This week marks the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Arkansas Gazette, once the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. In 1957, as nine black students integrated Little Rock’s Central High School, the paper’s editorial stance in support of integration led it to win two Pulitzer Prizes.
Tens of thousands of readers canceled their subscriptions as then-Governor Orval Faubus and the state’s White Citizens’ Councils heightened their pro-segregation outcries.
As a young Gazette reporter, Ray Moseley covered the Central High crisis. He later went on to a storied career as foreign correspondent working on several continents. Moseley was in Little Rock recently to deliver a lecture,
sponsored by the Arkansas Humanities Council. It was the first time he had visited the city since 1961. KUAR’s Chris Hickey spoke to Moseley about his time at the Gazette in the late 50’s and about what the paper meant to the state.
Below is biographical information from the website of the Arkansas Humanities Council:
Ray Moseley was the lead reporter for the Arkansas Gazette of the Little Rock school integration crisis in 1957 and later was a United Press International foreign correspondent, bureau chief and then editor for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For many years after that he was chief European correspondent of the Chicago Tribune based in London. In a 59-year career, he covered such stories as the 1967 Six-Day War, the first Indo-Pakistan war, the Greek-Turkish war in Cyprus, the Rhodesian civil war, the Iranian revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the death of Princess Diana. He was a Pulitzer finalist in 1981 for a series of articles about Africa and in 2003 was awarded an honorary MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth for services to journalism, the first American correspondent in two decades to receive that honor. He is also the author of three books including a journalistic memoir, In Foreign Fields, and of two forthcoming books, one on the war correspondents of World War II and the other on the black American soldiers of that war.