Paper Boy to Pulitzer: John Hughes to speak at Kennedy Center

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John Hughes, Communications professor, speaks Wedneday, Oct. 8 in the Kennedy Center (
John Hughes, current communications professor, journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, speaks Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the Kennedy Center (Kayci Treu)

Pulitzer Prize-winner John Hughes will present the next Kennedy Center Lecture, entitled “Paper Boy to Pulitzer: A Newsman’s Journey,” this Wednesday, Oct. 8, at noon.

Hughes is a lifetime newsman with more than a lifetime’s worth of experiences. His adventurous career took him across the globe, where he reported on such events as a bloody coup attempt in Indonesia, a cultural revolution in Hong Kong, the Cold War and the Vietnam War.

“Journalism is a wonderful, magical profession,” Hughes said. “I couldn’t believe that people paid me to interview presidents and prime ministers, mass murderers and bad guys. … Everyday was fresh and interesting, and you learned something new every day.”

Hughes was editor of the Deseret News from 1997 to 2008, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, U.S. assistant secretary of state and assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. He previously worked as editor of the “Christian Science Monitor,” for which he writes a nationally syndicated column.

His fourth book is his autobiography, “Paper Boy to Pulitzer: A Newsman’s Journey,” for which his upcoming lecture is named. Hughes is currently a professor in the BYU Department of Communications.

Lee Benson, a reporter who worked under Hughes when he was editor of the Deseret News, calls Hughes a “journalistic legend.”

“Anybody should take the opportunity (to learn from Hughes) because you’re learning from a Hall of Famer. If journalism had a gold medal, he’d have a gold medal,” Benson said.

The lecture will take place in Room 238 of the Herald R. Clark Building. The recorded lecture will be archived on the Kennedy Center website.

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