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The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is launching a lecture series in honor of Paul J. Schatt, the veteran Arizona Republic editor who taught at the school for more than 30 years.
The Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture Series, which will start next semester, was made possible through a generous gift endowed by his widow, Laura Schatt.
“Paul was committed to making a difference in the community he lived in and the profession that he loved so much,” Mrs. Schatt said. “He inspired many students and fellow journalists with his keen sense of issues and ethics. The Paul J. Schatt Lecture Series will ensure that Paul’s passion for the pursuit of truth and freedom of information will live on.”
The lecture series will feature prominent journalists exploring topics that were most important to Schatt - coverage of political leaders and governmental institutions, investigative reporting, journalism ethics and freedom of the press. The school plans to hold the Schatt Lecture each spring semester.
“Paul helped start the career of countless journalists across the Valley and around the country,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “He represented the best of journalism and journalism education. We can’t think of a better way to ensure that his memory, his values and his deep passion for journalism will live on for all future generations of young journalists.”
Schatt began teaching Reporting Public Affairs at the Cronkite School in 1975. He died Nov. 18, 2005, three weeks after heart surgery. He was 60.
Schatt‘s students remember an instructor who delivered an intense and practical course that improved their writing while instilling in them a keen understanding of the inner workings of local and state government.
He set professional standards in the classroom, and his students regularly traveled off campus to cover city, county and state governments and explore public records around the Valley.
Students’ only complaint about Schatt’s Reporting Public Affairs class was the starting time - 7:40 a.m. twice a week. The time, however, was necessary for Schatt to combine teaching with his full-time job as a senior editor of The Arizona Republic.
Schatt joined the newspaper in 1962 as a copy boy while earning a degree in English and political science from ASU. He served as city hall reporter, columnist, urban affairs editor, metro editor, magazine editor, associate editor and editorial page editor during a Republic career that spanned five decades.
He received the Arizona Press Club’s Distinguished Service Award posthumously.