Stahl to give a look ‘Inside 60 Minutes’

Broadcast journalist and 60 Minutes co-editor Lesley Stahl will share a glimpse “Inside 60 Minutes” as Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts opens its 2012-13 signature lecture series, Open VISIONS Forum, on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m.

Following Stahl’s presentation, there will be an informal conversation and discussion with professor Philip Eliasoph, Open VISIONS Forum moderator, and Dr. James Simon, a former Associated Press reporter who created the journalism program at Fairfield University.

Single tickets are $45.

“We are all eager to hear how Lesley Stahl navigated the many changes in TV news — the rise of cable TV, the slow decline of the networks, the use of social media — and maintained a reputation as one of the top TV reporters in the country,” said Simon, now an associate dean of Fairfield University’s College of Arts and Sciences. “She is a great choice for Open VISIONS Forum because she embodies the qualities we seek to instill in our student journalists: a sense of social justice in her work, a high level of ethics and fairness in her reporting, and avoidance from the trap of providing more heat than light.”

Stahl was first hired at CBS News in 1972, the same day affirmative action was passed. She entered an industry that was male-dominated, but strove to make a name for herself. With humorous and poignant anecdotes, Stahl will relive her two decades of covering the White House during the Carter, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush presidencies, and then viewing government as an “outsider” as co-editor of 60 Minutes. She will detail how news is gathered, and offer her insights on the major news stories she covered, including Watergate, the Iranian hostage crisis, and Iran-Contra.

She also warns that now more than ever, the media controls what is news and how the industry is and is not handling that responsibility.

Stahl has been a 60 Minutes correspondent since March 1991. Her ongoing reporting on the life of a young, musical savant won her an Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting for her 2008 follow-up on Rex Lewis-Clack. She won an Emmy for her interview of Hewlett-Packard head Pattie Dunn in 2006. In September of 2005, Stahl landed the first interview with American hostage Roy Hallums, who was held captive by Iraqis for 10 months. Her other exclusive 60 Minutes interviews with former Bush administration officials Paul O’Neill and Richard Clarke ranked among the biggest news stories of 2004. She was the first to report that Al Gore would not run for president, in a 60 Minutes interview.

Prior to joining 60 Minutes, Stahl served as CBS News White House correspondent during the Carter and Reagan presidencies and part of the term of George H.W. Bush. Her reports appeared frequently on the CBS Evening News, first with Walter Cronkite, then with Dan Rather, and on other CBS News broadcasts.

During much of that time, she also served as moderator of Face The Nation, the CBS News Sunday public-affairs broadcast (Sept. 1983 to May 1991).

Her experiences covering Washington for more than 20 years became the subject of her book Reporting Live, published by Simon & Schuster in 1999.

Stahl was born Dec. 16, 1941, in Swampscott, Mass., and graduated cum laude in 1963 from Wheaton College, where she served on the board of trustees. She currently serves on the board of the New York City Ballet.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office, 203-254-4010, or 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased at quickcenter.com, where directions can also be found.

Moffly Media is the exclusive magazine sponsor for the 2012-13 Open VISIONS Forum series.

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