The Media School’s Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients this year have excelled in and influenced the fields of television production, media research, photojournalism and investigative and sports journalism. The school will host a celebration of the honorees on Oct. 6 in Franklin Hall.
The Media School Alumni Board chose the recipients from a field of alumni who majored in Media School legacy majors, worked in student media or took significant coursework in journalism or media.
“The DAA ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to recognize achievement by our alumni, who excel in all media disciplines,” said Media School Dean James Shanahan. “This year’s class is especially distinguished and diverse, and we look forward to expressing our appreciation to them for the work they do.”
The 2017 recipients are:
Harold de Bock, PhD’74
He spent his early career in audience research at The Netherlands Broadcasting System, where he transitioned the station from paper diaries to people meters for television audience measurement. As director of media research and consultancy at the Dutch commercial market research firm Inter/View, de Bock developed the pan-European Media and Marketing Survey targeting Europe’s top 15 percent affluent audiences for international print and broadcast media. Thirty years, later, it is still the global standard.
In his later career, de Bock specialized in customer loyalty research. He pioneered techniques we now refer to as “data mining” and “big data” analysis.
Gary Donatelli, BA’74
After 20 years filming sports and news for ABC, Donatelli directed Loving, Another World, One Life to Live, The Bold and The Beautiful and General Hospital.
Donatelli now directs films. Most recently, he produced the film 23 Blast, the true story of a blind high school football player.
Sandra Eisert, BA’73
Eisert worked in photo editing, design and art directing at the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times, The Washington Post, the Washington bureau of the Associated Press, the San Jose Mercury News and WEST magazine. She played a key role in the Mercury News’ 1990 staff Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake and its aftermath. She designed and helped found the original online news site of MSNBC.com.
She has served as a media consultant in roles including establishing the Department of Defense’s Public Web Program and contributing to the editing, design or strategy of 90 books. Now, as an entrepreneur, Eisert serves as a health care startup CEO and and assists others in the Puget Sound, Washington, startup community.
Kathleen Johnston, BA’82
At the Indianapolis News, Johnston exposed the City-County council’s use of secret caucus meetings to decide issues ahead of its public sessions. She co-managed a five-member investigative team at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis that won more than 40 national, state and local awards, including the station’s first DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton.
At CNN, she broke the news that medical workers may have euthanized patients at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and uncovered Medicare fraud and wasted tax dollars along the Canadian border.
Bryan Moss, BA’66
At the Courier-Journal and Times in Louisville, he was one of eight staff photographers who contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photographic coverage of a controversial court-mandated public school busing program intended to achieve integration.
Moss contributed to his second Pulitzer Prize at the San Jose Mercury News as the paper’s director of photography. The Mercury News won the Prize for its coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that struck California’s Bay area, leading to the calamitous collapse of a double-decker freeway in Oakland that killed 42 motorists and passengers.
Diane Shah, BA’67
She covered Olympics, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA championships, Final Fours, golf and tennis championships for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. Before working at the Herald-Examiner, she was Newsweek’s No. 2 sportswriter and became one of the first women ever to enter a locker room.
She now writes books and has published four mystery novels.