On Thursday, February 23, 2006, the National Press Foundation honored its 2005 awards recipients at the Hilton Washington Hotel, during its 23rd Annual Awards Dinner, a black-tie fund-raising event that honors excellence in American journalism. More than 1,000 reporters, editors, producers, policy analysts and advocates gathered to honor the best in print, broadcasting and online accomplishment.
The Foundation has named its Editor of the Year award in honor of Benjamin C. Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Washington Post. Ron Royhab, executive editor of The Blade (Toledo, Ohio), received the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award, in part for his leadership of the “Coingate” stories that uncovered statewide fiscal mismanagement in Ohio. The Blade was the first paper to report on the coin investment scandal that has mushroomed to become the largest political scandal in the nation and the largest in Ohio history.
Charles Osgood of CBS News received the Sol Taishoff Award for Broadcasting Excellence. A newsman, commentator and poet, he has been anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning since 1994. He also anchors and writes The Osgood File, his daily news commentary broadcast on the CBS Radio Network. His commentaries have drawn one of the largest audiences of any network radio feature.
Jack Germond, the veteran political columnist and book author, received the W.M. Kiplinger Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism. He has been a newspaperman for more than 50 years and has covered national politics and Washington since 1960. He spent twenty years with Gannett Newspapers, eight years with the Washington Star and twenty years with the Baltimore Sun.
In a special tribute, the Chairman’s Citation for Overall Excellence in Journalism honored the Journalists of the Gulf Coast, who kept writing and broadcasting during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, in order to keep the public informed. Jim Amoss turned the New Orleans Times-Picayune into the emergency community newspaper in both print and online editions. Dave Cohen kept WWL-AM radio on the air to serve as a center of advice and information for people who had nothing else but a radio. Stan Tiner made sure that the Sun-Herald was delivered to the folks of Biloxi. Editor Steve Cox kept the Mississippi Press publishing in Pascagoula, overcoming unimaginable obstacles. And after Hurricane Rita’s 120-mph winds tore through Beaumont, Texas, editor Tim Kelly at the Enterprise had his staff file direct-to-web reports, blogs, interactive features. These individuals worked heroically in covering this extraordinary event. So did many others who could not attend the dinner, but whom we honor as well.
The Everett McKinley Dirksen Awards for Distinguished Coverage of Congress was given to Ed Henry of CNN and Susan Milligan of the Boston Globe. Ed Henry is a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for CNN covering Capitol Hill. Susan Milligan has covered Congress on and off for more than 20 years.
Jimmy Margulies, the editorial cartoonist of The Record (Hackensack, N.J.), was named the Berryman Cartoonist of the Year. In choosing Jimmy Margulies as this year’s award winner, our judges praised his “wicked sense of humor and bold drawing” and his “knack for taking complicated issues and making them reader friendly.”
National Geographic Magazine Online received the foundation’s award for Excellence in Online Journalism. Our judges chose www.ngm.com because it is “a terrific site with fascinating content that represents a wide and wonderful use of the web’s tools.” More than 14 million people logged on to National Geographic Magazine Online in 2005.
Established in 1975, the National Press Foundation is one of the nation’s leading independent, non-profit organizations dedicated to the professional development of working journalists. The awards dinner is its largest source of unrestricted revenue. The proceeds support the programs, and the programs give rise to the accomplishments.