NEW YORK, June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Quinnipiac University presented its Fred Friendly First Amendment Award to Lester Holt, anchor of "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt" and "Dateline NBC," at a luncheon Monday at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.
Since 1994, Quinnipiac's School of Communications has presented the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award to honor those who have shown courage and forthrightness in preserving the rights set forth in the First Amendment. The award bears the name of the former CBS News president and champion of freedom of speech.
"The spirit, if not the practical application of Fred Friendly's principles, has not been abandoned," Holt said. "Just look at the exceptional quality of the journalism all around us these last several months related to Russian attempts to influence our election and the unprecedented actions at the executive level. Journalism has excelled – not withered – in the face of a sustained assault on its very legitimacy. That is something to be proud of and reminds us we should never take for granted our First Amendment rights, nor the responsibilities that come with it."
Holt joined NBC News in 2000 and is known for his outstanding work in the field, reporting and anchoring from breaking news events across the world.
"No one works harder or insists on staying with a story longer, whether it is a domestic or foreign story," said Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications. "Whenever possible, he wants to put his boots on the ground."
Holt's field reporting often focuses on people most directly affected by the biggest stories of the day. In the week leading up to the presidential inauguration in January 2017, he traveled across the U.S. talking with Americans about the nation's most pressing issues and their hopes for the next four years. Holt also hosted a roundtable of South Carolina voters before the 2016 primary, spoke with Baltimore residents following city-wide protests in April 2015, and had an exclusive talk with the witness who recorded the Walter Scott shooting.
Previous recipients of the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award are: Dan Rather, Bill Moyers, Lesley Stahl, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, Don Hewitt, Peter Jennings, Mike Wallace, Christiane Amanpour, Tom Bettag, Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, Steve Kroft, Charles Gibson, Morley Safer, Gwen Ifill, David Fanning, Martha Raddatz, Scott Pelley, Richard Engel and Charlie Rose.
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SOURCE Quinnipiac University