Barbara Walters Gets Journalism Award

ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism at the Kennedy School of Government's ARCO Forum last night.

Marvin L. Kalb, Murrow professor of press and public policy at the Kennedy School, presented the award, which is given annually to a journalist who has enriched political discourse. Kalb said Walters has "broken barriers" in the world of television news.

"No one has so many firsts," Kalb said. "She is journalist and superstar, a potent combination that is testing the limits of television broadcasting."

Walters was the first woman to host the "Today" show and was also the first broadcast journalist to earn over $1 million a year.


In her acceptance speech, Walters spoke about the concept of leadership, drawing from her numerous interviews with celebrities and world leaders.

Walters read excerpts from her interviews with retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin L. Powell, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and actor Christopher Reeve.

"All great leaders I have met have a tremendous belief in their mission and in themselves," Walters said.

Walters is best known for arranging a joint interview in 1977 with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

She said there has been a general trend away from "hard news stories" in recent years.

"This leads in some degree to the softening of news, but it is what the market will allow," she said.

Walters addressed recent concerns about the high salaries that networks pay news personalities.

"Sure we're overpaid," she said. "But [the networks] are giving it to us because we make huge money for them."

Walters is currently the co-anchor of ABC's weekly news program "20/20."

Past recipients of the Goldsmith Career Award include Peter Jen- nings, ABC News anchor; Mike Wallace, correspondent for CBS News' "60 Minutes" and Bob Woodward, a reporter for the Washington Post.

A team of reporters from the Los Angeles Times won the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series entitled "Illegal Democratic Campaign Contributions."

In addition, Frederick Schauer, Stanton professor of the First Amendment and the Kennedy School's incoming academic dean, presented 19 Goldsmith Research Awards to a number of journalists and scholars