RTDNF Unveils First Amendment Award Winners

RTDNF First Amendment award winners 2022
The 2022 First Amendment Award honorees include (from l.): FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel; CBS's 'Face the Nation,' hosted by Margaret Brennan; and Steve Kornacki of NBC News/MSNBC. (Image credit: FCC/CBS News/MSBNC)

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation has announced its latest First Amendment award winners, including the Leonard H. Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, named after the former Broadcasting+Cable senior Washington correspondent.

There will be a March 9 dinner in Washington where the 2021 recipients — as well as 2021 recipients who did not get an in-person gala — will be recognized.

The 2022 Zeidenberg Award winner is Mary Louise Kelly, host of NPR's All Things Considered and a former national security correspondent for the noncommercial news outlet. The award is for a "major contribution to the protection of First Amendment freedoms."

FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has been tapped for the First Amendment Leadership award for "champions" of "First Amendment and press freedoms." Rosenworcel was tapped for promoting "greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services." 

The 2022 First Amendment Service Award, for “professionals in local or network news who work in an off-air, management, largely behind-the-scenes capacity,” is going to ABC News president Kim Godwin.

The First Amendment Award is going to CBS’s Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan. The award is for “a business, government or other leader who has made a significant contribution to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.” The show is being hailed as the most-watched Sunday public affairs show and the second-longest-running TV show of any kind.

The First Amendment Clarity Award recognizes a journalist or journalists who put complex stories in context. The winner is NBC News and MSNBC national political correspondent Steve Kornacki for his political reporting.

The RTDNF Citation of Courage is being given posthumously to Kevin Nishita, who worked as an armed security guard and was killed while protecting a TV news crew from an armed robbery in Oakland, California. 

The RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Jayne Miller, a reporter at WBAL Baltimore for more than 35 years. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.