UNT event to bring back alumni finalists and winners of Pulitzer Prizes in journalism

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 12:45
Category:

What: "A Century of Excellence: The Pulitzer Prizes and Journalism's Impact on UNT" -- Five University of North Texas journalism alumni who received Pulitzer Prizes and four who were finalists will discuss their recognized works and the expectations of Pulitzer winners and finalists. Presented by UNT's Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and Humanities Texas with additional support from Humanities Texas and the Reynolds Foundation.

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 (Thursday)

Where: Lyceum of UNT's University Union, 1155 Union Circle in Denton

Cost: Free

Contact: Brandee Hartley at 940-565-2095 or brandee.hartley@unt.edu

 

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Decades after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, many parts of Akron, Ohio, were still largely segregated in neighborhoods, schools and businesses. In 1993, the reporting staff of the Akron Beacon Journal -- including University of North Texas alumna and Texas transplant Leona Allen -- wrote a series of stories on the differences, to try to help those in the community better understand race relations and their own hidden biases. The following year, Allen became a Pulitzer Prize winner when the reporting staff won the award for public service journalism.

Allen, who received her degree from UNT in 1986, will be one of five journalism alumni from the university discussing their recognized works and the expectations of Pulitzer Prize recipients and finalists Sept. 29 (Thursday) during two free panel discussions.

"A Century of Excellence: The Pulitzer Prizes and Journalism's Impact on UNT" begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Lyceum of UNT's University Union, 1155 Union Circle in Denton. The event is presented by UNT's Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and Humanities Texas with additional support from Humanities Texas and the Reynolds Foundation.

In an interview that is included on UNT's Portal to Texas History, Allen, now an editorial board member at the Dallas Morning News, said that neither she nor anyone else on the Akron Beacon Journal's reporting team "did the work thinking 'Okay, this could win a prize.'"

"Knowing the work was deep and rich was important," she said, noting that because the Pulitzer Prize jury gave the series a public service award, the series "was clearly deemed to be important to that community."

Allen will be joined on one panel by four of UNT's other seven living alumni who have won Pulitzer Prizes in journalism:

  • Kerry Gunnels, a 1973 graduate who won a 1994 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting when he was an editor for the Dallas Morning News' international desk. Gunnels, now senior director of media content at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, was an editor on a series about institutionalized violence against women in countries around the world.
  • David Klement, a 1962 graduate who won a 1968 Pulitzer Prize for covering the 1967 Detroit riots as part of a team at the Detroit Free Press.
  • Dan Malone, who received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1992 as a Dallas Morning News reporter. Malone, who received a master of journalism degree from UNT in 2006, now teaches at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
  • Gayle Reaves, who was part of a Dallas Morning News reporting team that won a 1994 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting on violence against women. Reaves, later editor of the Fort Worth Weekly, earned a master of journalism degree from UNT in 2015 and is an adjunct faculty member at the Mayborn School.

A second panel discussion will feature four of six UNT journalism alumni who were finalists for Pulitzer Prizes, including three in spring 2016:

  • Melissa Boughton, a 2010 graduate and breaking news reporter for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. Boughton was nominated for a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news earlier this year for her part in team coverage of the police shooting of Walter Scott.
  • Kalani Gordon, a 2012 graduate and breaking news editor for the Baltimore Sun, nominated this year in the same category as Boughton as part of a team covering the riots following the death of Freddie Gray while he was in police custody.
  • Ray Moseley, a 1952 graduate who was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in international reporting when he was a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.
  • Kenneth "Chip" Somodevilla, a 1995 graduate and 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for breaking news photography. He is assigned to the White House press corps for Getty Images.

The panels will be the second event sponsored by the Mayborn School of Journalism this year in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes. In July, the annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which is hosted by the school's Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, also had the 100th anniversary as its theme and featured many past Pulitzer Prize winners as speakers.

For more information, contact Brandee Hartley in the Mayborn School of Journalism at 940-565-2095 or brandee.hartley@unt.edu

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108