Jane Pauley, host of “CBS Sunday Morning,” and Ann Pistone (CMN ’90), investigative producer with ABC7 Chicago, were honored at the second annual Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence Awards. Held in April at the Union League Club of Chicago, the awards were presented by the center’s directors, Carol Marin and Don Moseley.
“[Jane’s] journalism has won a lot of awards that are a testament to her excellence. But it’s her integrity that shines through absolutely everything. Jane has never wavered in who she is … In every stage of her career, at every turn in her life, she seemed to instinctively find her true north,” Marin said. “Journalism integrity and excellence are the reasons why we award Jane Pauley for her work.”
Pauley, who received the center’s Distinguished Journalist Award, became the first woman co-anchor on a major evening newscast when she joined Chicago’s WMAQ-TV in 1975. Only 10 months later, Pauley was tapped to co-host the “Today” show, replacing pioneering newswoman Barbara Walters.
Pauley later co-anchored “Dateline NBC” for more than a decade and hosted her own daytime program. She is the author of two best-selling memoirs that not only detail her life in the news, but also her experience with bipolar disorder. Pauley is currently the solo anchor of “CBS Sunday Morning.” Her outstanding career has made her one of the most prominent figures in broadcast news.
During her remarks, Pauley shared that Chicago helped prepare her for her career. “Chicago was the epicenter of journalism in America, and it still is today. There isn’t a city in this country that respects journalism like Chicago does. It’s rich with journalism heroes and legends … and I am on the fringes of that remarkable history,” Pauley said. “It’s such an honor to be associated with the words integrity, excellence and DePaul University.”
Since joining ABC7 in 1999, Pistone has received numerous awards, including a national Emmy for her story exposing the extent to which government agencies and chemical companies were unprotected against terrorist attacks. As an investigative producer on ABC7’s I-Team, she helps deliver breaking news and stories that bring truth to light. She has also worked with WFLD-TV Chicago, CNN, CNBC and WGN.
In a powerful speech, in which she told her DePaul story and thanked colleagues, friends and family, Pistone dedicated her Distinguished Alumna Award to a specific group of people: “Employees who whistleblow on their own companies, the residents who point fingers at their government while they’re living under them, the families who come to us and complain about nursing homes while their loved ones are still living in them and the victims of scammers who know they’re still in the crosshairs. These people take a huge risk coming forward to a journalist like me and telling their stories.”
She added, “They say, ‘If my story can prevent one person from going through what I had to go through, then it’s all worth it.’ And that is just proof to me that there are far more good people in this world than bad.”
During her remarks, Dean Salma Ghanem announced the creation of the Journalism Internship Scholarship, a fund designed to help students with costs associated with interning for academic credit. The scholarship became a reality with the generous support of Dean’s Advisory Council member Tony Hunter (MBA ’95) and his wife, Susan. To learn how you can contribute to the scholarship, please visit bit.ly/JOURIntern.
Originally published in Conversations (Fall 2018 issue).