NBC’s Lester Holt, ABC’s Robin Sproul and CBS’ Bill Plante accepted their First Amendment Awards from the RTDNF last night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. The awards ceremony was hosted by Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
In his speech accepting the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, Holt recalled advice from his mentor, the late Jerry Nachman, former vice president of MSNBC.
“The most important thing he told me was that the highest calling in what we do is being a reporter, and that has been really the guiding principle throughout my career,” Holt said. “You can call any fancy title you want — principal anchor, executive producer, news director — at its essence, we are all reporters. That’s what we should be, that’s what we should aspire to be, and that’s what makes us good at what we do.”
Robin Sproul, ABC’s Washington bureau chief, said in her speech accepting the First Amendment Service Award that the “time in which anyone can be a broadcaster” has raised many more questions and challenges to the First Amendment.
“All of these issues require vigilance and constant attention even as news bureaus in DC — those that watch the government — shrink because of the changing news business models, more challenges of the digital age,” Sproul said. “But these are good fights to have. And as Thomas Jefferson wrote, ‘Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.’”
CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante, who was honored with the RTDNF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, reflected on how the news business has changed since he began his career at CBS in 1964. Read more