Tom Brokaw, an internationally-known journalist and NBC news correspondent will receive an award for excellence in his field presented by OU’s college of mass communication.
Brokaw will receive the Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communication at noon Thursday in the Molly Shi Ballroom. Following the ceremony and luncheon, he will hold a question and answer open to students at 2:30 p.m., according to a press release from OU public affairs.
The prize seeks to reward nationally recognized journalism professionals, according to the college’s web page. Recipients must have a distinguished career in journalism or mass communication and hold high ethical standards for the next generation of journalists, according to the web page.
“It’s such a huge issue in journalism today, to be honest in the way that you portray the news,” said freshman broadcast journalism major Rebecca Walters.
Brokaw was originally set to receive The Gaylord Prize in September 2013, but he had to cancel the ceremony due to health problems, said Joe Foote, dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“He felt really badly about that and wanted to put it back on his schedule,” Foote said.
Brokaw rescheduled to receive the prize in November but had to reschedule again due to a trip to the White House where he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Foote said.
“We’re grateful that things are back on track,” said Foote.
The Gaylord Prize was first awarded to Jim Lehrer of PBS’s “NewsHour” in 2008, and prizes have been awarded to Thomas Friedman, a New York Times columnist, Brian Lamb, then the CEO of C-SPAN, and Judy Woodruff, a NewsHour anchor, as well, according to the web page.
“We’ve been fortunate to have excellent recipients who are not only nationally known but represent the high standards of the profession,” Foote said. “Tom Brokaw falls in line with that exactly.”
Brokaw has won various awards, including the Peabody and Emmys, according to the press release.
“He has proved to be one of those master story tellers, the kind of person who can breathe life into the human experience, make it real and make it poignant and significant to a much broader audience,” said Foote.
In addition to chronicling topics such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, AIDs and global warming, Brokaw wrote “The Greatest Generation,” a book about World War II, in 1998, according to the press release.
“Just the quality that he’s been able to produce is, I think, why he’s here, he’s been such a top journalist,” said junior broadcasting journalism major Clarke Sachs.