Pitts to speak at CSC

CBS News and 60 Minutes correspondent Byron Pitts will visit Castleton State College on Nov. 30 and speak to students in the Fine Arts Center as part of the Soundings program.Pitts’ discussion will center on the status of the journalism profession as well as his personal story of triumph in the profession despite having to overcome several obstacles.

Journalism Professor David Blow heard Pitts speak at the College Media Advisers conference in New York City last spring and left the packed ballroom of the Marriott Marquis extremely inspired about journalism and the possibilities that can be reached through hard work.

“His story was riveting, and coupled with video segments of stories he has reported including 9-11 and the death of a soldier from cancer, I was really blown away,” Blow said.

Pitts gave everyone in the audience that day his cell phone number and e-mail address, telling students and faculty in attendance that he’d be willing to help them out – like an English professor did for him when he struggled in college.

In between classes one day, Blow said he took out the e-mail address and wrote to him. He told him how much he enjoyed the presentation and asked if he’d be willing to come to Vermont to speak.

The timing was perfect, because Pitts had just released a book about his life entitled “Step Out on Nothing.” Blow said he plans to have Pitts visit his journalism classrooms on Monday before his 7 p.m. Soundings speech.

Pitts was hired as a 60 Minutes correspondent in January, but still serves as a CBS news correspondent.

“He is a first class human being and a terrific correspondent. I am excited about working with him and proud to have him join us at 60 Minutes,” said 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager in a CBSNews.com articles.

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