Press Releases

Sep 02, 2014

Former USA Today Editor Peter S. Prichard to Receive 2014 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media

Oct. 9 Presentation at the University of South Dakota

WASHINGTON — Veteran journalist Peter S. Prichard, former editor of USA Today and former president of the Newseum, is the recipient of the 2014 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media, to be presented Oct. 9, 2014, at the University of South Dakota, Neuharth’s alma mater.

The award, which honors lifetime achievement in media, will be presented at 6:00 p.m. CT, Thursday, Oct. 9, as part of a daylong celebration at the university campus in Vermillion, S.D. The presentation event, to be held in the auditorium of the Al Neuharth Media Center on the campus, will be the first Neuharth Award event following 2013 death of Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, the Newseum and the Freedom Forum.

“Peter Prichard provided signal leadership at the nation’s first national newspaper and at the Newseum, the museum of news in Washington, D.C., two of the major projects in Al Neuharth’s storied career,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, which presents the award. “Peter added immensely to the success of each, and continues to help the Newseum be responsive to the continued changes in how news is gathered and reported.”

Prichard served as president of the Newseum and Freedom Forum until January 2009, and currently is chair of the Newseum board of trustees. He was editor-in-chief of USA Today, the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper, from 1988 to 1995, longer than any other editor. During his tenure, USA Today won several national journalism awards, and its circulation increased from 1.4 million to 2.3 million.

Prichard retired from the Freedom Forum in 2010. He is a trustee and former chair of Guest Services, Inc., a diversified hospitality and wholesale produce company based in Fairfax, Va. He also serves as chair of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn. He is a former chair of the National Press Foundation, which provides continuing education for journalists, and also a former chair of Jesuit Volunteers International, which places young volunteers in developing nations to help the poor. He and his wife, Ann, a former book reviewer, live in Essex. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Since the first award, presented in 1989 to Walter Cronkite, 23 leaders (complete list) in media have been selected for the honor.

About the Freedom Forum Institute

The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.

About the Al Neuharth Media Center and the University of South Dakota

The Al Neuharth Media Center on the University of South Dakota campus was dedicated in 2003 and is home to South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the USD Department of Media and Journalism, and all USD student media, including student-edited newspaper, The Volante, and its online news site.

Named “one of America’s best colleges” by The Princeton Review, the University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state’s only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts.

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Jonathan Thompson, senior manager of media relations
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