Journalist Sally Denton to be honored as 2017 Laxalt Distinguished Writer

Elko native and University alumna’s contributions to investigate journalism to be recognized

Investigative journalist, historian and author Sally Denton will be awarded the 2017 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Award on Tuesday, Nov. 14.


11/6/2017 | By: Alexa Solis |

The Reynolds School of Journalism and University of Nevada, Reno will honor Sally Denton, Elko native and University alumna, as the 2017 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer. Denton will present the annual Laxalt Lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. Her lecture is titled "Kill the Messenger: The Risks and Rewards of Speaking Truth to Power."

Denton is an investigative journalist and historian whose unique perspective and investigative talent sets her work apart. She has covered topics from a drug conspiracy in Kentucky to organized crime in Las Vegas, and from corruption in the Mormon church to the history behind manifest destiny. She has written eight books, the most recent -- titled "The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World" -- detailed the Bechtel Corporation's impact on the building of the Hoover Dam.

The Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Award, created upon Laxalt's death in 2001, honors journalists who work in varied forms of writing.

"Sally Denton is an exemplary choice to be the Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer," said Alan Stavitsky, Dean of the Reynolds School. "Not only is she one of our leading investigative journalists, she's a protege of Bob Laxalt himself.'"

Denton is known for keen attention to detail. Her journalism has been published in such leading outlets as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Salon, The Chicago Tribune, The Toronto Globe and Mail, and Columbia Journalism Review.

For more information about Denton and the 2017 Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer events, visit

About the award:

The Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Program was established in 2001 to inspire new generations of writers in honor of Laxalt, who developed from news reporter to fiction and nonfiction author during his prolific career. Considered by many to be Nevada's finest writer, Laxalt founded the University of Nevada Press and wrote 17 books, four of which were entered for the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote for National Geographic and served as a professor in the University's Reynolds School of Journalism for 18 years, teaching magazine writing and literary journalism.


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