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A cause for gathering

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

Mayborn, Pulitzer celebrate journalism at UNT

Ray Moseley, 83, spent his time in college working at The Chat, the student paper of North Texas State College, now the University of North Texas.

The work prepared him for life as a foreign correspondent for United Press International and the Chicago Tribune. In 1982 while working for the Tribune, he was named a finalist for the international reporting Pulitzer Prize, for a series he wrote about Africa.

As he sat on a stage at UNT’s new Union building alongside five other Pulitzer Prize finalists in the first of two panels Thursday night, Moseley spoke slowly and with conviction as he gave an audience of students, faculty and community members a glimpse into his career and how to think about journalism.

“In the last few years, I think the world and this country as well, have been going through a developing crisis, which reminds me in many ways of the crisis of the 1930s,” he told the audience. “I think it’s incumbent and a challenge on a journalist to deal with these situations — it’s quite a heavy responsibility.”

The gathering lasted almost three hours to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize and 100 years of student media on the UNT campus.

The event was hosted by the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism.

A first panel of finalists included Moseley and other Pulitzer finalists, followed by a second panel of Pulitzer winners. Panelists included Gayle Reaves, who won her Pulitzer in 1994 and served for several years as the editor of the Fort Worth Weekly, and Kalani Gordon, who graduated from Mayborn in 2012 and was a finalist for the breaking news Pulitzer this year along with the rest of the Baltimore Sun staff.

Questions centered on the stories they covered, and primarily students asked the follow-ups during question-and-answer sessions. Big talkers included how being a journalist impacts the way they view humanity, and how their work has impacted the world around them.

The panelists also talked about how technology has changed how reporters do their jobs and the industry itself, but they remained optimistic about the industry overall because of the importance of keeping the public informed and engaged.

“I don’t know what’s going to come at the other end of this terminal we’re all in with journalism, but clearly the desire and need, people’s appetite for news, is as great as it ever was,” Reaves said. “God knows the need for journalism to do its job is great, if not greater, than ever.”

 

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.