||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
David Broder to Speak
At UW-Eau Claire May 6
MAILED: April 15, 1998|
EAU CLAIRE -- Pulitzer Prize-winning political correspondent David S. Broder called his late Washington Post colleague Ann Devroy "the most dogged, determined, complete reporter any of us ever saw."
On May 6 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Broder will be the featured speaker at a program that will announce the establishment of The Ann Devroy Fund, recognizing the outstanding work of the 1970 UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate who became the core of the White House press corps.
The presentation -- "Why Journalism Values Matter: Reflections on Ann Devroy" -- will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Schofield Auditorium. A reception in the Dulany Inn, Davies Center, will follow.
Broder, whose twice-weekly column is syndicated by The Washington Post Writers Group, is the author or co-author of six books including "The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point" (1996). He has covered every national campaign and convention since 1960, and makes regular TV appearances on CNN's "Inside Politics," NBC's "Meet the Press," and PBS's "Washington Week in Review."
Ann Devroy died on Oct. 23, 1997, at the age of 49, of cancer, at her home in Washington, D.C. She was a White House correspondent -- the most challenging and most glamorous assignment in journalism -- for a total of 15 years, covering the Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations. During the nearly nine years Devroy reported for The Washington Post, the newspaper ran close to 2,500 stories under her byline -- and put 857 of them on the front page.
After learning of her death, President Clinton issued this statement: "For more than a decade, no journalist dominated and defined the White House beat with the kind of skill, shrewd analysis and gruff grace that Ann brought to her reporting."
Devroy is survived by her husband, Mark Matthews, diplomatic correspondent for The Baltimore Sun. He and their daughter Sarah will be among the special guests at the program, at which the first recipient of a journalism scholarship honoring Devroy will be announced.
The primary purpose of the Ann Devroy Fund is to award a scholarship of at least $1,000 annually to a student who shows exceptional promise and ability as a journalist, who has made outstanding contributions to the university's student newspaper, and who demonstrates financial need. Recipients will be selected by UW-Eau Claire journalism faculty with the assistance of media professionals, including those who knew Ann Devroy. Funds over and above those required by the scholarship will be used to support additional Devroy fellowship activities -- including student internships at The Washington Post and major Wisconsin newspapers, and the establishment of an annual Ann Devroy Memorial Forum lecture at UW-Eau Claire.
Ann Devroy was born in Green Bay, on Oct. 9, 1948. While she was a journalism student at what was then Wisconsin State University, she interned at the Milwaukee Journal and worked as a reporter for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. After graduating in 1970 she went to work for the Bridgewater, N.J., daily The Courier-News, owned by the Gannett Co., and became city editor. In 1977 Devroy moved to Gannett News Service's Washington bureau. She covered Congress for two years before becoming White House correspondent for Gannett and its new national newspaper, USA Today.
In 1985, Devroy joined The Washington Post. "She started as political editor on the national news desk, believing (mistakenly) that the hours would allow her more time with her daughter, Sarah, than the constant travel and deadline pressures of the White House beat," David Broder wrote. "When Sarah was ready for all-day school, Ann returned to the White House beat she was born to cover -- and to dominate for years, until cancer struck."
From 1989 until her death, Ann Devroy was The Washington Post's top White House reporter. In her first year back, The Post ran 464 of Devroy's stories. "Four hundred sixty-four bylines in one 365-day year? How is that possible?" reflected managing editor Robert Kaiser. The New York Times' Andrew Rosenthal, who was Devroy's main competition when she returned, described her as "the scariest and most generous reporter I've ever known. She would kick your butt 24 hours a day."
"The conscientiousness of her reporting won the admiration even of politicians and public officials who hated how much she was able to learn," David Broder wrote following Ann Devroy's death. "Reporters who shared the White House beat found that she fought as hard to get their stories prominent play in the paper as she did for her own. On countless stories carrying other bylines, it was Devroy who dug out the crucial bits of information from her White House sources, never asking for credit... She scorned TV punditry and refused repeated entreaties to join the press panels and perform for the cameras."
"Just as Ann's work product had no frills and no personal airs to it, her emotional life, as we were allowed to witness it, had no public sentimentality," said Meg Greenfield, The Post's editorial page editor, at a memorial service for Devroy in November. "It was intense and honest and unembellished, yet another evidence of her particular values. I would sum up those values as excellence, unstinting effort, craft, loyalty, honesty and love. If we can memorialize these aspects of Ann in the years ahead, then she will have left us a legacy even more important than the work she did for this paper."
The Ann Devroy Memorial Forum is sponsored by The Washington Post Company; the UW-Eau Claire department of communication and journalism; the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Inc.; the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association; and The Forum lecture series.
The event is free and open to the public; reserved seating tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727. Tickets also will be available at the door if any remain.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 15, 1998