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Renaissance man wins Cronkite award

Broadcaster Osgood feted for poetic style of journalism

 by Jenna Eckenrode
 published on Friday, October 15, 2004


Playing a harmonica and reading his original poem "Ode to a Beautiful Woman" was just one of the many colorful ways CBS Anchor Charles Osgood accepted the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communication on Thursday.

"I take great pride in my profession, and I love what I do," Osgood said. "I am deeply honored by this award."

With more than 800 media and community members in attendance, the Emmy award- winning host of CBS News' "Sunday Morning" was honored at the 21st annual Cronkite Award Luncheon. He received congratulations from Walter Cronkite at the Biltmore Resort and Spa and several other celebrities such as Orioles baseball player Cal Ripken Jr., a member of Osgood's favorite team, via video.

"He has the ability to combine poetry and journalism," Cronkite said. "He is enthralling and has millions of fans."

ASU President Michael Crow described Osgood, who joined a long list of notable broadcast and print journalists recognized by the award, as a "renaissance man."

"He is a renaissance person, musician, poet, artist, writer," Crow said. "[Osgood is] unbelievable; he is a good guy."

Steve Doig, interim director of the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication said recipients of the award are chosen by Cronkite after the Walter Cronkite Endowment Board -- a committee made up of those involved in Phoenix-area media owners, reporters, and executives -- picks two or three names from a large list of journalists with "excellent credentials."

Doig said Osgood was an excellent fit for the award criteria.

"As a journalist, he is a fabulous professional, he has had a career any journalist would envy," he said.

Osgood is a broadcaster and author, having anchored several programs, including the CBS "Evening News with Dan Rather," and "Sunday Morning," in his 30 years at the network.

Two Hall of Fame recipients were also recognized at the luncheon -- ASU alumni Kathleen Bade, a broadcaster in San Diego, and East Valley Tribune reporter Mark Flatten.

Although the list of 21 recipients is a "who's who" in journalism, only three women have ever received the award, the most recent National Public Radio senior news analyst Cokie Roberts in 2000.

"I think you are going to see many more [women recipients] to come," Bade said. "[There will be] many more because you are seeing women become primary custodians of the news."

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