Richard G. Gray Reporting Prize
Richard Gray, who served as dean of the School of Journalism from 1968 to 1984, believed citizens in an interdependent world require information that is fact-based, verified and true if they mean to govern themselves. To serve this democratic responsibility, he devoted his career as teacher, scholar and administrator to educating journalists of knowledge, skill and integrity who can report and tell stories that matter in words and images. In constructing a baccalaureate degree and a journalism major, he was inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s belief that an editor
… ought to be qualified with an extensive acquaintance with languages, a great easiness and command of writing and relating things clearly and intelligibly, and in a few words… should be able to speak of war both by land and sea; be well acquainted with geography, with the history of the time, with the several interests of princes and states, the secrets of courts and the manners and customs of all nations.
Gray believed that the responsibilities of the profession in a democracy require journalism majors to be grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and to excel in the classroom as well as in the newsroom.
The prize was created by Gray's widow, Ruth Gray, as a way to encourage emerging journalists who want to serve the public interest with insight and clarity in the face of economic, social or political pressures with the goal of restoring public trust in the media.