As he exited his car and entered the performance center, the
man in the dark pinstriped suit caught the attention of a few people, who
trailed after him. The small crowd greeted him respectfully and
enthusiastically, as someone they felt they had known all their lives. In
return he shook hands calmly and asked the names of his greeters. He was veteran
television news anchor and reporter Dan Rather.
Rather is this year's recipient of the Committee to Protect
Journalists' Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in
defending press freedom. At an event Thursday commemorating CPJ's three decades
of battling for free expression, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Rather
was interviewed by PBS's Gwen
Ifill, where he discussed today's challenges to independent journalism as
well as his own career.