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Miraldi's biography named best communication research book in country


NEW PALTZ -- Journalism professor Robert Miraldi's biography of a forgotten turn-of-the-20th-century investigative reporter has been named the best journalism and mass communication book in the country for the year 2003.

The award is for Dr. Miraldi's book, "The Pen is Mightier: The Muckraking Life of Charles Edward Russell" (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan Press), which chronicles the action-filled life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Russell. Miraldi has taught journalism at SUNY New Paltz for the past 23 years.

The Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism and Mass Communication Research Award has been given annually since 1944. The award, which is given for the best research-based book about journalism or mass communication published each year, will be presented to Miraldi on Aug. 5 in Toronto.

"I am, of course, thrilled to win," Miraldi said, "but I'm particularly happy that C.E. Russell is finally getting the recognition he deserves."

Russell, the author of 31 books, was one of the famous muckraking journalists in the early years of the 20th century. Russell won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1927 for his life story of the founder of the American orchestra.

"The award to Rob Miraldi culminates 10 years of hard work on an important and overlooked American," said New Paltz President Steven Poskanzer. "And it shows how our faculty integrate what they teach with their scholarly endeavors. But the award also speaks to the growing national recognition that is coming to the New Paltz faculty," Poskanzer added.

Miraldi teaches a course on investigative journalism for New Paltz. Prior to coming to New Paltz in 1982, he taught at St. John's University in New York City. In 1992 he was a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands. Miraldi also worked for a decade as an investigative reporter for the Staten Island Advance in New York. For eight years he wrote an award-winning column in the Poughkeepsie Journal on freedom of speech.

Miraldi has written numerous scholarly articles on press history. His first book, "Muckraking and Objectivity: Journalism's Colliding Traditions," was published in 1991. He also edited an anthology, "The Muckrakers: Evangelical Crusaders," which was published in 2000. Next spring McGraw-Hill will publish an anthology he has assembled of 50 years of writing of the author and sportswriter Roger Kahn.

Miraldi lives in Stone Ridge, N.Y., with his wife Mary Beth, and two children, Sara and Robert.

Note to editors: A photograph of Robert Miraldi may be downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz Web site at