RTDNF names First Amendment Award winners


rtndfThe Radio Television Digital News Foundation says the awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, DC on Wednesday, 3/12. Here are the recipients of its 2014 First Amendment Awards:

First Amendment Leadership Award: David Lougee, Gannett

Lougee is president of the broadcasting division of Gannett Co., Inc. He joined Gannett in 2007, after working as a senior executive at Belo. He was a television news director in Seattle, Washington, DC and Denver. He currently serves on the NBC affiliate board and the board of the National Association of Broadcasters. RTDNF presents this award annually to a business or government leader who has made a significant contribution to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award: Lester Holt, NBC News

Holt is the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and co-anchor of the weekend edition to Today. He joined NBC News after working as an anchor and reporter in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. He is a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. RTDNF presents this award annually to a radio or television journalist or news executive who has made a major contribution to the protection of First Amendment freedoms. It is named for the late Broadcasting & Cable senior correspondent, Leonard Zeidenberg.

First Amendment Service Award: Robin Sproul, ABC News

Sproul has been vice president and Washington bureau chief for ABC News since March 1993. She joined ABC in 1981 as DC bureau chief for ABC News Radio. She and her teams have won multiple major journalism awards and she is a former trustee of RTDNF. This award honors professionals in local or network news who work in an off-air, management, largely behind-the-scenes capacity.

First Amendment Award: The Associated Press

To be accepted by Gary Pruitt, CEO: Pruitt is President and CEO of the Associated Press. Prior to leading AP, he was president, CEO and chairman at The McClatchy Co. He has served on the AP board and is a former chair of the Newspaper Association of America. This award honors an outstanding individual or organization which champions the First Amendment and press freedoms.

RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Plante, CBS News

Plante has been a CBS News White House correspondent during the Reagan, Clinton, Geo. W. Bush and Obama administrations, and a correspondent at the State Department. He has covered every presidential campaign since Humphrey and Nixon and has reported on major events around the world since joining CBS News in 1964. RTDNF presents its lifetime achievement award to those who have made outstanding contributions to journalism and press freedom.