Veteran White House Correspondent To 'Mingle' At SHSU
April 4, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Alexis Andrei
Veteran journalist Ann Compton, who has paved the way for many aspiring journalists, will relay her experiences and wisdom to the Sam Houston State University community on April 23, at 11 a.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, as part of the President’s Speaker Series “Mingling with the Media” event.
As a White House correspondent for ABC News, Compton has traveled around the globe and through all 50 states covering seven presidents, vice presidents and first ladies.
Compton became the first woman assigned to cover the White House on a full-time basis by a network television news organization and consequently opened the door for many future females to be involved in the forefront of media coverage.
In addition to her journalistic endeavors, she served as a panelist for two presidential debates, in 1988 and 1992, and was assigned to be a floor reporter at the 1976 Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
Compton started her career in broadcast journalism at the local level.
An internship at Hollins College in Virginia led to a full-time job reporting for WDBJ-TV, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke. While reporting for WDBJ, she established a State Capitol Bureau in Richmond for the station. In 1973 was hired by ABC News and began reporting from New York, and a year later she was assigned to cover the White House.
In 2000, she became the chief Washington correspondent for ABCNEWS.com and wrote and anchored a daily political column called “On Background.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, Compton was the only broadcast reporter allowed to remain onboard Air Force One with President George W. Bush during the intense hours when he was unable to return to Washington following the terrorist attacks.
Her reports led to ABC News being awarded an Emmy for the network’s coverage of that day. She was also part of the team awarded the prestigious Silver Baton Alfred I. duPont Columbia University for the network’s coverage of 9/11.
In addition to that success, Compton was elected "president" twice, to lead the White House Correspondents' Association in 2007 and the Radio Television Correspondents Association from 1987-88. For 15 years she also served on the advisory board of the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center in New York.
In 2000, she was inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame by the Society of Professional Journalists, and in 2004, she was voted into the national Radio Hall of Fame.
Compton and Dr. William Hughes, a physician in Washington, D.C., have three sons and a daughter.
The program is a joint presentation under the banner of the President’s Speaker Series, the Office of the President and the student public relations service, Priority One. Previous guests presented under this format have been SHSU Distinguished Alumnus and network news correspondent Dan Rather and baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.
SHSU President Dana Gibson, along with the Department of Mass Communication’s Philip G. Warner Endowed Chair of Journalism and former White House press spokesman Peter Roussel, will join Compton on-stage for the discussion. The program will also include questions submitted by SHSU students.
The presentation is free and open to the public.
The President’s Speaker Series was created in 2002 by SHSU President Emeritus Jim Gaertner and was originally underwritten by the estate of the late Huntsville resident Lu Ellen Gibbs. The series is designed to bring prominent leaders to the Sam Houston State University campus. Speakers are chosen for their ability to deliver messages of substance with the potential to significantly impact the student body.
Previous speakers have included Alberto Gonzalez, Nolan Ryan, Dan Rather, Debbie Fields, David Robinson, Ken Jennings, J.C. Watts, Drayton McLane Jr., Sherron Watkins, Bob Dole, Marcus Luttrell, Lech Walesa, Tony Dorsett, and Stedman Graham.
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