Heather Porter, Programs Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext 204
Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211
INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor retired Professor Chuck Stone from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. Stone is the founding president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).
This award is presented to an individual or individuals for a lifetime of contribution and service to the journalism profession. The Award is named after longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, a living icon of journalism for her dogged pursuit of the truth in a career that has spanned almost 60 years. Thomas received the first award in 2000.
A former Tuskegee Airman, Professor Stone served as a member of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication faculty from 1991 to 2005 where he received the Freedom Forum Free Spirit Award and UNC’s Thomas Jefferson Award. Additionally, he taught at Columbia College in Chicago and the University of Delaware. Further contributing to the African American political experience, Professor Stone has authored four books. Before launching his career in academia, Stone worked for the New York Age, the Chicago Defender, Washington Afro-American and the Philadelphia Daily News. On the broadcast circuit, Stone hosted the PBS show “Black Perspectives on the News” and served as a television news analyst in Montreal, Quebec, and Durham, N.C. In the 1960’s Stone served as a special assistant to Congressman Adam Clayton Powell.
According to his biography on the NABJ Web site, “Because of his reputation for integrity, Stone became a trusted middleman between Philadelphia police and murder suspects, more than 75 of whom ‘surrendered’ to Stone rather than to the cops.”
“Chuck’s ethics and law seminar at Carolina was one of the most popular classes on the entire campus,” wrote David Bulla in his nomination letter. “His discussion of censorship captivated young people as few journalism topics can. He also inculcated what he called the four fundamentals of journalism – F-E-A-T (fairness, even-handedness, accuracy and thoroughness) – with the conviction of a preacher. Few mass communication professors in the country have had a more profound influence on a generation of journalists than Professor Stone. It’s a shame that he did not have more years in academia and did not reach even more students.”
Professor Stone will be recognized Saturday, Oct. 6 during a dinner at the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C. at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.
Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.