RTDNF has announced Chris Matthews of MSNBC will host the 2017 First Amendment Awards Dinner.
"When it comes to American politics, Chris Matthews has seen it all, and he's done a remarkable job of explaining it all to a generation of viewers," said Kathy Walker, RTDNF Chair. "We're delighted to have him as our master of ceremonies, as we honor champions of the First Amendment and support the work of our Foundation."
Chris Matthews has been following American politics since the first Eisenhower campaign. Following a stint in the Peace Corps in Africa, he worked in the US Senate, as a presidential speechwriter and as top aide to the legendary Speaker of the House, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. In the late 1980s, Chris switched to full-time journalism, serving as Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Examiner. He began his career on television in 1994 as host of a two-hour nightly program on the NBC-owned America’s Talking network. Three years later, he launched “Hardball,” now on msnbc, which was the title of his best-selling handbook on real-life politics published in 1988. He has been on the air every weekday night since. He is the author of six best-selling books.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Washington on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Details about the RTDNF First Amendment Awards and a link to purchase tickets can be found on our event page
The honorees include:
- Bill Whitaker, CBS News - Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award
- Steve Jones, ABC News Radio - First Amendment Service Award
- Stanley S. Hubbard and Stanley E. Hubbard, Hubbard Broadcasting - First Amendment Leadership Award
- Mark Halperin / John Heilemann - First Amendment Award
- Nina Totenberg, NPR News - RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award
The event, which raises funds for RTDNF's journalism scholarship, fellowship and leadership programs, will also include special recognition of three people who passed away in 2016: National Public Radio photographer David Gilkey who was killed in Afghanistan when his convoy came under fire, PBS anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, and George Glazer, who chaired the committee that launched RTDNF's First Amendment Awards in 1990.
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