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: Lester Holt.
“At a time when journalism has faced unprecedented challenges, Lester Holt remains a trusted and steady voice," said Vincent Duffy, Chairman of RTDNA. “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 on Friday, September 8 at 4:30pm PT at Excellence in Journalism 2017, at the Anaheim Marriott. The ceremony will be followed by a reception.
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.