September 19, 2003

Catherine Crier To Give The 2003 Sammons Media Ethics Lecture At SMU, Oct. 8

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Catherine CrierDALLAS (SMU) -- Catherine Crier, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and former Texas state judge, will give the fourth annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The event is free; however, tickets are required and are available through the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787. The Sammons Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts.

Crier is the host of Court TV's "Catherine Crier Live," a fast-paced, live daily series that addresses the legal perspective of the day's front-page story, and she is the executive editor of the network's Legal News Specials. She previously anchored "Crier Today" and has hosted Court TV's prime time series "Crime Stories" and numerous other specials, including "Serial Sniper: The Investigation." Crier also led the network's live coverage of Timothy McVeigh's execution from outside the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Before joining Court TV, Crier spent three years at the Fox News Channel where she was host of "The Crier Report," a nightly, live, one-hour interview program. In addition, she was co-host of the one-hour news magazine program "Fox Files" and anchor of "The Fox Report," the network's premier evening newscast.

Her move to Fox followed three and a half years at ABC News, where she served as a news correspondent for "World News Tonight" and was a regular substitute for news anchor Peter Jennings and for Ted Koppel on "Nightline." She also served as a correspondent on "20/20," and her examination of nursing home abuses throughout the United States in the segment "The Predators" earned a 1996 Emmy for outstanding investigative journalism.

Crier began her career as a broadcast journalist at CNN. She was co-anchor of both "Inside Politics" and the evening newscast, "The World Today." In addition, she was the host of "Crier & Company," a live, half-hour, hard news talk show.

Prior to her accomplished career in television journalism, Crier presided over the 162nd District Court in Dallas County as a State District Judge. When she took the bench in 1984, she became the youngest elected state judge in Texas history. From 1982 to 1984, she was a civil litigation attorney in Dallas and before that, an assistant district attorney and felony chief prosecutor for the Dallas County district attorney's office from 1978 to 1981.

Crier has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career. Her work on the Court TV documentary "The Interrogation of Michael Crowe" was recognized with a du Pont-Columbia Award, and she has received two Gracie Allen Awards from the Foundation for American Women in Radio and Television. Her first book, "The Case Against Lawyers," released last fall, was on the New York Times bestseller list and has been called an "eye-opening and plain-spoken treatise on the law -- Crier shares her outrage at the state of the justice system and calls American citizens to demand reform."

A native of Dallas, Crier earned her B.A. in political science and international affairs from The University of Texas. She completed her J.D. from SMU's Dedman School of Law in just two and a half years.

The Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture Series in Media Ethics is funded by an endowment from Mary Anne Sammons Cree of Dallas. The series is named in honor of her mother, Rosine Smith Sammons, who graduated from SMU in the 1920s with a degree in journalism. The endowment provides permanent resources for the Meadows School of the Arts Division of Journalism to present annual lectures focusing on media ethics.

The Division of Journalism, under new Belo Distinguished Chair Tony Pederson, offers concentrations in all media -- broadcast, print and Internet -- through its journalism convergence program. With the help of a gift from the Belo Foundation, the Division has become one of the few journalism schools in the country to provide hands-on experience through a new digital newsroom, television studio and Web site.