Hearst Television's Jordan Wertlieb Pays Tribute To Local Journalism

Ethics, Awards,

Jordan Wertlieb FAA

Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television, celebrated local journalism during a speech accepting the RTDNA Foundation’s 2023 First Amendment Leadership Award. 

“What we do matters,” Wertlieb said. “This is a career for the passionate. It's a calling for those committed to the protection and preservation of a free press and our democracy. And as I say all the time to our journalists, it's not easy; it's just important. Nothing that's important is easy.”

Wertlieb channeled Walter Cronkite and John Lewis, reminding at the First Amendment Awards that journalism and democracy are interconnected. Nowhere is that more apparent than at the local level. 

“Local news continues to be Americans' most trusted source of news and we must nurture and protect that relationship every single day,” Wertlieb said. “Invest in journalism, particularly investigative journalism and the coverage of campaigns and local elections. Do the important work. Do not succumb to the cost-cutting pressure of those whose priorities change from quarter to quarter. Let's play offense instead of defense in local journalism.”

Watch his full speech below. 

(Photo: BP Miller / Chorus Photography)