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Group's aim: Preventing future shock

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  The fledging William Moss Institute arrived on the scene Thursday with all the pomp and circumstance usually reserved for visiting dignitaries. 
  Moss, Texas millionaire, entrepreneur extraordinaire with offices in Dallas, Washington and New York presented the future-oriented organization's first annual awards to six Americans.
  First, there was a morning news conference with such celebrities as Walker Cronkite, then as an evening bash at the Organization of American States building, where Vice President George Bush made the awards.
  The institute is headed by Ursula Meese, wife of White House adviser Edwin Meese.
  Moss, 62, said that the institute, which cost $250,000 to start, brought him "the satisfaction of helping some people."
  The institute will study future trends over the next two decades. It is a dream of Moss' to tell the "average American" what he "needs in order to make sound judgments and decisions for his future life."
  How this was to be accomplished was somewhat vague. Richard Berendzen, president of American University where 
[[handwritten]] U.S.A. Today - Jan.14,1982
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the institute will be set up, said that information would be passed on to the public through cable networks, video-taped conferences, and through commercial radio and television.
 Before substance, however, there was form: A news conference at the University Club to introduce the first annual institution award recipients.
 It was a blue-ribbon group that included Cronkite and Jonas Salk, who developed a vaccine for polio; Dr. Ernest Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation; Dr. Paul Samuelson, the economist; William Webster, FBI director; and Alvin Weinberg, Institute for Energy Analysis director. 
 Surprisingly, five of the honorees had never heard of Moss, but they were happy to be a part of what they thought was a good cause.
  And as one recipient pointed out, Cronkite's name was a great draw.
 The awards were presented to them as individuals who 
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[[image]] by Tim Dillion, Special for USA TODAY[[MOSS: Texas millionaire awards six Americans]]  [[/image]] 

have made outstanding contributions to their particular fields- energy, education, economics, communications, medicine and health, and the control of crime. 
 The recipients chosen by 50 of their peers, get no money with their honors, instead two-year graduate fellowships at American University will be named after them.
 "As a businessman, Mr. Moss is used to making plans, 5-year, 10-year plans," said Berendzen at the press conference. 
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 Berendzen added that Moss was concerned that "middle Americans do not have access to the scholars" or "the right people" who know about future trends, and thus did not plan their lives very well to deal with the energy crisis, the technological revolution, or changes in educational needs. 
 Then he threw the conference open to questions for the honorees.
 Boyer talked about the "loss of great art, music, and writing" in the rush of Americans to school themselves for jobs.
 Salk talked about the trend towards "health maintenance instead of disease prevention." 
 And Cronkite who for years told the nation how it was on any particular day, told the gathering that "The electronic media are going to become more important."
 When it was suggested that the group was drawn from the very scholars and experts who 20 years ago knew the trends that are reality today, Berendzen said, "Maybe the graduate students who win fellowships will do a better job." Cronkite Interview, 1D

[[in left margin/handwritten]] Washington College of Law-Com. Aud. Hattie Meyers Junkin L.L.R. June 1935
1940s ?merged with Americ. U. new location N.W. locations /
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[[image to left]] Cronkite: He have Andy Rooney's advice to Rather
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Busy: That's the way it is for Walter
By Ben Brown
[[handwritten]] Jan.14/ 83
  WASHINGTON- Away from his CBS anchor chair for almost two years now, Walter Cronkite comes out of "semi-retirement" to host TV specials, to provide CBS News with gray eminence on election nights and to accept awards.
  Thursday night, Cronkite came out to accept one of six William Moss Awards for distinguished Americans- "whatever that means," he laughs. And he chatted about the exhausting business of semi-retirement and the traditions of TV news he symbolized in his two decades on the Evening News.
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  "Semi-retired," he chuckles, in his best radio voice. "I keep saying I want a lot more retirement and a lot less semi."
  Cronkite's hopes for a weekly series of half-hour Universe programs were scuttled by low ratings. But the science magazine idea is still alive as an approach for occasional Cronkite-hosted hourlong specials; a couple sponsors "have expressed interest."
  He also is involved in new projects- including three American Express-sponsored documentaries- for CBS News. And he's still thinking about the future of the business he helped build. 
There's the same old hassle- too much to say in too little 
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time. "Trying to get the news into 24 minutes, which is what is left after lead-ins, commercial breaks and all that, is pretty much an impossibility.
  "What I'm afraid of, with polls showing most of the people getting most of their news from television, is that they're really not getting enough information. And yet at the same time, I see on the news an attempt to make the news more popular. 
  "There's no sense in doing a program nobody watches. But I'm afraid that there's an increasing amount of trivialization creeping into the news. More feature stories and less real digging for stories that 
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make a difference in people's lives." 
  Cronkite looks with favor on his replacement: "I think (Dan) Rather is doing very well indeed." Did he offer hints when Rather's early ratings took a dip? Well, he did share a rookie anchor anecdote:
  "When I started on the 15-minute news way back in '62, Andy Rooney came to me. 
  "Andy is a very good friend of mine, and he pulls no punches. After a couple of weeks, Andy came to me and said, 'What the hell are you trying to sell? Don't try to sell it to me. Just lay it out.' 
  I told Dan that."
Moss Awards, 4A
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