J-Students Hear a Broadcast Legend

Bob Schieffer met with journalism students on Monday.

Bob Schieffer met with journalism students on Monday.

Bob Schieffer is one of America’s premier journalists,  so students in one of Washington and Lee’s journalism classes had a rare treat Monday when he spent an hour in Stackhouse Theatre telling them some stories and answering their questions. Schieffer, who has been with CBS News since 1969, was visiting the class titled “Saving Television News,” which is being offered this semester by Tom Mattesky, a 1974 W&l graduate and an Emmy-winning journalist and producer with the CBS bureau in Washington. Mattesky is this year’s Donald W. Reynolds Distinguished Visting Professor. Schieffer provided his take on the recent presidential election, during which he served as moderator for the third debate. But he also shared numerous other anecdotes and provide some valuable career advice (“do what you love”). It’s a safe bet the students were surprised to learn that Schieffer recalls his most dangerous assignment was not his tour in Vietnam, where he did stories on Texas servicemen for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Instead, he said it was the September night he spent in Oxford, Miss., where riots broke out when James Meredith tried to integrate the University of Mississippi. That, he said without hesitation, was as frightened as he ever was as a reporter. Schieffer started as print reporter in Texas and moved to television not as part of some great plan, but because he got a raise — $20 a week — to move to television. You can see some of Schieffer’s comments in the piece by Joe Dashiell (W&L ’80) that ran on Roanoke’s WDBJ-TV, Channel 7:


Extended WDBJ Interview

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