Public can attend program that includes Wall Street Journal reporter, student journalists and Reuters representative

Portland-area residents can learn more about courage and ethics in journalism at an event Wednesday, May 14, that will feature journalists recently honored by the University of Oregon.

David Miller of Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" radio program will lead a conversation at 5:30 p.m. May 14 with 2014 Ancil Payne Award winners Michael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal; editor Abbey Crain and magazine editor Matt Ford of the University of Alabama’s Crimson White; and Michael Williams of the Reuters news organization.

Free tickets to the event, which will be held at the University of Oregon's White Stag building, 70 S.W. Couch St., can be obtained by visiting

The Oregon School of Journalism and Communication gives the hallmark award to journalists and news organizations that act with integrity and character, restoring public trust in the media and inspiring people to do good work.

Phillips was honored for his Wall Street Journal series “The Lobotomy Files,” an in-depth investigation into the roughly 2,000 soldiers lobotomized during and after World War II by the Veterans Administration.

Crain and Ford, along with editor-in-chief Mazie Bryant of the University of Alabama’s Crimson White newspaper, were chosen for an Ancil Payne Award for their work on “The Final Barrier,” which reported allegations that black students were passed over for bids at traditionally white UA sororities because of their race.

“The Ancil Payne Award recognizes journalists who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to ethical conduct, even when faced with economic, personal, or political pressure,” said Julianne Newton, interim dean of the UO journalism school. “Certainly these three journalists, as members of the university and Greek communities, faced each of these in pressure from administrators, the fraternity system, sources and friends to ‘leave it alone.’”

The judging panel also honored Reuters for its decision to publish the three-part series “Assets of the Ayatollah.” Although warned by sources within Iran that publishing the series might endanger the news organization’s attempts to reopen its Tehran bureau and faced with mounting costs in securing the safety of their employees in the region, Reuters persisted in supporting their reporters in getting the story.

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