Lecture on White House Press Corps

Contact: Whitney Hale

 

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Ritchie is the former president of the Oral History Association and council member of the American Historical Association, and is currently serving on the council of the International Oral History Association.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 4, 2005) -- Donald A. Ritchie, associate historian of the United States Senate, will give a lecture titled “The Past Meets the Press: Writing the History of the Washington Press Corps” at 11 a.m. Friday, April 8, in the University of Kentucky William T. Young Library auditorium.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the UK Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications, and the UK Department of History.

The topic of the lecture comes from his new book “Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps,” which vibrantly chronicles news coverage in our nation’s capital, from the early days of radio and print reporting and the heyday of the wire services to the brave new world of the Internet. The book begins its coverage of the media scene in 1932, when newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt energized the sleepy city. With accounts on reporters from Walter Winchell to Helen Thomas to Matt Drudge, the book reveals how those covering Washington politics are among the most colorful and influential in American news.

A graduate of the City College of New York, Ritchie received his doctorate from the University of Maryland. He has served the Senate since 1976, where he conducts an oral history program, and edited for publication the previously closed hearings of Joseph R. McCarthy. A frequent commentator for C-SPAN and other radio and television networks, he provided commentary on the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan for both the Washington Post and NPR last summer.

Ritchie is the former president of the Oral History Association and council member of the American Historical Association, and is currently serving on the council of the International Oral History Association.

The coauthor of numerous high school history textbooks, Ritchie is also a coauthor of “The Oxford Guide to the United States Government.” He penned several other books, including “James M. Landis: Dean of the Regulators,” “American Journalists: Getting the Story,” and “Doing Oral History.” His latest book on the White House press corps complements his earlier study of the 19th century Washington press corps, “Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents.” That book won him the Richard W. Leopold Prize of the Organization of American Historians.

For more information on Ritchie’s lecture, contact Esther Edwards at (859) 257-0500 ext. 2159.


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