2020 RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards Celebration

RTDNF announces 2019 First Amendment Defender

January 31, 2019 11:00

On March 13, 2019, the Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at its 29th annual recognition of First Amendment champions – The First Amendment AwardsFear Will Not Silence Facts. Sen. Klobuchar will be presented with the First Amendment Defender Award, which recognizes an organization or individual who takes a public stand in support of press freedom. 

“Sen. Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts, she has worked to advance government transparency, and she has pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning this month of Attorney General Designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Sen. Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.” - 

Sen. Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate, and has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses. In 2015, she was appointed Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee, where she brings together senators, businesses, community leaders, policy experts and intergovernmental organizations to help develop policies to strengthen the economy and move the country forward.

As a member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Klobuchar has been a leader in working to implement a competitive agenda to ensure businesses have the tools they need to grow and create good jobs in their communities. She also serves as the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, where she has worked to advance policies that protect consumers from anti-competitive behavior and make sure businesses are able to compete on a level playing field.

Sen. Klobuchar is also the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, where she works to ensure fairness, transparency, and efficiency in government. She helped pass the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate and has authored legislation to boost same-day voter registration, which Minnesota has had in place for many years and, as a result, has one of the highest voter turnout rates in the country.

Sen. Klobuchar joins eight additional First Amendment Awards honorees, including CNNJames Goldston of ABC News, David Begnaud of CBS News, Shepard Smith of FOX News Channel, Dale Hansen of WFAA-TV – TEGNA, the 2018 “Road Warriors” of NBC News, Jamal Khashoggi and the journalists of The Capital Gazette. Join us in honoring this year’s First Amendment Award recipients in Washington, D.C., while supporting RTDNF’s continued efforts to promote and protect journalism.


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The annual  is an opportunity to recognize and support responsible journalism and is the Foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser, raising essential funds to ensure that the broadcast and digital news profession remains a critical part of our nation’s free press for generations to come.

RTDNF thanks TEGNA, Fox News Network, LLC and CNN Newsource for supporting this event.



RTDNF, a 501(c)3 educational foundation, was created to help RTDNA members embody and uphold the standards of ethical journalism and promote leadership in the newsroom. The Foundation works for an America in which the press is able to hold the powerful to account, shine a light on corruption, act a catalyst for positive change in local communities without denial of access, undue restriction, or fear of attack. We train and equip local journalists and journalism students to know their rights and report seek & report truth ethically – upholding your right to know.


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