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2009 Award Winners

Matrix Foundation awards were presented during the AWC 100th Anniversary Celebration/Annual Conference in Seattle, WA in October 2009.  The winners include:

Deborah L. Jacobs – Edith B. Wortman First Amendment Award

Deborah Jacobs

Deborah Jacobs

The 2009 recipient of the AWC Matrix Foundation’s Edith B. Worthman First Amendment Award is Deborah Jacobs.

The First Amendment Award is bestowed upon individuals who have made significant contributions in supporting the First Amendment and First Amendment rights.

Jacobs, strong advocate for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, has been director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries since 2008. Prior to joining the foundation, Deborah was City Librarian at the Seattle Public Library, where for 11 years she lead a major capital program that resulted in a new central library and 26 renovated, new, or expanded branch libraries. She became a library director 21 years ago in Corvallis, Oregon, and started as a children’s librarian 33 years ago.

Joann Byrd – Helen Duhamel Achievement Award

Joann Byrd

Joann Byrd

The 2009 recipient of the AWC Matrix Foundation’s Helen Duhamel Achievement Award is Joann Byrd, author, retired editor of the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, and former member of the Pulitzer Prize selection board.

The Helen Duhamel Achievement Award recognizes media professionals who have made significant achievements in their profession while overcoming hardships and/or challenges, and who have used their First Amendment rights to give back to society.

Over the next four decades, Byrd was a reporter and editor for the Spokane Daily Chronicle in Spokane, WA; city editor, managing editor and executive editor of The Herald in Everett, WA; ombudsman at The Washington Post in Washington, DC, and editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer when it was a hardcopy paper. Byrd also served for nine years on the Pulitzer Prize Board where she helped select winners in the fields of journalism, books, drama and music.

While executive editor of The Herald, Byrd earned her master’s degree in philosophy with an emphasis on ethics. She taught journalism ethics at regional journalism meetings, the University of Washington and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. She co-developed the Ethics Tool, an interactive decision-making model that appears on the web sites of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication inducted Byrd into the Hall of Achievement in 2000.

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