First Amendment Center Founder to receive Neuharth Award Oct. 7 John Seigenthaler, who founded the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in 1991, will be awarded the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism on Thursday, Oct. 7, at The University of South Dakota. Seigenthaler will be the 13th recipient of the Neuharth Award.
The Neuharth Award activities, part of the Dakota Days homecoming festivities at USD, will include a visit by Newseum's NewsCapade, the traveling interactive museum of news. NewsCapade, which is taking some of the most popular exhibits of the Arlington, VA, based Newseum to all 50 states, will be located on the USD School of Law Mall Oct. 7 – 9. The exhibit will be open to students and the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
USA Today and Freedom Forum founder Allen H. Neuharth will present the award at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre I of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. During this evening event, a very special interview will take place with Seigenthaler. His son, John Michael Seigenthaler, anchor for weekend editions of NBC Nightly News and a contributing anchor for MSNBC, will interview the elder Seigenthaler at the award presentation Thursday evening. During the program, Seigenthaler will receive a sculpture and a $10,000 honorarium.
Earlier in the day, Neuharth and John Seigenthaler will participate in a press conference at 2:30 p.m. (in the Coyote Student Center Lounge.) Seigenthaler also will join with Neuharth at a question and answer session in the South Dakota Public Broadcasting Studio, located in the E.O. Lawrence Telecommunications Center at 3:30 p.m.
"John Seigenthaler has dedicated a half century to excellence in journalism, as a reporter, editor and newspaper executive," said Neuharth, a former Volante editor and 1950 USD graduate. "Seigenthaler also has trained some of the top journalists now in major newspaper and broadcast jobs. Having him on the USD campus for this award will benefit students, faculty and alumni," said Neuharth.
"John Seigenthaler is one of the most remarkable journalists of our time," said Charles L. Overby, chairman and chief executive officer of The Freedom Forum in Arlington, VA.
Created with a $1.25 million grant from The Freedom Forum, the Neuharth Center for Excellence in Journalism opened its doors at USD in 1987. Previous recipients of the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism include: Tim Russert of NBC News and Louis D. Boccardi, president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press, 1998; Cokie Roberts of ABC News, 1997; Robert MacNeil of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, 1996; Albert R. Hunt of the Wall Street Journal and Judy Woodruff of CNN, 1995; Charles Kuralt of CBS News, 1994; Larry King of CNN, 1993; Tom Brokaw of NBC News and a USD graduate, 1992; Helen Thomas of UPI, 1991; Carl T. Rowan, columnist and author, 1990; and Walter Cronkite of CBS News, 1989.
About John Seigenthaler
A former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Seigenthaler served for 43 years as an award-winning journalist for The Tennessean, Nashville's morning newspaper. He began his career in 1949 and served as editor, publisher and CEO of the newspaper. In 1982, he became founding editorial director of USA Today and served in that position for a decade. He left journalism briefly in the early 1960s to serve in the U.S. Justice Department as administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. His work in the field of civil rights led to his serving as chief negotiator with the governor of Alabama during the Freedom Rides. Seigenthaler hosts a weekly book-review program, A Word on Words, distributed through the Southern Public Television Network.
The Newseum's NewsCapade with Al Neuharth is a mobile exhibit that includes popular artifacts, videos and displays from the Arlington, VA-based Newseum, the world's first interactive museum of news. The exhibit is formed when two 53-foot trailers are joined, creating a high-vaulted pavilion that looks and feels like a permanent structure. NewsCapade includes a 45-seat theater showing the award-winning film, What's News?, narrated by CBS News' Charles Osgood. Visitors can use touch-screen computers to act as newspaper editors and select front-page stories or they can be photojournalists covering breaking news. Visitors can also step in front of a camera and read the news or play "Get the Scoop," a fun, interactive computer match game. Other exhibits include an "Interview a Journalist" interactive kiosk, unforgettable news photos, historic newspaper front pages, news
artifacts, a timeline of 20th-century news, a look at the power of the First Amendment, and "The Birthday
Banner," the Newseum's computerized program that delivers free souvenir front pages with the news from an individual's month and year of birth.
The Newseum and NewsCapade are funded by The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan, international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The Freedom Forum was founded by Allen H. Neuharth.
For more information about the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism or The Freedom Forum, contact: Susan Bennett at 703-284-3765, email sbennett@
freedomforum.org or contact Jack Marsh or Penny Russell-Roberts, Neuharth Center, (605) 677-5424.