The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation will honor three news leaders for their commitment to the First Amendment and excellence in journalism at the 20th Annual First Amendment Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 4, 2010 in Washington.
This year’s honorees are:
Harvey Nagler, Vice President, CBS News/Radio, will be honored with the First Amendment Service Award, which is presented to a person of distinction who works in an off-air, management capacity. Nagler was named Vice President, CBS News/Radio in January 1998. During his tenure the network won dozens of national and international awards. He was chosen Radio News Executive of the Year in 2006 and 2008 in a poll taken by Radio and Records magazine. Prior to joining CBS Radio News, Nagler was Director, News and Programming for WCBS-AM NYC “Newsradio 88,” where he developed and implemented several practices that have been adopted or imitated by hundreds of stations across the country, including the slogan, “Traffic and Weather, Together on the ‘Eights.’” He joined WCBS-AM from the United Stations Radio Networks, where he had been Vice President, News and Sports (1985-87) and Director of News Operations (1979-84, then RKO Radio Networks). The network grew from a small group of stations to a news organization serving 500 affiliates.
David Westin, President, ABC News, will receive the First Amendment Leadership Award, presented to a business or government leader who has made a significant contribution to protecting Freedom of the Press. David Westin has led ABC News since 1997. In that time ABC News has received top honors for broadcast journalism including: 5 George Polk Awards, 10 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont Awards, more than 35 News and Documentary Emmys and more than 40 Edward R. Murrow Awards. During the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston, Westin launched ABC News NOW, a 24-hour news service available on cable, wireless and broadband. In 2007, he announced the largest single expansion of foreign news coverage in ABC News history by sending seven digital reporters to Mumbai, New Delhi, Jakarta, Nairobi, Seoul, Dubai and Rio de Janeiro to report for all ABC News outlets and broadcasts.
Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor, “NBC Nightly News,” will receive the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, named for the late senior Washington correspondent for Broadcasting & Cable magazine. Williams joined NBC News in 1993 as a reporter and became NBC Chief White House correspondent. He was a News Anchor on MSNBC and CNBC before becoming Anchor and Managing Editor at NBC Nightly News in 2004. Williams has received the George Foster Peabody Award, the duPont-Columbia University Award, 6 Edward R. Murrow Awards and 7 Emmy Awards. Many of these honors were given to recognize his work covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans.