NBC's Lester Holt accepted RTDNA's Paul White Award, the Association's highest honor, Friday evening. Holt, in Miami to cover Hurricane Irma, spoke via satellite to a crowd at Excellence in Journalism 2017 in Anaheim, California. Watch Lester's remarks here.
Conference attendee Edwin Delgado enjoyed Holt's remarks. "The work in his job is such that he is out there and he tried to connect to people here via satellite so he could be in two places at once in a sense. I think that’s very admirable to watch and to hear from him in that way. Also the fact that he said how lucky the people in the media like us are, being able to witness the things that we see even if we work in the small markets like myself, it’s really, we’re really in a great position to be in.” Audience member Charity Lindsey said, “The thing I really liked that he said was that we’re in people’s lives for a short time and then we leave, but they’re still continuing in that, whatever it is, whether it was suffering or something they experienced and that we have to be sympathetic to that and have compassion.” Attendee Marielena Castellanos added, “I liked how he touched upon himself, how he got rejected and how he kept at it. I also liked how he touched upon the importance of what a reporter does in serving the community and I liked how he touched upon the hurricane and how the local news in Houston was possibly saving lives. I think by doing that, for me I think, he brought it back to the importance of news and a reporter and the work that they do.”
About Lester Holt
Lester Holt is an award-winning journalist and anchor of "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," the network's flagship broadcast and America's most-watched evening newscast. Holt was named to the role in June 2015 after 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 and is known for his outstanding work in the field, reporting and anchoring from breaking news events across the world. In May 2017, he anchored “Nightly News” from Jerusalem during President Trump’s first international trip and reported from Manchester following the terrorist attack at a concert. In April 2017, he interviewed a senior North Korean defector and had rare access to U.S. military operations in South Korea. He has reported from Brussels and Paris on the terrorist attacks that took place across Europe in 2015 and 2016. Previously, Holt anchored from South Africa during the Nelson Mandela memorial service; reported from the streets of Cairo on the latest political and civil unrest in Egypt during the Arab Spring; covered the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan; and reported on the immediate aftermath and response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
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. The award-winning broadcast journalist came to MSNBC from WBBM-TV in Chicago, where he spent 14 years. He has earned the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Daytime Emmy Award and received the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation in 2014.
About the Paul White Award
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.