Broadcasting Icon Tom Brokaw to be Honored with Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 31, 2016) – Legendary journalist and New York Times best-selling author Tom Brokaw will be awarded the 2016 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism that serves democracy. Brokaw, best known as news anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, will be honored in an event in St. Petersburg, Florida on Dec. 9.
“The Poynter Institute has long been an invaluable resource for excellence in journalism as a result of its research, publications and seminars,” Brokaw said. “And so I am grateful and honored to receive its lifetime achievement award.”
Brokaw, a native of Webster, South Dakota, joined NBC News in 1966, covering national presidential elections, the Watergate scandal and more. He anchored NBC’s popular morning news program, Today, from 1976-1981, before moving to the NBC Nightly News. He’s the only person to anchor all three major NBC News programs – Nightly News, Today and Meet the Press.
Brokaw led NBC’s coverage of some of the biggest events in history. He was the first English-speaking broadcast journalist to report on the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. He also anchored the network’s coverage of such major news events as the Challenger space shuttle disaster, the September 2001 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Andrew.
He now serves as a special correspondent contributing to NBC News and a range of documentaries, including “The Greatest Generation Speaks,” based on his best-selling 1998 book, The Greatest Generation.
His work as a journalist has been recognized by the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism, the George Foster Peabody Awards, more than 10 Emmy Awards and the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
More than 8 million copies of Brokaw’s books have been sold. His book The Greatest Generation, about the sacrifices and achievements of those who grew up during the Great Depression and World War II, was so popular that it made that phrase part of America’s vocabulary. In addition to The Greatest Generation, Brokaw is the author of Boom!: Voices of the Sixties and The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America. He also has written three memoirs, most recently A Lucky Life Interrupted, documenting his battle with cancer.
The Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement recognizes the outstanding career achievements of a journalist whose work has made a lasting impact serving citizens in our democracy. In 2015, CBS News legend Bob Schieffer was honored with the inaugural award at the 40th anniversary Bow Tie Ball for The Poynter Institute.
“Tom Brokaw is not just one of the best journalists to ever appear in front of a camera, he’s an American treasure,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “From his humble roots in South Dakota, Tom Brokaw rose to become one of the most trusted and admired journalists of the last half century. He’s the embodiment of what this award is all about – journalistic excellence that serves our democracy.”
Brokaw will be recognized at Poynter’s second annual Bow Tie Ball on Dec. 9 at the Hilton Carillon in St. Petersburg. Sponsorship and ticket information will be announced soon.
About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.
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