Former PBS NewsHour Anchor Ray Suarez to Speak at UC Riverside’s Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture

His topic is “Getting Ready for the Next America.”

Ray Suarez will give the Hays Lecture at UC Riverside. Photo credit: Robert Severi

Veteran journalist Ray Suarez will give the Hays Lecture at UC Riverside. Robert Severi

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Veteran journalist Ray Suarez will survey the changing landscape of American journalism at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 in the University Theatre at UC Riverside. His appearance is free and open to the public as part of the 46th Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture, founded in 1966 by Howard H “Tim” Hays to explore issues in journalism.

Suarez, who spent 14 years at the PBS NewsHour, has titled his speech: “Getting Ready for the Next America.”  Just recently he has been named permanent host of Al Jazeera America’s daily program “Inside Story.”

The lecture honors the legacy of Howard H “Tim” Hays, Jr., the longtime owner and publisher of The Press-Enterprise newspaper. His son, Tom Hays, created an endowment fund to make sure the tradition of the lecture lived on in Riverside even after his father’s death in 2011. Although the talk is free, reservations are requested and may be made online or by calling (951) 827-3144.

A book-signing and reception will follow immediately after the lecture.

“This is an exceptionally challenging time in the media and I am looking forward to hearing about journalism’s future from someone with such a distinguished career in both radio and television,” said UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, who will introduce Suarez at the lecture.

Suarez, who lives in Washington DC, joins a long line of veteran journalists who have traveled to Riverside to give the lecture, including Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee from the Washington Post, columnists George Will and James Reston, NBC board vice chairman Richard Salant, CNN President Tom Johnson, and Karen House, retired publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

At the NewsHour, Suarez led the global health coverage, reporting on some of the world’s most threatening health crises from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Before joining PBS, he hosted National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” for six years.

Prior to his public-broadcasting career, Suarez spent seven years reporting for Chicago’s NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV. He began his career as a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York and a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome.

Suarez is the author of the critically-acclaimed “Latino Americans,” the companion book to the PBS documentary series of the same name, published in September 2013. He also is the author of “The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America” and “The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration.”

He has been inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame. He is a co-recipient of two Alfred I. duPont–Columbia Awards for NPR’s on-site coverage of the first multiracial elections in South Africa and of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. His other honors include the Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza, the Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA’s School of Public Policy and the Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop.

Suarez earned a B.A. in African history from New York University and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago and has been awarded more than a dozen honorary degrees.

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