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2008 Award Winners

The 2008 Award – The Matrix Foundation honors two leading advocates of press freedom

The Matrix Foundation honors two leading advocates of press freedom at a special awards ceremony during the national conference of The Association for Women in Communication in Washington, DC on September 27. “The two recipients of the Edith Wortman First Amendment Award have supported First Amendment rights in significant ways,” said Lynn Osborne, Matrix Foundation Chair. “Kudos to both Barbara Cochran and Lucy Dalglish for their dedication to, and outspoken defense of, journalists’ right to report and the public’s right to be informed about the news.”

Barbara Cochran

Barbara Cochran

Barbara Cochran, President, Radio and Television News Directors Association and President, Radio and Television News Directors Foundation,

A leading advocate for First Amendment Rights, Cochran has been at the forefront of the major issues facing electronic journalists, including fighting for cameras and microphones in state and federal courtrooms, protecting journalists’ access in post-9/11 America, opposing government secrecy and battling intrusive regulation of news content. She has been president of RTNDA and RTNDF since 1997. RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization for electronic journalism, representing local and network broadcast news in more than 30 countries. RTNDF acts as the association’s educational arm. An industry insider, Cochran worked as a journalist and news executive in Washington, DC, for 28 years—11 years in print and 17 years in broadcasting.

“When electronic journalists are denied the ability to report on a news event with their own microphones, cameras and production crews, it allows newsmakers to determine the content of the news, a result that is inconsistent with our society’s democratic values,” Cochran said.

Visit http://www.rtnda.org/ for more about RTNDA and RTNDF.

Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Lucy Dalglish

Lucy Dalglish

Under Dalglish’ direction starting in 2000, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has built on its considerable reputation. After the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, the Committee became the nation’s leading authority on efforts to prevent important information from reaching the public. Its “Homefront Confidential” reports and “Behind the Homefront” weblog are authoritative summaries of what has happened to the public’s right to know in the post-9/11 world. Recently, the Committee has taken a lead in building coalitions with other media-related organizations to protect reporters’ rights to keep sources confidential and to keep an eye on legislative efforts that impact the public’s right to know. It also has aggressively sought opportunities to speak out nationwide through amicus curiae briefs filed on behalf of journalists. A media lawyer and former reporter and editor, Dalglish has been awarded the Wells Memorial Key, the highest honor bestowed by the Society of Professional Journalists, and named to the inaugural class of the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame in 1996.

Dalglish has said, “I’ve got this notion that somebody should keep an eye on what government is doing—and that job falls to the press.”

Learn more about the Reporters Committee at http://www.rcfp.org/



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