Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is joining the efforts of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association to honor Walter Cronkite with a postage stamp.
The U.S. Postal Service is considering a joint request from the SPJ and the RTDNA for a stamp commemorating the late CBS newscaster for his 100th birthday next year.
The Cronkite School is encouraging alumni, students, faculty, staff and the journalism community to write a letter of support to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, a 12-member group appointed by the postmaster general that selects and recommends subjects for stamps.
“Walter Cronkite is our school’s guiding light,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “He established an expectation of journalistic excellence and ethics that permeates throughout our school. We are rallying our network of students, alumni, faculty and friends to get behind this fantastic proposal by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association.”
The initiative was the brainchild of SPJ at-large board member Bill McCloskey of Bethesda, Md., who recalled a previous Postal Service ceremony for stamps honoring women journalists held during the 2002 SPJ convention.
“Attendees in Fort Worth (Texas) flocked to the elaborate Postal Service ceremony staged as a convention session and bought souvenir envelopes to have with the new stamps,” said McCloskey, who is a stamp collector. “In researching the idea, I noted Mr. Cronkite’s 100th birth anniversary, November 6, 2016, and asked leaders of RTDNA and SPJ to get behind the idea.”
According to the U.S. Postal Service, the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee meets quarterly to decide which stamp subjects to recommend to the postmaster general. The committee members, who are selected based on their expertise in history, science, art, education and sports, among other topics, annually recommend 25 to 30 subjects.
Past journalists to be honored with their own stamp include Martha Gellhorn, who covered the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Vietnam War; John Hersey, whose most famous work “Hiroshima” described the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on that Japanese city on Aug. 6, 1945; George Polk, a CBS radio reporter who covered civil war in Greece and whose 1948 murder remains shrouded in mystery; Ruben Salazar, a Los Angeles Times reporter and columnist and news director for the Spanish language television station KMEX in Los Angeles who was killed by a tear gas projectile fired by a sheriff’s deputy while covering anti-war rioting in 1970; and Eric Sevareid, a newspaper reporter who was recruited to CBS radio by Edward R. Murrow and covered World War II.
McCloskey advises those interested to write a letter of support to the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee to highlight the historical legacy of Walter Cronkite.
Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee Mailing Address
Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee USPS
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260-3501