Aug 27, 2015
WASHINGTON — Veteran broadcast journalist John M. Seigenthaler is the recipient of the 2015 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media, to be presented Oct. 1, 2015, at the University of South Dakota. Seigenthaler is the anchor of Al Jazeera America’s prime-time news program and previously was the anchor of the “NBC Nightly News” weekend edition.
The award is named for the late USA Today and Freedom Forum founder Al Neuharth, a South Dakota native and 1950 graduate of the University of South Dakota. Honoring lifetime achievement in media, the award will be presented as part of a daylong celebration at the university campus in Vermillion, S.D. The presentation ceremony will be held in the auditorium of the Al Neuharth Media Center on the campus.
“John’s commitment to excellence in television news spans a period in which news and information has become available in unprecedented volume from an ever-increasing number of sources,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute. “Whether the platform is local, national or international, he consistently has called for and delivered the kind of clear, accurate and solid journalism his audiences sought and deserved.”
During his 11 years at NBC News, Seigenthaler appeared on “Today,” “Dateline” and “Meet the Press” and anchored news programs on CNBC and MSNBC. He has received numerous awards for his work in journalism, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, two Emmy Awards, a National Headliner Award, an American Bar Association Award and an Iris Award. He’s a former member of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation.
John is following in the footsteps of his father, the late John Seigenthaler, who received the 1999 Al Neuharth award in recognition of his lifetime work promoting quality journalism and the First Amendment. The elder Seigenthaler – a civil rights champion, founder of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center and founding editorial page editor of USA Today – died in 2014.
The Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media is presented by the Newseum Institute and the University of South Dakota. Since Walter Cronkite became the first recipient in 1989, 27 other leaders in the news industry have been selected for the honor.
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.