Journalist and Professor Dale Carpenter Honored with Ernie Deane Award

Dale Carpenter
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Dale Carpenter

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Dale Carpenter, a longtime documentary filmmaker and videographer in Arkansas and professor of journalism at the University of Arkansas, was named the recipient of the 2018 Ernie Deane Award for valor in journalism.

Carpenter was presented a plaque during a surprise ceremony Friday at a gathering of the faculty and staff of the U of A School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. The award recognizes Carpenter’s lifetime of dedication to the pursuit of journalism and the teaching of journalistic skills, standards and ethics to the next generation of students. Carpenter is retiring as a professor of journalism at the University of Arkansas after 24 years on its faculty.

“Dale Carpenter has been at the forefront of documenting the culture and history of Arkansas for nearly 40 years, offering the best of our state to the citizens of Arkansas, just as Ernie Deane did,” said Larry Foley, chair of the award committee. “He also covered events like the Titan II missile disaster at Damascus, shining a light on public issues, so he had a wealth of experience when he began teaching students the skills of broadcast television and documentary filmmaking.” 

Early in his career, Carpenter worked as a documentary filmmaker, including 10 years as senior producer for the Arkansas Educational Television Network. He joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas in 1994, continuing his research and production of documentaries. His films have ranged from an examination of the rights of people with disabilities to a team of 8-year-olds playing a season of Little League baseball – and virtually everything in between.

His documentaries have won numerous national awards including Gold Medals from the New York Festivals, a Gold CINDY award, the Iris Award, and seven regional Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Carpenter earned a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Arts from Emory University, completing a cinematography fellowship at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies. He lives in Rogers with his wife, Diane.

The award honors Ernie Deane, a 1934 University of Arkansas graduate in journalism who served as the information officer for Gen. George Patton during World War II and was the head of public relations for the Office of Chief Counsel for War Crimes at Nuremberg. He returned to Arkansas after World War II and wrote for the Arkansas Gazette for many years, where he originated the Arkansas Traveler column in 1956. He later taught journalism at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Deane championed many public causes against what he called the “lunacy” of politicians and bureaucrats. One of his most famous crusades was saving Old Main, a historic landmark on the University of Arkansas campus, from demolition. His former students, who are now editors, news directors and public relations professionals across the country, took up the battle cry and rallied to the cause. The building has since been restored and remains a symbol of higher education in Arkansas.

 “Ernie Deane believed strongly in the public good and never backed away from a fight if he felt that the public good was threatened,” Foley said. “He taught his students that to be honest, to have courage and to stand up for what you believe are the most important traits a journalist can have.”

Past recipients of the Ernie Deane Award include Bob McCord (1993), Swampy Graves and Ray Kimball (1994), Richard Allin (1995), Bob Douglas (1996), George Fisher (1997), Betty and Cone Magie (1998), Ernie Dumas (1999), J.E. Dunlap (2000), Jim Pitcock (2001), Orville Henry (2002), Jim Morriss (2003), Carol Griffee (2004), John W. Troutt Jr. and Charlotte Schexnayder (2005), Steve Barnes (2006), Roy Reed (2007), Amy Schlesing (2008), Max Brantley (2009), Ken Smith (2010), Brenda Blagg (2011), Jack Hill (2012) and Hoyt Purvis (2016).

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Larry Foley, chair
Ernie Deane Award Committee


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