Rick Hutzell, editor of Capital Gazette Communications in Annapolis, Maryland, has won the National Press Foundation’s Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award.
Five Capital Gazette employees were killed in a mass shooting in their newsroom in June. In the months since, Hutzell’s leadership has inspired journalists around the country.
NPF judges said: “We saw courage in the face of unimaginable tragedy in the Capital Gazette editor and his staff. As pledged, they put out a ‘damn paper’ the next day, and every day since in service to their community. It underscores the importance of local newspapers and the unbreakable bond with their communities.”
“This award may have my name on it, but it is something earned by my staff and colleagues at Capital Gazette newspapers and Baltimore Sun Media Group,” Hutzell said. “I did not put the paper out. We put the paper out, together. I’d like to thank them for inspiring me every day to come to work, serve my profession in the memory of my lost friends and explore this great community that I and my family call home.”
The Annapolis community, journalists and citizens across the country have rallied around the newspaper. The Capital Gazette Family Fund, established by Tribune Publishing, which owns Capital Gazette, has raised nearly $2 million for the victims’ families and survivors.
The National Press Foundation established the Editor of the Year Award in 1984 to recognize significant achievements that enhance the quality of journalism in the United States. It recognizes imagination, professional skill, ethics and an ability to motivate staff — qualities that represent the highest standards of journalism in the mold of longtime Washington Post executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee. The list of past distinguished winners is here.
The National Press Foundation is an independent nonprofit that is run by and for journalists. NPF’s sole mission is to educate journalists about today’s most pressing issues and to provide critical toolbox training. Learn more about NPF here.