Eric Newton, vice president of the journalism program for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is the recipient of the 2008 DeWitt Carter Reddick Award—one of The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication‘s highest awards recognizing outstanding people in the field of communication.
He will accept the award during the College of Communication Honors Day Convocation, for which he is the keynote speaker, at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, April 12 in the Texas Union Ballroom. The title of his speech is “The Future of News.”
At the Knight Foundation, Newton oversees grant awards aimed at advancing journalism excellence and freedom of expression worldwide. These grants are given in the form of mid-career journalism education fellowships at prominent universities. The foundation also has established Knight Chairs in Journalism at the nation’s top journalism schools. The Knight Chair in International Journalism, held by Rosental Calmon Alves, was established in the School of Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin in 1993.
Prior to joining the Knight Foundation in 2001, Newton was the founding managing editor of the interactive museum of news, the Newseum, where he created and managed content. Prior to that, he was managing editor of the Oakland Tribune during a time in which the daily earned more than 150 awards, including a Pulitzer Prize. Early in his career he edited weekly and small daily newspapers. He has taught high school and college journalism, and has trained professional journalists.
A four-time Pulitzer Prize juror and editor of several books about journalism in America, he earned a Peabody Award for his contributions toward “Mosaic: World News from the Middle East,” a daily compilation of television news reports from the Middle East, which is available on U.S. satellite channel LinkTV. He also helped establish the First Amendment Project, a nonprofit law firm, and serves on the advisory council for the Center for International Media Assistant at the National Endowment for Democracy.
Newton earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Francisco State University and his master’s degree in international studies from the University of Birmingham in England.
DeWitt Carter Reddick was the first dean of the College of Communication. He also was director of the School of Journalism from 1959 to 1965, teaching thousands of journalism students, including Walter Cronkite, Lady Bird Johnson, Ben Sargent and Karen Elliott House, from 1927 until his retirement in 1975.
Established in 1974, the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award recognizes excellence in the field of communication. Past Reddick Award recipients include: Walter Cronkite, Molly Ivins, Nicholas Lemann, Bill Moyers, William S. Paley, William J. Raspberry, Helen Thomas, Ted Turner and Bill Wittliff, among others.