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Milt Hollstein, mentor to Utah journalists, dies at 86

Published September 28, 2012 10:51 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Milt Hollstein began his journalism career as a copy boy at The Salt Lake Tribune while still in high school. He ended it as a respected scholar, teacher, mentor and motivator to countless news media professionals.

Hollstein, who died Monday at age 86 of kidney failure, was chairman of the University of Utah department of journalism before it merged into the larger communication department, and was an expert in international communication and comparative journalism, studying mass media in more than 50 countries.

He taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Utah for more than 40 years after teaching assignments at the University of Iowa and Humboldt State University in California. Early in his career, he worked as a reporter for The Tribune and the Deseret News and was a magazine correspondent.

After a two-year stint in the Navy during World War II, he received his bachelor's degree from Utah, his master's from Columbia and his doctorate from the University of Iowa.

"I never had a teacher who had the mixture of Milt's unique intellectual gifts, demanding expectations and gentle compassion for his students," said Fred Kempe, best-selling author and former European Editor of the Wall Street Journal. "My dream was to become a foreign correspondent, but without Milt it wouldn't have happened. I'm just one of dozens of students whose lives he made richer."

Hollstein created several new courses at the university, including media ethics and international communication. He supervised more than 50 graduate theses and dissertations and inspired three generations of students.

"He was a master at guiding us through which courses to take in order to meet our goals," said Mary Dickson, creative director for KUED. "Even after we graduated, he was incredibly supportive of us in our careers."

"He was the consummate journalist. He was a reporter. He taught journalism and he studied journalism, not only here, but throughout the world," said longtime colleague Don Gale, former KSL editorial director. "Milt's focus was on the ethics of journalism — what was right and what was wrong."

While working full time as a university professor, Hollstein did night shifts on the copy desk at The Tribune to keep his hand in day-to-day journalism. Later, he wrote more than 600 columns critiquing the news media for the Deseret News. In 2002 he received the Utah Press Association's John E. Jones distinguished service award and in 2007 he was inducted into the Utah Chronicle Hall of Fame.

Funeral services will be noon Monday at the Monument Park 17th LDS Ward, 2795 E. Crestview Drive, with a viewing at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E. 1300 South, Sunday from 6-8 p.m. and an hour before the service Monday at the church.

prolly@sltrib.com —






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