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ASU professor emeritus receives BEA Lifetime Achievement Award


portrait of Donald Godfrey

Donald G. Godfrey

April 05, 2017

Donald G. Godfrey, a longtime broadcaster and Arizona State University professor who taught at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication for 24 years, is the 2017 recipient of the Broadcast Education Association’s Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship.

Godfrey, who retired in 2012 and serves as an emeritus professor at the Cronkite School, is receiving the prestigious honor for his significant contributions to research and scholarship in broadcast and electronic media.

“It’s an honor to be selected for the award,” he said. “It’s the culmination of many years of research — research that I’ve enjoyed doing – and being associated with a lot of other scholars.”

Godfrey taught countless students for 42 years, working at the University of Arizona, Southern Utah University and the University of Washington before joining ASU in 1988. At the Cronkite School, he taught classes on the history of journalism and mass communication as well as a course on media and society.

Outside of the classroom, Godfrey was a prolific author. He has written and edited numerous books on the history of U.S. broadcasting, including “Methods of Historical Analysis in Electronic Media,” “Philo T. Farnsworth: The Father of Television” and “Historical Dictionary of American Radio.” He also is the author of "C. Francis Jenkins: Pioneer of Film and Television."

Godfrey is a past president of BEA, the professional association for professors, industry professionals and graduate students interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises.

He also was the driving force behind the establishment of the Festival of Media Arts that has since become a prominent part of BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas. The festival showcases the best faculty- and student-produced work from universities across the country. He also helped establish a BEA scholarship fund for outstanding broadcast students.

As a journalist, Godfrey was as reporter, anchor, program director and producer at several television and radio stations, including KIRO-TV in Seattle, KSVN-AM and KOET-TV in Ogden, Utah, and KEZI-TV in Eugene, Oregon. He currently working on a history of his hometown, Cardston, which is southwest of Alberta, Canada.

Godfrey has received multiple honors for his research, including the BEA’s Distinguished Education Service Award and the Mormon History Association’s Best Documentary Book Award. He also is a Silver Circle Society Inductee in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

BEA Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship recipients are selected based on their published work in books and leading journals. The honor will be presented to Godfrey at BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas on April 23. The following day, he will be giving a presentation on “History and the Human Experience” for convention attendees.

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