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Katie Couric Heads to USD for Award, Student Newspaper Asks ‘Is She Media’s Most Excellent?’

KCouric_10.7.jpgKatie Couric is heading to middle America tomorrow where she will be honored with the 2009 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media. The award is presented by The University of South Dakota and the Freedom Forum.

But a columnist for USD’s student newspaper, The Volante, says Couric’s not ready for the award. “A ‘life-time achievement award’ to Couric is jumping the gun,” writes columnist David Whitesock. “Despite Ms. Couric’s laudable efforts to introduce the evening news to the Internet generation, she has fallen short of ‘Evening News’ predecessors.”

Following her remarks tomorrow night, Couric will be interviewed by Jack Marsh, executive director of the Al Neuharth Media Center at USD, she’ll then take questions from the audience.

Couric is the 22nd recipient of the Al Neuharth Award, and the fifth CBS journalist to receive it. The first was Walter Cronkite in 1989. This is only the second time the Neuharth presentation has taken place on campus in Vermillion, South Dakota. With Couric in South Dakota, “Early Show” co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez will sub.

Neuharth, the founder of USA Today and the Freedom Forum, is a 1950 USD graduate.

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