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Ailes Hailed for First Amendment Leadership

Fox News Channel's Roger Ailes will receive the 2006 First Amendment Leadership Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation at its annual awards dinner March 8 in Washington.

Ailes joins a list of past honorees that include Ted Turner, founder of FNC rival CNN; Don Hewitt of CBS; and Katharine Graham of The Washington Post.

"The news organization you have built offers, just as the framers intended, a variety of viewpoints, independent voices, and probing investigations that hold important institutions accountable," said RTNDF in the letter telling Ailes of his selection.

RTNDF also cited FNC's tenth anniversary last fall.

Also honored will be Bob Woodruff of ABC and Kimberly Dozier of CBS, both of whom were wounded while covering the war in Iraq. They will receive the Len Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, named after the former B&C chief Washington correspondent. The tribute to Woodruff and Dozier will include a salute to "all journalists who have been injured or who died while covering the war in Iraq."

Philip Balboni, founder of New England Cable News, will receive the First Amendment Service Award as "head of one of the first and most-honored regional cable news networks, " said Radio-Television News Directors Association President President Barbara Cochran.