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Pulitzer Prize–winning alums return to BU

COM hosts panels and discussions Thursday and Friday

Tom Fiedler (COM'71), the executive editor of the Miami Herald, will receive the Hugo Shong Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award during the two-day event.

In 1972, Gerard O’Neill (COM’70) and Stephen Kurkjian (CAS’66) —founding members of the Boston Globe’s investigative Spotlight Team — became the first BU alumni to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. Since then, 20 other University alumni have received the prize.

This week, COM will recognize their achievements with a two-day event honoring the journalists and offering members of the BU community expert views on changes in the news media. During the celebration, the second annual Hugo Shong Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award will be presented to Tom Fiedler (COM’71), the executive editor of the Miami Herald.

Participants in the lectures and discussions, which begin on Thursday, November 17, include editors, photographers, and reporters, all graduates of COM, the College of Arts and Sciences, or Metropolitan College.

“The College of Communication has a significant number of Pulitzer winners in journalism, and we wanted to honor them at a multiday event, when we bring them back to campus and celebrate their achievements,” says Robert Grimes, a COM alumni officer. “We came up with a list and found quite a few who graduated from other schools and colleges at BU, so it’s now University-wide.”

The event begins with a Conversations with COM lecture by Fiedler and Don Van Natta, Jr. (COM’86), an investigative correspondent for the New York Times. Fiedler and Van Natta will speak on Tomorrow’s News: The Future of Investigative Reporting in Light of Economics, Diminishing Resources, and a Polarized Nation, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Kenmore Classroom Building at 565 Commonwealth Ave. The Hugo Shong (COM’87, GRS’90) Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Fiedler at a private dinner that evening.

On Friday, November 18, editors and reporters will participate in a panel discussion on The Rules of Engagement: Advocacy and Emotion in Journalism and the Press. Moderated by Lou Ureneck, a COM professor of business and economic journalism, the panel will feature Kurkjian, the senior assistant metropolitan editor at the Boston Globe; Patricia Maldonado (COM’91), a former Miami Herald reporter and currently the communications director at the Human Services Coalition; Mark Thompson (COM’75), a senior correspondent at Time magazine; Helen Ubinas (COM’94), a columnist for the Hartford Courant; and Joan Vennochi (COM’75), a columnist for the Boston Globe. The discussion, held at the Florence and Chafetz Hillel House, begins at 9:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m., a group of editors and photographers will discuss photojournalism in Windows to the World: A Journey Through the Lens. The panel will be moderated by Peter Southwick, a COM visiting associate professor, and the participants are Daniel Goodrich (COM’75), a photographer for Newsday; Stan Grossfeld (COM’80), an associate editor at the Boston Globe; Justin Lane (COM’95), the New York bureau chief for the European Pressphoto Agency; and Susan Walsh (COM’87), a staff photographer for the Associated Press and the president of the White House News Photographers’ Association. The event also takes place at the Florence and Chafetz Hillel House.

All discussions and lectures are free and open to the public.