpour broke the news of a dossier that alleged to show the torture of prisoners by government forces in Syria. She also interviewed embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro (photo above) about his country’s violent demonstrations. 

Amanpour has won 11 Emmy awards, four Peabody awards, two George Polk awards, three duPont-Columbia awards and the Courage in Journalism Award. She has used her profile to raise awareness of global issues and journalists’ rights and is a board member of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Centre for Public Integrity and the International Women's Media Foundation.

She began at CNN in 1983 as an entry-level assistant on the international desk in Atlanta, after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a B.A. in Journalism.

• Zenger tickets: Go to UA Foundation site.
• Click here to read more about the Zenger Award.

Sunday, April 14
Journalism on Screen, “State of Play,” 2 p.m., and panel Q&A to mark 10-year anniversary of Tucson Citizen’s closing, The Loft Cinema. Tickets

Wednesday, May 8
Just Desserts student awards ceremony, 4 p.m., Arizona Historical Society.

June 2-8
Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students. Info, apply

Friday, Sept. 20
Zenger Award for Press Freedom reception and lunch, 11:30 a.m., Marriott University Park, honoring CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Tickets

• Grad students Ava Garcia (left) and Kristan Obeng landed Pulliam Fellowships at the Arizona Republic this summer in reporting and digital reporting, respectively.

• Undergrads Alec White and Savannah Hughes 
landed digital and social media internships at FOX Sports Arizona this summer, working with Saul Bookman (’17 B.A., ’18 M.A.) in Phoenix.

Mikayla Mace (’17 M.A.) became a science writer for UA Communications after nearly two years as the science and higher education reporter for the Arizona Daily Star.
• Caitlin Schmidt (’14) of the Star published a six-part series on Title IX, “Stopping sexual misconduct on campus.” 
• Sarah Kezele (’11) joined the USA Today Sports/SMG team as a video host from Phoenix.
Joe Ferguson (’06) of the Star won a Sledgehammer Award from the Arizona Press Club for his reporting and use of public records.
Steve Hirsch (’77), an attorney who died in 2016, was honored posthumously with the Judge Learned Hand Award by the Arizona Region of the American Jewish Committee.

Students, alums 
tout diverse voices

Journalism master’s candidates Ava Garcia, Matt Brockman and Ty Hudson presented their research in the March 29 event “Preserving the Voices of Arizona's Diverse Communities” at the UA Main Library.

Frank O. Sotomayor (’66), part of the Los Angeles Times’ 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning project on Latinos; Tom Arviso Jr., publisher of the Navajo Times; and Bobbie Jo Buel (’79), former editor of the Arizona Daily Star, were part of a panel during the evening reception. (Click here for photos.)

Professor Linda Lumsden also was a panelist at the all-day event, which highlighted the UA’s collaboration on a grant to digitize African-American, American Indian and Spanish-language newspapers. The project will be included in Chronicling America, a free national database hosted by the Library of Congress.

Keynote speaker Deborah Thomas of the Library of Congress also spoke to journalism students the day before.

Loft series hosts Citizen reunion

Our Journalism on Screen series’ fourth season will conclude Sunday, April 14, with the 2 p.m. screening of “State of Play,” followed by a Q&A to mark the 10th anniversary of the closing of the Tucson Citizen.

A panel of former Citizen reporters and editors will discuss the film, starring Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams, and among other things, talk about what it means to a community when it loses one of its daily newspapers.

Jennifer Boice, the Citizen's last editor, will moderate the panel of Gabrielle Fimbres, Chuck Graham, Steve Rivera, Corky Simpson 
and Dylan Smith. After the paper closed in 2009, Smith started the Tucson Sentinel.

The Sentinel is helping sponsor the event, along with the Arizona Inn, New York Times, Arizona Daily Star, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Tickets and series info

Carson diversity workshop in June  

A tradition for four decades, the Donald W. Carson Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students teaches teens about reporting basics, media ethics, broadcast and multimedia journalism, design and editing, and different storytelling techniques.

The 2019 workshop is scheduled for June 2-8 at the school’s Marshall Building, 845 N. Park Ave.

Interested students can apply electronically or by mail.

The program, sponsored by the Don Carson Concerned Media Professionals fund, has been offered at the UA School of Journalism since 1981. The workshop, founded by Carson, was renamed in his honor after he died on Feb. 1, 2018, at 85.

Carson, a revered UA journalism professor from 1966 to 1997 and former department head, was one of the early leaders in helping diversify the nation’s newsrooms.

• See more info on the Journalism Diversity Workshop.

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