OGDEN, Utah – Tom Smart and Lee Benson, authors of a book released this month on the Elizabeth Smart investigation, will discuss media and law enforcement issues at the Friends of the Stewart Library Annual Public Issues Forum, on April 26 at 11 a.m. in Weber State University's Stewart Library Special Collections.
Written by two tenured journalists at the Deseret Morning News, the book "In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation" illuminates the relationship between the media and law enforcement. This case led to the firing of two reporters and the resignation of the editor of Utah's largest newspaper and prompted the mayor of Salt Lake City to initiate an investigation of leaks from within law enforcement agencies. Ultimately cooperation between family members, the media, the viewing public and law enforcement brought about a resolution, when nine months after her abduction Elizabeth Smart was rescued and returned home.
Written in the voice of Tom Smart, Elizabeth's uncle, "In Plain Sight" offers a complex view of a family's panicked determination, as well as the Smart family's unusual connections with political and religious leaders, and with the media.
Smart is a veteran photo-journalist at the News, where he served as photo editor for 18 years. His photographs have won numerous national and regional awards. He has worked as a contract photographer for the Associated Press, photographing six Olympic Games, and is currently a contract photographer for Getty Images and The New York Times. In 2001 Smart's writing won first place for a feature article from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Benson is an award-winning sports writer and columnist who was named Sportswriter of the Year for 15 consecutive years by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He also has authored several sports books, including a comprehensive history of the Olympic Games, "Athens to Atlanta," and "They Came to Pass," about quarterbacks at Brigham Young University. Benson's "Blind Trust: The True Story of Enid Greene and Joe Waldholtz" explores the rapid rise and bizarre fall of the former Utah congresswoman. As metro columnist for the News, Benson wrote numerous columns about the Smart case. His 25-year friendship with the family plus his professional relationship with Tom Smart gave Benson a unique perspective in collaborating on a book about the kidnapping.
Copies of "In Plain Sight" will be available for sale and signing by the authors. For parking and shuttle information, please call the InfoBooth at (801) 626-6975. For other information, please call Linda Sillitoe, special projects assistant for the Stewart Library, at (801) 626-7351.
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