NBC’s John Hockenberry to Speak on War Coverage and the Media at UGA Feb. 11

ATHENS, Ga. – John Hockenberry, veteran broadcaster and correspondent for MSNBC, will speak at UGA on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. Hockenberry is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in Broadcasting from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and its student broadcasting society, Di Gamma Kappa (DGK).

Hockenberry will address the state of war coverage and the media. “Even though there is some debate about whether or not war will happen, big questions linger over whether Saddam Hussein has some smoking gun and what North Korea will do. Nevertheless, at this point, the assumption is that war is imminent,” he said.

The public is invited to attend the event, which is being held at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. Tickets, including dinner, are $20 and must be purchased in advance via the Grady College. Contact Diane Murray by e-mail at murrayd@uga.edu or by phone at (706) 542-5038 for tickets.

At National Public Radio (NPR), Hockenberry spent more than a decade as a general assignment reporter, Middle East correspondent and host of several programs. During the Persian Gulf War (1990-91), He was assigned to the Middle East, where he filed reports from Israel, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. Hockenberry was one of the first Western broadcast journalists to report from Kurdish refugee camps in Northern Iraq and Southern Turkey, and he spent two years (1988-90) as a correspondent based in Jerusalem during some of the most intensive conflicts of the Palestinian uprising.

Hockenberry, who lost the use of his legs as the result of spinal cord injury 27 years ago, is a two-time Peabody Award winner and “Dateline NBC” correspondent. He has anchored several cable programs for NBC and created programs for MSNBC after a 15-year career in broadcast news with NPR and ABC News.

Hockenberry is also the author of Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence, his memoir of life as a foreign correspondent. In 1996, Hockenberry performed “Spokeman,” the one-man, off-Broadway show based on his book. He has also written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, I.D., The Columbia Journalism Review, Details and The Washington Post.

Hockenberry’s broadcasting honors also include the duPont-Columbia Award for Foreign News Coverage for his reporting on the Gulf War, and an Emmy for his television work, the 1984 and 1985 Champion Tuck Business Reporting Awards, the 1985 Benton Fellowship in broadcast Journalism, and the 1987 Unity in Media Award. He was named one of 40 “Journalists in Space” semifinalists in 1986.

DGK was founded at UGA in the 1940s. It is open to all students with an interest in any aspect of broadcasting. Many well-known broadcasters are former members, including Inside Edition’s Deborah Norville and ABC’s Deborah Roberts. Hockenberry joins the ranks of previous DGK award winners, including Ted Turner, Bob Costas, Charles Kuralt, Ted Koppel, Bernard Shaw and Barbara Walters.

Established in 1913, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication provides seven undergraduate majors: advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. In addition, the college offers three graduate degrees and is home to the Peabody Awards, one of the premier award programs in broadcasting and electronic media.