Ruth Marcus to speak at April 25 Devroy Forum

Story by Rita Fay, Staff Writer

The Washington Post opinion and editorial writer Ruth Marcus will be making a visit to Eau Claire at 7 p.m., April 25th in Schofield Auditorium.

Marcus will be the featured speaker at this years Ann Devroy Memorial Forum.

Chair of the 2013 Devroy forum committee, Jan Larson said when they search for speakers they look for a person who is well respected in the field of journalism.

“We also love to have somebody who knew Ann personally,” Larson said. “Marcus fits the bill on both accounts.”

Past speakers at The forum, which began in 1998, have included Bob Woodward, Gene Weingarten, Bob Edwards and Helen Thomas.

Marcus currently has her own opinion column at The Washington Post. She has been at The Washington Post since 1984 and since then has covered all corners of the politics of Washington, including The White House, Congress, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court.

Before working for The Washington Post, Marcus received her undergraduate degree from Yale, then attended Harvard Law School.

In 2007 Marcus was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary. The Pulitzer Prize website cites her writing as “intelligent and incisive commentary on a range of subjects, using a voice that can be serious or playful.” Marcus lost to Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Ann Devroy Memorial Forum is an annual event held in memory of 1970 UW- Eau Claire alum Ann Devroy. Devroy was a journalist in Washington for a number of years and covered four presidents during her time as White House Correspondent. One journalism student will receive the Devroy Scholarship at the event.

Communication and Journalism department chair Mary Hoffman said it’s important to find speakers for the forum who were familiar with or have values in line with the kinds of work that Ann Devroy did.

“Because it is an event designed to honor her and to continue to share her legacy with an emerging journalist,” Hoffman said.

Marcus worked with Devroy at The Washington Post where they collaborated on some stories together.

Larson said students are encouraged to attend because they have the opportunity to hear from one of the leading editorial writers in the country and hear about how our officials are elected.

“Here is a person who really has her fingers on the pulse of Washington D.C., and the inner workings of our elected officials.”

Marcus will be speaking about her thoughts on the 2012 presidential elections, today’s media coverage, and how people get their information.

Senior broadcast journalism major Jake Ellinghuysen has gone to The Devroy Forum in the past.

“It is beneficial for students to go,” Ellinghuysen said. “It’s beneficial for students to go to all different speeches and forums the campus puts on … it’s very important for our generation to learn from the ones before us.”

Hoffman said even people who are not interested in journalism can still benefit from going to the forum.

“Every informed citizen needs to be a consumer of journalism,” Hoffman said. “Every chance you have to learn to think critically about messages and to understand how messages are created makes you a smarter consumer of messages.”

Marcus researched and wrote stories with Devroy. Her speech will also give insight to what Devroy may have thought about journalism today.