On the Record Program Archive
In November 2008, NewsHour's Executive Editor and Anchor Jim Lehrer became the first recipient of the prestigious Gaylord Prize for journalism excellence, presented by the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College. While Lehrer was in Oklahoma, OETA's Dick Pryor visited with him about Lehrer's Oklahoma connections, the 2008 presidential campaign, the importance of public broadcasting and the future of journalism.
With a journalism career spanning five decades, Jim Lehrer has become one of the most recognizable and most trusted journalists in America. The program maintains an unrivaled standard of excellence and fairness, and Lehrer has been chosen to moderate presidential and vice-presidential debates for the past six elections.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934, Jim Lehrer received an A.A. degree from Victoria College and a B.J. in 1956 from the University of Missouri before joining the Marine Corps. From 1959 to 1966, he was a reporter for The Dallas Morning News and then the Dallas Times-Herald. He was also a political columnist at the Times-Herald for several years and in 1968 became the city editor.Lehrer's newspaper career led him to public television, first in Dallas, as KERA-TV's executive director of public affairs, on-air host and editor of a nightly news program. He subsequently moved to Washington, DC, to serve as the public affairs coordinator for PBS, and was also a member of PBS's Journalism Advisory Board and a fellow at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Lehrer went on to join the National Public Affairs Center for Television (NPACT) as a correspondent.