The journalists will receive the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s First Amendment Awards.
Two pioneers in cable news and two journalists injured while covering the war in Iraq will be honored by the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation for their work on behalf of press freedom. RTNDF will pay tribute to Roger Ailes of Fox News, Philip Balboni of New England Cable News, Kimberly Dozier of CBS News and Bob Woodruff of ABC News at the 17th Annual First Amendment Awards Dinner on March 8 in Washington.
Ailes, the chairman and CEO of Fox News, will receive the 2006 First Amendment Leadership Award. Since founding the network in 1996, RTNDF said, “Ailes has made it the ratings leader among cable news channels.” Previously, Ailes headed CNBC, the business news channel, from 1993 to 1996, and was president of America’s Talking. A three-time Emmy Award winner and former television producer, Ailes is also chairman of Fox Television Stations.
Past recipients of the First Amendment Leadership Award include Floyd Abrams, Katharine Graham, Don Hewitt, Howard Stringer, Roone Arledge, Robert Johnson and Ted Turner.
Woodruff and Dozier will receive the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, named for the late senior correspondent for Broadcasting & Cable. Woodruff, an anchor and reporter for ABC News, has covered major stories throughout the country and the world. In January 2006, he was seriously injured in a roadside attack while reporting from Taji, Iraq. Dozier is a correspondent for CBS News and has covered the war in Iraq since 2002. While embedded with the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in Baghdad in May, Dozier was injured in an explosion that killed her camera crew, as well as a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi translator. The presentation of the awards will include a tribute to all journalists who have been injured or who died while covering the war in Iraq.
Past recipients of the Zeidenberg award include Ed Bradley, Andrea Mitchell, Judy Woodruff, Sam Donaldson, Jim Lehrer, Mike Wallace and Diane Sawyer.
Balboni will receive the First Amendment Service Award, given to someone of distinction working in an off-air, management capacity. Balboni founded New England Cable News, one of the first regional cable news networks in the nation, and serves as president. He has had a long career in local television news and is the former vice president and news director of WCVB Boston. Under his leadership, his news organizations have been honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award, the DuPont-Columbia Award and the George Foster Peabody Award.
Previous winners of the First Amendment Service Award include Susan Zirinsky, Fred Young, Gary Wordlaw, Lee Giles and Marty Haag.
All of the honorees will deliver remarks at RTNDF’s dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington.