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UW-Eau Claire Student Wins National Award for Ethics in Journalism

RELEASED: April 30, 2009

Glen Mabie
Glen Mabie

EAU CLAIRE — Glen Mabie, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire journalism student, has been awarded a 2009 Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism in the individual category.

The Seattle Times received a Payne Award in the organization category.

The Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism, awarded by the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, honor journalists who encourage public trust in the media by practicing high standards in the face of political or economic pressures.

Mabie, former news director of WEAU in Eau Claire and a 24-year veteran of television news, had been station news director for a year when he resigned in protest over a proposed exclusive coverage deal with a local hospital. In the wake of his resignation, the station abandoned the plan.

"Glen Mabie took a stand for a basic principle of journalism," the judges' statement reads. "In an environment where the definition of 'what is journalism' is exploding, he was willing to risk his own economic security to uphold that basic principle."

The award will be presented at a May 15 luncheon during the Hulteng Conversations in Ethics conference in Portland. A discussion among the winners will follow the awards ceremony.

"I was very surprised to receive the award," said Mabie, who will attend the ceremony and participate in the panel discussion. "The phone call really came out of the blue. Apparently I was nominated by Stacey Woelfel, who is the news director at KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo., and the incoming chair of the Radio Television News Director Association.

"It's certainly nice to be recognized, and it's very humbling. I just hope everyone remembers that there were a lot of other people in the news department who stood up against the proposal. They certainly deserve the recognition just as much as I do."

The Payne awards were established by Ancil Payne in 1999 to reward performance that inspires public trust in the media. Payne, who died in 2004, was a former CEO of KING Broadcasting and led the company to develop a national reputation for ethical journalism.

-30-

NW/JB

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