Byron Pitts speaks with Communications faculty, students

CBS News reporter and "60 Minutes" correspondent Byron Pitts interacted with faculty and students in the School of Communications Sept. 21, a day after he declared Elon University to have the best communications school in the nation.

Byron Pitts (center) with Elon Local News student journalists

Pitts had breakfast with faculty in the school, engaging in discussions about the future of journalism, network television, bias, political coverage, social media, and race and class.

He then talked with students on the staff of Elon Local News, the student-produced television newscast, on its new set in Studio A in McEwen Communications Building.

On Sept. 20, Pitts was the inaugural speaker in the university’s 2012-13 speaker series for the Liberal Arts Forum. As a member of the School of Communications Advisory Board, Pitts opened his remarks to the capacity crowd by praising Elon and telling students they attend what he considers to be the top communications program in the nation.

“I am a believer that your communications school is the best in the country by far,” he said. “So whenever I am asked to give recommendations to high school students who would be interested in communications and they say Carolina? No. Syracuse? No. Missouri? No. Elon.”

Speaking to a capacity auditorium in a talk titled “We Are Tough and Delicate Creatures,” the award-winning newsman focused his remarks on the best and worst of humanity. He told stories of heroism on 9/11, of covering the war in Afghanistan and of the failure of local government to protect its most vulnerable citizens when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.

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