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The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University has decided to rescind its award for excellence in journalism given to Charlie Rose in 2015. The University of Kansas also announced it would revoke its National Citation Award that was given to the journalist earlier this year.
These announcements come days after Rose was fired from CBS and his show dropped from PBS and Bloomberg following multiple reports of sexual harassment.
The Cronkite School on Friday released a statement in which founding dean and professor Christopher Callahan said that “this action is largely symbolic,” but “we think the message is important — to our current students, past students, future students, and all of journalism. And that is why we are taking this unprecedented action today.”
A statement from the University of Kansas’ William Allen White Foundation Board of Trustees read in part: “After recent reports detailed sexual harassment and a pattern of unprofessional behavior by Rose during his career, the William Allen White Foundation decided that Rose does not exemplify the ideals of this award.”
The Washington Post reported that eight women had come forward to claim that the veteran journalist had made unwanted sexual advances toward them between 1990-2011. More women have forward since then.
Rose apologized after the allegations were made public in a statement, which read in part: “It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
“This unprecedented action is taken with the utmost seriousness and deliberation,” read Callahan’s statement. “We give the award each year based on the knowledge we have of a recipient at that time. When new information about a recipient surfaces, the question we ask is not whether the award would be given again with a new set of facts, but whether the transgressions are so egregious that they demand nothing less than a reversal of history.”
He explained that the decision to rescind the award was made with the input from students, alumni, faculty and the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees: “I believe Mr. Rose’s actions of sexual misconduct reported by The Washington Post and other media outlets, which are largely unrefuted, rise to that level. The damage caused by Mr. Rose’s actions extends far beyond the news organizations for which he worked.”
The statement concluded: “In rescinding this award, we hope to send an unequivocal message that what Mr. Rose did is unacceptable, and that such behavior — far too common in not just media companies but many organizations — must stop.”
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The Fien Print
William Jackson Harper