March 5, 2020, marks the 30th annual Radio Television Digital News Foundation First Amendment Dinner.
For three decades now, the foundation of the Radio Television Digital News Association has gathered each spring in our nation’s capital to honor many of the giants of our profession, on a national level as well as local. Each of our past honorees has been distinguished in our craft. Each has made an indelible positive impact on the constant struggle to seek and report the truth.
Among those who have received recognition throughout the years is a who’s-who of icons of journalism, including, but certainly not limited to, Ed Bradley, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, Walter Cronkite, Katharine Graham, Don Hewitt, Jane Pauley, Robin Roberts, Bob Schieffer, Carole Simpson, Frank Stanton, Ted Turner and Mike Wallace.
Now we proudly honor a new class of First Amendment award recipients, whose names will no doubt be cited at this very dinner 30 years from now as among this generation’s exemplars of the duty we as journalists assume when we commit ourselves to serve the public:
- A former RTDNF scholarship recipient who now anchors one of America’s highest-rated nightly network newscasts.
- America’s first TV news magazine, and longest-running prime time network television news program, which has been shining a light on shadows and exposing hundreds of millions of people to information about which they likely otherwise would not have known.
- The man who created one of network news’ most prominent affiliate feed services, allowing local stations, regardless of market size, to tell network-quality stories to their audiences.
- One of America’s most respected local broadcast news company’s senior vice president of news.
- The Washington bureau chief of a premier Spanish-language network news operation and a fixture of D.C.’s journalism community for nearly 30 years.
- A United States Senator who has devoted his career in public service to, among other things, advocating for the public’s need to know what its government is doing in its name.
- A prominent local investigative reporter who has dedicated the past 35 years of his life to telling news stories that have led to positive change in his community.
Your support of RTDNF not only honors these extraordinary journalists but supports our work to provide scholarships, fellowships and professional training to generations of extraordinary journalists.
Your support of RTDNF also reaffirms a fundamental principle held by our Founding Fathers and reaffirmed time and time again, once when U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Hugo Black wrote:
“The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.”
Please enjoy our celebration!