Pulitzer Prize winners to discuss media and informed citizens

Two Pulitzer Prize winners will review the development of the stories that earned their recognition and discuss the role journalism plays in fostering informed citizens at a free public forum at 7 p.m. Monday, April 2, in the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

Eric Eyre and John Hackworth will present “Path to the Pulitzer:  Journalism and the Informed Citizen,” in the event hosted by the university’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

“It’s exciting for us to be able to showcase journalism of this caliber. Nowadays, with the very basis of objective reporting being challenged, we need more than ever to listen to people like these West Virginians who have won the top prize in the field,” said Humanities Council Executive Director Ken Sullivan.

Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre received a Pulitzer in 2017 for Investigative Reporting for his series “Painkiller Profiteers” that was noted by the Pulitzer committee for “courageous reporting, performed in the face of powerful opposition, to expose the flood of opioids flowing into depressed West Virginia counties with the highest overdose death rates in the country.”

John Hackworth, a 1971 graduate of Marshall’s journalism program, worked at the Huntington Herald-Dispatch and the Ashland (KY) Daily Independent before joining Sun Newspapers in Port Charlotte, Fla., in 1994. He and Brian Gleason received a Pulitzer for Editorial Writing in 2016 for a series of editorials described by the Pulitzer committee as “fierce, indignant editorials that demanded truth and change after the deadly assault of an inmate by corrections officers.”

Journalism Professor Dan Hollis will moderate the panel and direct a question and answer session after the presentation. A reception will follow. The event is presented with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council in collaboration with the Marshall University School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the West Virginia University Reed College of Media. It is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and is one of three events in the state. The Andrew S. Mellon Foundation and the Pulitzer Prizes also helped make the event possible.