WASHINGTON, D.C. (RTDNF) — The Radio Television Digital News Foundation has announced the winners of the 30th annual First Amendment Awards. The distinguished group of honorees represent the valuable role journalists play in local and national media to practice the First Amendment. A total of 7 awards will be given in 2020 and the honorees will join 115 previous winners who championed a vital part of our democracy. 

The 2020 honorees are:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Steve Andrews, WFLA-TV
    • The Senior Investigative Reporter at WFLA in Tampa, Steve Andrews has spent the last 35 years uncovering critical stories which has resulted in law and policy change.
  • Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award – David Muir, ABC News
    • A past RTDNF Scholarship Recipient, ABC World News Tonight Anchor David Muir delivers exceptional journalism and has been recognized with numerous Edward R. Murrow Awards.
  • First Amendment Award – “60 Minutes” produced by CBS News
    • Now in the 52nd season, 60 Minutes is an iconic journalism program which holds the powerful accountable and sheds light on important subjects.
  • First Amendment Service Award – Robert (Bob) Horner, NBC News
    • The creator of NBC News Channel, Bob Horner served as President for 27 years and made it possible for countless stories to be shared across the U.S. and the world.
  • First Amendment Leadership Award – Barbara Maushard, Hearst Television
    • As Senior Vice President, News, Barbara Maushard has plotted the course for one of America’s most respected local media companies through responsible and impactful journalism.
  • First Amendment Clarity Award – Lori Montenegro, Telemundo
    • Lori Montenegro is the Washington Bureau Chief for Telemundo and has spent her career reporting on issues in our nation’s capital.
  • First Amendment Defender Award – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
    • At a time when press freedoms and access have been under attack, Sen. Richard Blumenthal has stood tall for the rights of journalists to do their jobs and inform the public.

“As the RTDNF Board of Trustees discussed the candidates, there was overwhelming support for the accomplishments and the impact our 2020 honorees have made to journalism,” stated RTDNF chairman and vice president of local content development for Nexstar Broadcasting Jerry Walsh. “This year’s honorees are a mix of local and network journalists that provide illuminating reporting, a respected national news program which holds the powerful accountable and a visionary who defends the public’s right to know.”

Each honoree will be awarded at the First Amendment Awards Dinner & Show on March 5, 2020 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. Sponsorships and tickets are available now at www.firstamendmentawards.org. The event draws some 500 of the biggest names in broadcast and digital journalism. Additional information on the winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Every day journalists and news professionals are working hard to keep the public’s trust through truthful reporting, more transparency and responsible journalism that often serves as a catalyst for positive change,” said Dan Shelley, executive director of RTDNA/RTDNF. “These awards allow us to honor the efforts of all journalism professionals, and shine a light on those companies, individuals and political figures who publicly champion journalism and journalists as essential to democracy.”

In addition to recognizing responsible journalism, the First Amendment Awards Dinner & Show is the Foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser, enabling the Foundation to ensure that the broadcast and digital news profession remains a critical part of our nation’s free press for generations to come and supporting scholarships for journalism students.

Read Steve Andrews’ investigations:

SOURCE Radio Television Digital News Foundation