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Fred Knubel, Director of Public Information

Columbia Honors Four Journalism Alumni

A champion of writers' rights, a leading Ohio newspaper publisher, a founder of the environmental reporting movement and a revered journalism educator will be awarded the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism's highest alumni honor April 19.

Receiving the 1996 Columbia Journalism Alumni Association Awards in ceremonies at the University will be:

The annual awards recognizing distinguished service to journalism will bepresented at the association's spring meeting, which begins at 6 P.M. in the Faculty Room of Low Memorial Library on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus at Broadway and West 116th Street.

Introducing Mr. Bloom will be Judith Crist, Class of '45, film and television critic and adjunct professor at the School. Mr. Detjen will be introduced by Steven Ross, Columbia professor of journalism, and Mr. Douthit by his Columbia classmate Edward Silberfarb, former publications manager for the New York City Transit Police. James W. Carey, professor of journalism at Columbia and former dean of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois, Urbana, will speak on behalf of Mr. Hulteng, who died of cancer March 9, two days after learning he had been chosen to receive the award. The award will be accepted by Mr. Hulteng's wife, Elizabeth.

Information on the recipients follows:

Murray Teigh Bloom, described in a 1993 New York Times article as "a freelancer's freelancer," is the quintessential independent journalist. A prolific writer since journalism school - even during his service in the U.S. Army in World War II - he has been a model of industry for aspiring free-lancers. His articles have appeared in almost every major magazine and he has written several books, including Rogues to Riches, The Man Who Stole Portugal, and The Thirteenth Man, a novel that was also made into a film. His play The White Crow was produced Off Broadway in 1984. In 1948 he was an organizer of the Society of Magazine Writers, now the American Society of Journalists and Authors with a membership of more than 850. In 1994 he was named Magazine Professional of the Year by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the national organization of journalism educators. The first writer to receive the award, he was cited for his "outstanding lifelong record as a nonfiction writer" and for his "championship of amicable writer-editor relations, fairness in writing contracts and ethics in editors' dealings with free-lance writers." Mr. Bloom is a 1937 graduate of Columbia College. He is married to the former Sydelle Cohen, a 1945 Columbia Journalism graduate. They live in Kings Point, New York.

Jim Detjen has held the Knight Chair in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University since 1995. Formerly a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer for 12 years, he has reported on the greenhouse effect, depletion of the ozone layer, endangered species, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, AIDS, the space program, genetic engineering and radioactive contamination among workers at Three Mile Island. He has won more than 45 state and national awards, including the George Polk Award, the National Headliner Award, and the Edward Meeman Award for conservation reporting (five times). He was named the nation's top environmental journalist by the National Association of Professional Environmental Communicators. His work was nominated eight times for a Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist three times. A native of New York State's Hudson Valley, he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He reported for the Poughkeepsie Journal for four years before coming to Columbia and then reported for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., for four years. He was sent to Japan by the International Press Institute to report on innovative pollution-control efforts and to Antarctica by the National Science Foundation to write about scientific developments at the South Pole and other research stations. Assignments have also taken him on a research flight through the eye of a Nor'easter, an expedition to Norway to report on ozone depletion, and to Costa Rica to investigate efforts to restore tropical forests. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and elsewhere. He is a co-author or contributor to more than four books. In 1990 he was one of the co-founders of the Society of Environmental Journalists and served as its president for the first four years; he currently is president of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists, an organization he helped found in 1993. Tireless in his efforts to improve public understanding about science and technology, he is a director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, a regional director of Investigative Reporters & Editors and a director of the Scientists' Institute for Public Information, among other affiliations.

Harold K. Douthit is chairman and chief executive officer of Douthit Communications, Inc., an Ohio-based company that produces 26 publications, including award-winning community newspapers, specialty newspapers and a group of real estate magazines serving the Great Lakes and Southwest regions. He has devoted his career to serving an under-served market, the suburbs, and pioneered in the development of new printing technology that gave newspapers the production speed and efficiency to compete with electronic media. His ten award-winning weekly newspapers in Ohio have been called "models of superior writing and keen coverage of local events" by the Ohio Newspaper Association. His flagship paper, The Chagrin Valley Times, won the General Excellence Award as Ohio's finest weekly newspaper five consecutive years. His own weekly column has received the association's top award for column writing. Mr. Douthit is a founder and chairman of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government, which champions freedom of information issues. He pressed for passage of a bill before the State Legislature that would establish the nation's most comprehensive law requiring open government records and led the Ohio Coalition for Open Government in its efforts to bring a landmark case before Ohio's highest court to require government agencies to make records available to the press and public.

John L. Hulteng (1921-1996), journalist, educator and author, was a legend in journalism education. A newspaperman for ten years in the Midwest and on the East Coast, he resigned as editorial page editor of The Providence Journal and Bulletin to join the faculty of the University of Oregon at Eugene in 1955. He remained on the Oregon faculty for 22 years, serving as dean for seven of them. He was a professor at Stanford University for nine years before retiring in 1986, and also served for a year as assistant director of the Communication Institute of the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. He was the author of seven books on journalism and journalism ethics, including textbooks used in more than 100 universities. One of his books, commissioned by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, was an ethics handbook used in newspaper offices throughout the country. It has recently been reissued in seven foreign languages. An editorial in The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., March 13 noting his passing and praising his contributions called his book, The Opinion Function, "The best American book on the peculiar craft of editorial writing." Mr. Hulteng was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and received numerous awards for teaching and for service to journalism. The University of North Dakota, where he earned his undergraduate degree, gave him its Distinguished Service Award in 1972. He was an honorary lifetime member of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. He was president of the American Association of Schools and Departments of Journalism in 1966-67.