And This Year’s Paul White Award Recipient Is …


The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the winner of the 2017 Paul White Award, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement and service to the profession of electronic journalism. Who’s getting the honor, which will be presented on Friday, Sept. 8 in Anaheim, Calif.?

Lester Holt, anchor of the appropriately named NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, NBC’s flagship news broadcast.

“At a time when journalism has faced unprecedented challenges, Lester remains a trusted and steady voice,” said RTDNA Chairman Vincent Duffy. “We’re proud to recognize his work, his decades of dedication to our profession and his commitment to seeking and speaking the truth.”

The award will be presented at the RTDNA’s Excellence in Journalism 2017, at the Anaheim Marriott. The ceremony will be followed by a reception.

Holt has held the top news anchor slot at NBC since June 2015, following eight years as anchor of NBC Nightly News‘ weekend editions and 12 years as co-anchor of Weekend TODAY. In addition, Holt has served as principal anchor of Dateline NBC since September 2011.

Holt joined NBC News in 2000.

Before becoming co-anchor of Weekend Today, Holt anchored Lester Holt Live, a daily news show on MSNBC in which he covered breaking news and provided news updates and analysis. Holt has also served as the lead anchor for daytime news and breaking news coverage on MSNBC.

Before gaining a national presence on MSNBC, Holt spent 14 years at CBS O&O WBBM-2 in Chicago.

Holt, in 2014, received the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from the RTDNA.

RTDNA established the Paul White Award in 1956 to honor the broadcast news pioneer who served as the first news director at CBS. The award recognizes an individual’s lifetime contribution to electronic journalism.

Past Paul White recipients include Chris Wallace, Linda Ellerbee, Steve Kroft, Christiane Amanpour, Charles Gibson, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Bob Schieffer, Ted Koppel, Pauline Frederick and Edward R. Murrow.

RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, RTDNA works to protect the rights of electronic journalists throughout the country, promotes ethical standards in the industry, provides members with training and education and honors outstanding work in the profession through the Edward R. Murrow Awards.