Briscoe Center Announces Steering Committee for the Morley Safer Award

The Briscoe Center proudly announces the eight-person steering committee that will govern the Morley Safer Award for Outstanding Reporting. The Safer Award seeks to recognize a story or series of stories of creativity, vision and integrity.

Morley Safer Award Steering Committee

“We want to honor reporters who embody Morley’s journalisticlegacy,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center, where Safer’sarchival papers are preserved.

The steering committee comprises Dr. Carleton, Lynn Goldberg, JohnMarks, Dr. Kathleen McElroy, Dr. Horace Newcomb, Jane Safer, Sarah Safer, and Mark Updegrove.

Each year, the committee appoints a panel of nominators and a jury. A Call for Entries is issued each January. Reporters can submit their work directly for consideration or be nominated by the panel.  Nominators and jurors seek stories that embody Morley Safer’s commitment to reporting grounded in historical context and informed perspective. In March, the steering committee recommends a shortlist of finalists and their work to the jury. In April, the jury meets in Austin at the Briscoe Center to deliberate the award’s recipient. The Morley Safer Award for Outstanding Reporting is presented at a luncheon in Manhattan each fall.

Morley Safer was one of the most respected and honored reporters in television history. During his 50 years at CBS News, his work ranged from groundbreaking war coverage to elegantly written profiles of people and places. He never shied away from controversy, resisted conventional interpretations and found many of his best stories where no one else bothered to look. The hundreds of stories he crafted often defy easy categorization. He valued wit, eloquence and expression but never at the expense of rigor, depth or bite. His approach to reporting defined a generation of broadcast journalists. In these times of alternative facts and fake news, celebrating the integrity and tenacity of reporters like Morley remain even more critical to the health of our democracy.

“Historians want the American conversation about identities, origins, and values to remain rooted in evidence.” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “This value is shared with journalists—history’s first responders—which is one of the reasons the center collects their archives. The Briscoe Center is the proud home of one of the nation’s leading News Media History archives, which includes the papers of Morley Safer, Walter Cronkite, and Liz Smith, as well as photographers Eddie Adams, Flip Schulke, and Diana Walker among many others.”

The Briscoe Center for American History collects, preserves, and shares the raw materials of history in order to foster exploration of the American past. Dating back to 1883, the center’s collections represent more than a century of collection efforts at The University of Texas at Austin. Since 1991, the center has evolved a national reputation for its collections related to news media history. Nearly three miles of archival materials across hundreds of separate collections include the personal papers of industry pioneers, print reporters, television and radio correspondents, photojournalists, and media producers, as well as over 5,000 newspaper titles, millions of photographs, and countless hours of audio and video footage. Together with the center’s libraries, museums, and historic buildings, news media collections document the people, events, and ideas that have shaped America.

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