School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Randall Pinkston named 2013 Silver Em recipient

Posted on: October 15th, 2013 by

Randall PinkstonRandall Pinkston, winner of three national Emmys and one Edward R. Murrow Award as a network correspondent, has been chosen for the 2013 Sam Talbert Silver Em Award from the University of Mississippi.

Pinkston is a native of Yazoo County. He retired in May after 33 years with CBS and in September joined the new Al Jazeera America team as a freelance journalist and national correspondent.

“Whether he was on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement or in the press room at the White House, Randall Pinkston reported with clarity and courage,” said Sharyn Alfonsi, Pinkston’s colleague who is now with “60 Minutes Sports.” “He is an intrepid reporter, a gifted story teller and always a true gentleman. I was honored to call him my colleague and proud to call him my friend.”

The Silver Em dates to 1958 and is the highest award in journalism presented by the University of Mississippi. The criteria limit recipients to Mississippians with notable journalism careers, journalists with notable careers in Mississippi or both, which is the case with Pinkston.

He is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson whose first television work was three years with WLBT-TV. That was followed by two years with WJXT-TV, followed by a move to Hartford, Conn., where he worked four years as a reporter, anchor and producer for public affairs programs and specials while also earning his juris doctorate from the University of Connecticut.

In 1980, Pinkston joined WCBS-TV in New York, where he covered New Jersey for 10 years. Pinkston then joined CBS News as White House Correspondent covering the presidency of President George H.W. Bush and traveling with the president. At the end of the Bush presidency, Pinkston was reassigned to New York and covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. intervention in Haiti, the Unabomber story, the standoff with the Montana Freemen and the trial of Susan Smith, accused of killing her children. Pinkston covered the early developments in the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida and, notably, among his last interviews for CBS was with Myrlie Evers Williams, a fellow Mississippian and widow of Medgar Wiley Evers who was assassinated when Pinkston was 12 years old.

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media was founded in 2009 with an endowment gift by Dr. Ed and Becky Meek. It offers bachelors and masters degree programs in both journalism and integrated marketing communications on the Oxford campus and in coordination with satellite campuses. Because of the increasing diversity of media careers, enrollment continues to rise and almost 1,000 undergraduates are journalism or IMC majors in the Meek School.


1958 – George W. Healy Jr.

1959 – Turner Catledge

1960 – Kenneth Toler

1961 – John Oliver Emmerich

1963 – George McLean

1964 – William B. Street

1965 – Purser Hewitt

1966 – Hal C. DeCell

1967 – Paul Pittman

1968 – Hodding Carter Jr.

1969 – Willie Morris

1970 – T.M. Hederman Jr.

1971 – Joseph R. Ellis

1972 – Wilson F. Minor

1973 – Mark F. Ethridge

1975 – H.L. Stevenson

1976 – William Raspberry

1977 – Joe L. Albritton

1978 – James A. Autry

1979 – Jack Nelson

1980 – Mary-Lynn Kotz

1981 – Curtis Wilkie

1982 – Harold Burson

1983 – John O. Emmerich

1984 – Hazel Brannon Smith

1985 – Charles Overby

1986 – W.C. “Dub” Shoemaker

1987 – Charles Dunagin and Larry Speakes

1988 – Edward Fritts

1989 – Rudy Abramson

1990 – Hodding Carter III

1991 – James L. McDowell

1992 – Rheta Grimsley Johnson

1993 – Dan Goodgame

1994 – Robert Gordon

1995 – Jere Hoar

1996 – Gregory Favre

1997 – Stephanie Saul

1998 – Lerone Bennett

2000 – Jerry Mitchell

2001 – Bert Case

2002 – Ira Harkey

2003 – Jim Abbott

2005 – Otis Sanford

2006 – Dan Phillips

2007 – Stanley Dearman

2008 – Ronnie Agnew

2009 – Stan Tiner

2010 – Terry Wooten

2011 – Patsy Brumfield

2012 – Greg Brock

2013 – W. Randall Pinkston