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Rather Establishes Internship

By Erika Durham
Houstonian Reporter

Dan Rather is establishing one of the best broadcasting internships in the United States expressly for students at Sam Houston State, from which the CBS anchorman graduated in 1953, the chair of the Department of Public Communication announced Monday.

Don Richardson said three journalism or radio-television students a year will be selected for the internship at CBS News--one in each of the fall, spring and summer sessions. The package will include a stipend and accommodations in the New York area.

Richardson said the hope is that the first internship will be available in the Spring 1999 semester. If not, the first one will be available next summer, he said.

Although the exact amount of the stipend has yet to be decided, "it's enough money to live on but not enough to party on," Richardson said at a press conference in the Dan Rather Communications Building.

The high living costs in the New York area make the accommodations part of the package a substantial amount.

According to Richardson, each student selected for an internship will be required to work eight-hour days at CBS News for 10 weeks. The 10 weeks equate to a semester of classes--and thus each intern will receive three hours' worth of credit at Sam Houston State.

To apply for an internship, a student must be a journalism or radio-television major, in his or her junior or senior year, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Applicants also should have excellent communication and writing skills.

Richardson, Maryjo Cochran, coordinator of the radio-television program, and Hugh Fullerton, coordinator of the journalism program, will serve on the selection committee that chooses the intern each semester.

Richardson said the internship will be an incredible opportunity for Sam Houston students--and an impressive component of a résumé.

Rather has long had a soft spot for his alma mater. He has often said that his education at Sam Houston State was a key to his success. Thus, he has been a generous benefactor of the university.

Still, he has never made the kind of financial commitment that a year-round CBS internship represents.

Rather's two big career breaks came in the early 1960s.

In 1961 he impressed CBS network executives with his coverage of Hurricane Carla for CBS's affiliate in Houston. Those executives rewarded him by naming him a national correspondent.

Rather gained additional recognition in 1963 by working around the clock to cover the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Rather became CBS News' anchor in 1981 upon the retirement of the legendary Walter Cronkite.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Oct. 7, 1998
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