January 18, 2001

Press conference

William Allen White Foundation


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Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

Molly Ivins to speak, receive KU journalism award

LAWRENCE -- Molly Ivins, one of the nation's wittiest and best-known political pundits, and author of a book on President George W. Bush, will accept the William Allen White Foundation's national citation Feb. 9 at the University of Kansas.

Ivins, whose Texas-based column appears in nearly 200 newspapers, will attend a foundation luncheon and then give the annual William Allen White Day public address at 1:30 p.m. in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union.

A panel of White Foundation trustees chose Ivins to receive the citation, presented annually since 1950 to journalists who exemplify the ideals of William Allen White, a nationally influential Kansas editor and publisher who died in 1944. KU's William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications is named in White's honor.

Ivins, 55, has often criticized the news media, particularly for its choices in what stories to report. "It is the stories we don't get, the ones we miss, pass over, fail to recognize, don't pick up on, that will send us to hell," she wrote in 1990.

She has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist three times, and has won numerous journalism awards, including a 1991 Headliner's Award for best Texas column. She was named Outstanding Alumna by Columbia University's School of Journalism in 1976, and was a member of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize jury. In addition, she served for three years on the board of the National News Council, is active in Amnesty International's Journalism Network and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She writes about press issues for the American Civil Liberties Union and several journalism reviews.

Ivins' latest book, "Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush," is a critical examination of the president's political record in Texas. She also is the author of "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" and "You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You: Politics in the Clinton Years."

The former co-editor of the liberal monthly Texas Observer and former Rocky Mountain bureau chief for the New York Times, she has also worked for the Houston Chronicle, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Dallas Times Herald. Ivins' freelance work has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, The Nation, Harper's, The Progressive, Mother Jones, TV Guide and numerous other publications. She is a frequent guest on network radio and television shows.

Ivins has a bachelor's degree from Smith College, a master's in journalism from Columbia University and studied for a year at the Institute of Political Science in Paris. She speaks both French and Spanish.

The most recent winners of the William Allen White Citation were James K. Batten, 1990; Charlayne Hunter-Gault, 1991; Louis D. Boccardi, 1992; George F. Will, 1993; Bernard Shaw, 1994; Ellen Goodman, 1995; Hedrick Smith, 1996, David Broder, 1997; Bill Kurtis, 1998; Albert Hunt, 1999; and Bob Woodward in 2000. Other winners have included James Reston, 1950; Walter Cronkite, 1969; James J. Kilpatrick, 1979; Helen Thomas, 1986; and Charles Kuralt, 1989.

For more information about the William Allen White Foundation, call Dana Leibengood at (785) 864-4755.

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