News executives, correspondent win open-government awards

Monday, March 3, 2008

WASHINGTON — Associated Press President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Curley, CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer and NBC Universal Vice President Paula Madison will be honored this week for their roles in promoting open government and free speech.

The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation announced Feb. 28 that it had chosen the three for First Amendment awards to be presented at its annual banquet here March 6. A special award also will be presented to former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Richard Wiley.

“The work that these individuals have done to advance the First Amendment and a free electronic press is important,” said Barbara Cochran, the foundation's president.

Curley was selected for his role in pushing for more openness in government and prioritizing reporting on First Amendment issues. “He's being recognized for the leadership he has shown in getting journalists to work in a coalition for press freedom,” Cochran said.

Schieffer, CBS News' chief Washington correspondent, was selected as “a journalist who's known for his fairness and integrity, and he's covered every major beat in Washington,” Cochran said.

Madison was chosen for her long-standing advocacy for diversity both in the newsroom and in programming, Cochran said.

Wiley, now the top attorney in Wiley Rein LLP's communications division, was chosen for his role in launching the transition to digital television as FCC chairman, Cochran said. He was also selected for his legal work on behalf of First Amendment rights.

The RTNDF is the educational division of the Radio and Television News Directors Association. Cochran is president of both organizations.

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