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Release: March 30, 2000

ABC investigative reporter, UI graduate, to speak at journalism banquet

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross is scheduled to visit the University of Iowa Friday, April 7 to deliver the keynote address at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications Fourth Estate awards banquet. Ross' speech is scheduled to take place at the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge after dinner at approximately 8 p.m. Ross is a graduate of the UI journalism school and a member of the school's Hall of Fame.

Ross will be speaking to a group of aspiring reporters who are being honored for their journalistic achievements during the last year. The students will take home more than $110,000 in scholarships and prizes awarded at the banquet. Also at the banquet, William Hageboeck, a 1928 graduate of the school, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Hageboeck is a member of the school's Professional Advisory Board and a former advertising manager, general manager and publisher for the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Tickets for the banquet and Ross's presentation are available to the public from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, W615 Seashore Hall. Tickets are $12 for students and $15 for non-students. For more information, call (319) 335-3486.

Ross began his career at KWWL-TV in Waterloo in 1972, worked his way up to chief investigative correspondent in his 18 years at NBC News, and then joined ABC News as chief investigative correspondent in July 1994.

At ABC he has reported extensively for Nightline, World News Tonight With Peter Jennings, PrimeTime Live, 20/20 and Good Morning America. Most recently, Ross uncovered new information for ABC on the Valujet plane crash, the Unabomber investigation, and the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. He also first reported the arrest of Robert Vesco, one of America's most wanted fugitives. Ross's investigations have ranged from an exposé of the illegal use of bogus airplane parts by America's major airlines to the widespread corruption inside many court-ordered domestic violence rehabilitation programs.

During his career, Ross has earned numerous major journalism awards. In a two-part report for Dateline NBC in 1992, Ross investigated Wal-Mart's campaign to "buy American whenever we can" and revealed that over the seven years of the campaign, Wal-Mart's overseas imports had dramatically increased. Ross went undercover to Bangladesh and found factories full of children working to produce Wal-Mart's private label clothes. His reports won several prestigious awards, including a George Polk Award.

Ross solidified his reputation for investigative reporting at NBC by breaking stories such as the 1980 ABSCAM story, for which he was honored with a National Headliner Award. In 1989, he broke a number of stories on a Colombian drug cartel, including the highly publicized story that Israeli mercenaries were training Colombian assassins. His exclusive report in March 1990, that Iraq was trying to buy trigger mechanisms for nuclear weapons, just months before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, made headlines worldwide.

(EDITORS NOTE: Brian Ross will be available to meet with local media April 7 at 3 p.m. in River Room 1 of the Iowa Memorial Union.)