tv Radio Television Digital News Foundation First Amendment Awards Dinner... CSPAN March 25, 2017 11:50pm-12:57am EDT
>> thank you. are back.teria -- we honor ane award-winning photographer who died in afghan and while on assignment for npr. david grew up in portland and dropped out of oregon state to do an internship with the boulder daily camera. gilkeywhen david fell in love with journalism. detroit. in lkey hasg in 2003 gi been to iraq and afghanistan 70 times he lost count. his subjects could not see him
or his camera but he relished capturing their actions. felt that what we were doing in iraq as soldiers and journalists was important. he was killed last june while embedded with afghan army troops while their vehicle was hit by rocket propelled grenades. secretary of state john kerry said gilkey was more than a gifted photographer, he was a storyteller who understood the power of imagery to enhance the power of understanding. gilkey works for npr photography. talent and anique special man who is fondly remembered. he won several emmys, he was the photographer of the year for the the firste, he was multimedia journalist to receive and edward r burroughs award. for your david gilkey
the first amendment service award honors professionals in local and network news who work in off the air management and in a largely behind-the-scenes capacity. presenting tonight service award, she is so popular, the vice president and washington bureau chief of abc news robin brown. ♪ >> good evening, everyone. this is a very stressful time for journalists as we are all aware and have been talking about tonight. of aooking on the 30 years career at abc news, there have been very few years without significant challenges to the work we do and challenges in the business environment in which we work.
steve has been a quite force for adapting at abc news, in the era i call typewriters into twitter. theas invented new ways of retelling, he is programs news, ports, entertainment, lifestyle stories in radio and digital. yese has survived layoff, survived having the business sold out from under him. he has invented new methods of distribution. he is facedown wily competitors along the way and his staff has one basically every award out there. , truthgative reporting seeking and coverage of spectacular and important world event. steve loves radio as i do and the many ways of the medium can form, entertain and even delight. he has invested most of his career in radio and more than
any other single person he has helped the medium survive and thrive at abc. steve is also a talented journalist focused squarely on the mission of great journalism but more than all of the above steve is a terrific colleague. he is one that always has your back whether you are in underling, ap or, the president of the news division or the ceo of the walt disney company. he is there for you and does it all with kindness towards others and a wicked sense of humor. before i introduce you, let's watch this video. news the chaos of breaking at the nonstop news cycle, you need a steady hand, a leader. ♪ >> leaders sometimes start as shaggy haired teenagers like the one wcix radio director john ogle met in 1977. >> he is called the radio
station and asked questions about news tories. as a journalist, i thought, what a neat person. >> steve jones began his new career as an intern learning the abcs of journalism. >> i had together sounds, do phone calls, create tories from soundbites. he picked it up very quickly. >> steve worked as the kids producer for the late alan comes. bs, whose steve credits with giving him a huge break and for being a great mentor and friend. >> you're listening to the w lir. change formats, he
took on double duty as both a disc jockey and a news anchor. >> all the women have crushes on him. >> steve hung up the job lifestyle to pursue a career in hard news. abc news radio in 19 a six as a freelance writer area it was that same -- writer. that same passion that led steve to become the vice president and general manager of abc news radio. >> abc news radio was fundamental to everything we do. it is the reason why more americans to get their news from nbc than anywhere else. we are happy to work with steve as a team at nbc news radio. he has helped keep abc news radio one step ahead. >> he took abc news radio in a dynamic new direction. he is built up a brand-new
network from scratch. >> abc news is an important part of what we do as not only the access of abc news and the great people they employ are a big part. >> we are so pleased with our affiliation with abc. we are a local affiliate in a small market in texas and we are able to go to great big stories and provide local coverage to our listeners on stories that have worldwide impact. >> abc news. >> abc news. >> abc news. >> his excellence in broadcasting starts in the newsroom. >> there is no leader i would prefer to have in charge when it matters most. >> he is a boss who wants to know that his employees are doing all right and see if there's anything he can do to make it better. >> >> steve has been quoted as saying your integrity is key, and it is critical to your
success at life. from music radio to a network news executive, steve, you have led a career with integrity. >> now it is my great pleasure -- [applause] -- to introduce you to the abc colleague we love seeing entering any room or meeting, dnf 20 17th winner of the rt first amendment service award, steve jones. [applause] ♪ ♪ steve: thank you, robin, for that wonderful introduction. she is one of our
steve: thank you, robin, for that wonderful introduction. she is one of our leading voices. and she received at the same award in 2014, and i have been so fortunate to work with her for more than 30 years at abc news. good evening everyone. when my friend and colleague called me to notify me of this honor, i was both surprised and humbled. kathy has been an abc news radio affiliate and director more than 20 years. she is a fierce advocate for journalism and one of news radio's biggest proponents. i also want to thank my many friends and colleagues in the rtdna, particularly those board members who i have served with. several of my coworkers from abc news planned to be here, but the blizzard is keeping them in new york. i do not mean the weather, i mean the trump tax returns. [laughter] steve: there has been a document dump of some sort.
i would like to thank abc news president, news executive bob murphy, bureau chief jonathan and twoger, lana zack, of my colleagues that i spent years side-by-side most with, andrew and jeff. and i'm sure they will post a video with incredibly embarrassing photos. abc news radio has more than 1500 affiliate, which means i have more than 1500 reasons to say thank you. one of them is to the hubbard team tonight, one of our affiliates. congratulations, mr. hubbard, and i'm joel, it is good to see you as a team. we affiliated with those 1500 stations after separating from a long-term relationship with a syndicator two years ago. we were not have been successful
without our partners from skyview network. the principles of their company tried to get in tonight. one of them, diana made it, with one of our sales colleagues. thank you lloyd and karen as well. howard, i appreciate you coming down. i also want to thank a longtime friend of mine, former abc news radio colleague and now the head of npr's news guests, robert garcia. he won this award a couple of years ago. robert garcia is a great guy. [applause] steve: i have been to this dinner many times, and i cannot recall your when the defense of the celebration of the first amendment has felt more necessary. i'm grateful that so many champions of press freedom are in this room, and i am thankful for the tireless advocacy of the rtdna. press freedom is an essential thread in the fabric of our democracy. threat history, supporters of the press often shift to critics when things are not going away.
that's going their way. presidents and mayors, governors and senators, all oriented aggrieved or peeved at the work we do. i provide news to talk radio stations. do i need to say more than that about criticism? thankfully, radio remains a vibrant forum for discussion. 247 million americans tune in each week. that is 91% of the population listening at least once weekly. our abc news radio journalism is heard on stations that are some -- not our home to some of the most listened to and radio hosts in america. a couple of years ago, i was invited to a small meeting with program executives from some of these stations. they felt our reporting was sometimes at odds with their conservative talk hosts, and it was. we were seeking to inform, they were seeking to inform and to influence. our roles are different. but they are complementary.
still, i recognize that these programmers are the gatekeepers at their stations, and if they felt that they were not being served by us as well as we could serve them, then my enterprise was at risk. we established a dialogue to better understand the views and perspectives that might not be part of the normal conversation occurring in our newsrooms. hearing these perspectives added a layer of texture that have enriched our coverage and strengthen our journalism by expanding the types of stories we consider for coverage. quite simply, we became better at telling all sides of the story. and yet my sense of having bridged those caps on of understanding with our audience feels quite vulnerable tonight. i contact listeners that question our coverage and say, what is it you would like to hear? what would you like to discuss with me? in these conversations, there is a gross misunderstanding in what happens in our newsrooms and probably and yours as well. the standards we uphold, the
venting that occurs, the -- vetting that occurs the , dangerous and honest dialogue that ensues, and the conviction to our craft. i explained to viewers that with there's nothing more important than accuracy. being right is more important than being first. much more often than not, my conversations with listeners end with mutual respect. do matter,hat facts and that whether criticism comes from 1600 on the a.m. dial, or 1600 pennsylvania avenue, our democracy demands that we stay on course, follow the facts, and proceed unafraid. i am very encouraged by the proactive responses to media organizations, promoting media literacy and raising awareness of news sources. by group called "22 million
-- dollarsthousand -- doused to create. my 11-year-old daughter, arianna, was learning last week about the first amendment and her seven grade class. tonight, arianna is here. tonight other honorees on me with their intelligence, passion, and professional commitment. in this room are so many have mentor to me, befriended me and , supported me. no one has supported me more than my wife, diane. this business can be tough on personal relationships, the middle of the night calls, canceled family plans due to breaking news, and whenever diane and i are in the car
abc newscast is on the radio, i will turn in a letter what she is saying. [laughter] -- no matter what she is saying. sorry, honey. finally tonight, a word to the student scholarships. the winners who are here this evening aspiring to this career. despite the noise and distractions, this is a great time to be a journalist. technology is providing new avenues of storytelling that will make quality journalism even more relevant to an informed electorate. commit your cells at all times to fairness, objectivity, and the pursuit of truth. our democracy is counting on you. thank you very much, good night. [applause]
>> we know this story. in november last year, we lost a true pioneer in our business, gwen eiffel. host of "washington week." she was certainly a journalist's journalist. honors,sed scores of including the first amendment award in 2006. all of those were a tiny measure compared to her devotion and craft. her news coanchor judy woodruff looks back on the incredible career of gwen eiffel. ♪ >> good evening, i am gwen eiffel. >> with those words each evening, americans knew they were in good hands. she was the heart and soul of
the pbs newshour and washington week. the daughter of a minister, gwen graduated from simmons college in massachusetts got her start , at the boston herald american before moving on to the baltimore evening sun in 1981. then to the washington post, followed by several years as a politics reporter and white house correspondent for the new york times. >> even marginal progress could be affected by investigations in little rock and washington. >> she moved to television and nbc news in 1994. >> they have to find a way to work with this president for the next two years. tom? >> gwen eiffel tonight. >> then, in october 1999, she came to pbs to host washington week, a long-running political roundtable. >> good evening. >> and to become a senior correspondent on the news hour with jim lehrer. >> welcome gwen. in 2015, gwen and i received
the great responsibility and joy of co-anchoring this program. we will be bringing the news and analysis you have come to trust. >> she was the gold standard in our business. her range was limitless. >> why don't you mention donald trump by name? >> he seems to do a good job mentioning his own name. [applause] about race in this country. i want to talk to you about white people. i think every single conversation we have had with a republican in this booth, be tired of talking of these issues, they are always talking about hillary clinton. do you foresee him stepping back in a way you can trust? >> you have asked exactly the right question, as the often do. >> gwen raised questions that others wouldn't, or would not
occur to them. >> i want to ask you about aids in this country. welcome to the only 2008 vice presidential debate. >> that campaign, when was not only -- gwen was not only reporting for news hour and washington week, she was writing about that moment in history as the nation's first african-american president was elected, she worked it with a breakthrough. a new generation of black politicians. one of her last stories was about the new national museum of african american history and culture. >> this is an amazing place. >> dear gwen. >> dear gwen. >> dear gwen, thank you for telling me to know my name. >> when you are young, you do not think about how important it is to see people that are within
your women of color in these positions. for so many beacon of us that wanted to see themselves reflected in the media. >> i think of knowing myself and knowing my name and owning who i am, it was so important that you told me that. >> i only thought older white guys got on tv behind the anchor desk, but there you were, a beacon of hope in a sea of white faces. >> we will miss your journalism, all of us. gratitude.ou your >> for being a model for some other young woman who, one day, may see me, and see a woman who looks like me, like you, and know that she can too. >> the fact you are covering in the white house, that meant i can go and pursue the career and become a journalist. [applause]
>> named for the late broadcasting correspondent, this award is delivered to a news executives were journalist who has made a significant contribution to the protection of first amendment freedoms. to bestow tonight's.org, join me in welcoming the vice president for cbs news, marcia cooke. ♪ [applause] tough minutes" is one place to work. to say it is competitive is
putting it mildly. i have always heard stories of what it is like screening your pieces for the show's brass, first for the founding executive producer, the legendary don hewitt, and now for the maestro who is only the show's second e p. the process is murder. very few come out of the screening room with their stories and scripts, let alone their egos intact. we are talking about some of the greatest broadcast journalist s ever. mike wallace, dan rather, morley shafer, bob simon, leslie stahl, steve kroft, ed bradley, and scott pelley, and now bill whitaker. [applause] bill joined "60" in 2014, and in three short years, he has pumped
out an amazing body of work. 20 pieces last season alone, and he is heading for that number again this year. around the nation and around the world, stories ranging from syrians seeking refuge in the united states to life on death row in texas, to race and policing in cleveland to the search for a ninth planet. from the burmese pro-democracy leader to the arrest and escape and rearrest of mexican drug lord el chapo. but that is just the past three years. 's 30 plus years of cbs news that read like a history of the news period. from his days in the atlanta bureau and the tokyo-based correspondent covering tiananmen square, to the george w. bush campaign, to every single damn
day of the o.j. simpson criminal trial. i know, i was there too. two magnificent portraits of barbra streisand, and others for sunday morning. the man has seen and done it all. no matter which one of those pieces you watch, you know that bill is deeply connected to the stories he tells. poking and probing without for one second giving up his piercing intelligence, his humor, his humanity, his honesty, or his ability to be surprised. which is why these days, producers at "60" line up outside his office begging to work with him. repertoire, bill's represents the fourth estate at its finest, showing us what we
don't know, uncovering stories that we want to know and needs to know, conveying the truth. as someone who worked with with him for 24 years and as a viewer, consumer, and producer of the news, i want to say on behalf of our democratic system and its free press, thank you, bill whitaker. [applause] now, let's take a short look at some of his work these past years at "60 minutes." [sirens] >> in the 1960's, we were injured congo. 16 were killed. >> now we are the poster boy of violence in america. >> we went inside a negotiation
hut that straddles the border. >> behind that door, this is north korea. once you go out, that's it. we have no jurisdiction on that side of the door. >> so if i were to walk out the door, i would be in the hands of north korea? >> that is true. stay on this side. >> is embracing the death penalty for you, is that the easy way out? >> yes and no. yes to finally get this over with, and no, because i don't want to type. nobody wants to die. >> i must admit, i find it a little disconcerting that we are headed for the freeway and you do not have your hands on the wheel. >> surprisingly, it took less than 10 minutes to feel comfortable with the car in control. >> this is amazing. >> there is a timeless quality to burma. it is a place almost untouched by the outside world. for about a half century, the
military kept burma locked away, impoverished, as if in a wretched time capsule. do you believe burma is on the path to democracy now? >> it is not firmly on the path to democracy. we are on the path to disciplined democracy. >> in the 19 cities, this was in every african-american -- >> of course jesus, martin , luther king, and john f. kennedy. [laughter] >> 20 years on death row -- 30 years on death row and they release him with a $20 gift card. >> you are trying to portray the state of louisiana as sometime of monster. i got him out of jail as quickly as i could. that was what the obligation of the state is. >> and that is the end of the state's obligation? >> as far as i'm concerned. >> what about compassion? have you no compassion for what mr. ford has been through?
>> you don't know me at all, do you? you have no problem asking that question. >> i am asking because i am seeking an answer. the frame is fitted with a small motor he designed. add to it a lithium battery that powers it and a secret button he installed. you believe that hidden motors have been used by professional cyclists since as far back as 1998? >> i think yes. >> there are many americans who do not trust governments to fix the roads or run the schools. how can you convince them that this process is going to keep them safe? >> because they undergo so many steps of vetting, so many interviews, so many intelligent screenings, so many checks along the way. >> to be a refugee in jordan is to be patient. the u.s. security check goes on and average of 18-24 months.
to get to the russian airbase in syria, you have to start here in moscow. thedon't just show up at gates of the airbase, you have to be invited by the russian ministry of defense. this once was a syrian airport. since the summer, the russians have built barracks and brought in 4000 personnel, erecting a bit of russian in the heart of assad controlled syria. peter says after the daring escape last summer el chapo , became almost delusional. >> he became so incredibly arrogant that he thought he was untouchable. >> the mirrors masked a hidden door. behind the secret door, the entrance to one of el chapo's trademark tunnels that is connected to a network of storm drains and sewers. >> this is where he came out. he popped out of a manhole which is about a half-mile from the road. this is a lot of pot.
this is industrial scale. how many rooms like this do you have? >> when we are fully furnished with construction, we will have 12 like this. >> i remember when this was rolled out everyone thought the skies was going to fall. >> still there, it didn't fall. [laughter] >> this was the first time we had an interview interrupted by roaring. [roaring] >> this is their morning song. lion, it woulda be like, where is my coffee? >> i do not some like that when i have not had my coffee. [applause] marsha: ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome this year's 2017 award recipient the wonderful , bill whitaker. [applause]
♪ bill: wow, thank you, marcia, for that introduction. i have known her for almost a quarter-century, and i have seen her grow from associate producer at cbs news to vice president. she is like a little sister to me, a girlfriend to my wife, and a fabulous aunt to my kids. thank you. [applause] and thank you, rtdnf, for this award.
when i first learned i was to be a recipient, i was surprised and delighted, but when i see the long list of recipients tonight i am truly humbled. , thank you. we all know the first amendment protects freedom of religion, speech, the press, right to assemble and petition the government, but i must admit the freedom of speech is my favorite. but surely there is a reason that amendment is first. those 45 words guaranteed our democracy will always remain vital and relevant. i want to tell you tonight a personal story. my dad was a waiter at the most famous club in harlem in the 1930's, the cotton club. the cotton club was where all of the swell people of new york would hang out.
it was in black harlem, but it was for whites only. my father could work there, but not come through the front door. he grew up poor in tobacco country in eastern north carolina, and left the field after grade school and went to new york, never looking back. he wanted to be a journalist, but a black man in the 1930's could not make much of a living as a journalist. when he married my mother, they moved to philadelphia and my father worked as a shipyard welder to provide for my mother and my two sisters and me. my father was a welder and a news junkie. the half-hour of the evening news was like church in my house. we kids have to keep quiet while dad watched the news. the times were momentous. the news was important. the civil rights movement, my dad went to the march on washington. the vietnam war, antiwar protests, the cold war, watergate.
i remember seeing network reporters telling the american people the significant events of the day, and i could not imagine a more noble profession. i wanted to do that. but when i was growing up, there were not many people who look like me on tv news. anywhere on tv, for that matter. after all, as the honorable barbara jordan pointed out in committee iniciary 1974, when the u.s. constitution was written in 1787, i was not included in "we the people." let's fast-forward to today. i mentioned that my parents met in harlem. when we moved from los angeles to new york, almost three years ago for me to start working at "60 minutes," my dear wife, who is with me here tonight,
[applause] bill: we found an apartment that is now in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. when my father died, my mother gave the the ring he had worn most of his life. i now wear this ring all the time. this ring has been all over the world with me. the other day i was walking through harlem, and it struck me that this ring had seen the streets before. it has gone full circle, you might say. i am living in harlem. i am a journalist. and i am living the life my father could only dream of living. the reason i am able to stand here tonight is because americans like my father stood up, raised their voices, seized their first amendment right to assemble, to be heard, and demand on the streets that the country change. and it did.
that movement for change was laid out before us all by the press. the press free to hear the dispossessed, free to challenge the status quo, to present truth to the powerful. today, the times are no less momentous. the news is no less important. solid, fearless journalism, investigative journalism, is as necessary if not more today, especially when bombarded from on high with claims of fake news or alternative facts.
journalists, we cannot be deterred. harriet tubman kept her eye on the north star. our northstar is the truth. we must never lose sight of it. i thank you all, very much. [applause] chris: and now, to present our rtdnf 2017 lifetime achievement award -- by the way, this isn't at the end of your life, this is during it. please welcome the director of npr. [applause] ♪
michael: thank you and i want to thank everybody at the foundation for that lovely memorial to david. it meant a lot to us at npr. you should know that david really, really loved his award. it really meant a lot to him. he thought it was just delicious that you gave an award to the chief photographer of a radio network. [laughter] michael: that's true. everyow, we miss david day. they gave us something very
important. they died on that road because it was that important for them to be there. they had a story and they wanted to get it and they knew the risk they were taking. and they -- they wanted to be there. and i come to work every day and i think most of my npr colleagues remember them and remembering that if it was that important to do our jobs, if it was that important to be there, if it was that important to them, even as difficult as these times may be for us, we cannot give anything less than they did, so, to them, thank you for that, and we won't forget, and we will live up to your image. thank you. now to the business i have come here to do. in every generation of washington journalism there is a reporter who earns a special place among us. the journalist who explains
things to us, her colleagues. the journalist who is not just known to large audiences but who is respected in a special way by her peers. over the years, there has been such journalists, going all the way back to scotty reston who told us how presidential power worked, or david broder -- boy, we could use him. and our departed friend who taught us the importance of maintaining your professional poise when the world around you was losing theirs. tonight, you honor one of those special journalists among us. tonight, you recognize the extraordinary lifetime achievements of nina totenberg. let's hear a little bit about her from her colleague. we have the real robert siegel here, too. we could do that if you -- [laughter]
>> there are reporters we honor because they score scoops. there are those we honor because they write vividly. they bring stories to life. and then there is nina totenberg. she does it all and then some. >> no, i have not married. i cover the supreme court. >> you went to school where? >> boston university and i did not gradually, i am a college dropout. >> she has covered the supreme court for almost 50 years. here is one measure of how well. >> they told me i can push it to 20. >> who? >> they did. [speaking simultaneously] >> no, you are not old. you are trying to use that to get more time. >> i will use anything i can get. narrator: in 1974, the president was gerald ford.
option ofhasize dyour pardon to the former president. if an indictment is brought, would you bring the party before any trial? >> a short time after this she was at npr. what has happened at the court? >> applied twice to the university of california medical school at davis -- >> who burn or otherwise mistreat the american flag -- >> the lewinsky case is a product of the decision in the paula jones case establishing for the first time that presidents -- >> election night which has lasted 34 days and most of tonight is finally over -- >> today, the justices almost literally issued one final -- >> the court agreed that the film was an attack ad -- not an issue ad. >> folks, i look a little
frazzled because i am. this is the opinion -- you see my doodles and here in five members of the supreme court says that gay marriage is legal across the united states. >> one of the reasons i became a reporter is that mentality to get there first, get it fast. bigator: she broke stories. where half a dozen witnesses seen ginsburghad smoking marijuana -- >> in an affidavit, law professors said she had much in common with clarence thomas -- >> nina is tenacious, feisty, hard-working, sharp. >> is it ok if i close my eyes for this interview? >> be my guest. >> that is it right there -- >> i am back in my kitchen drinking coffee -- >> better than the shower -- >> really like there are people
who only know me from the shower -- >> wow -- >> [singing] >> number one, he was speaking hypothetically -- should we start that one over? wow, nina, you are supposed to turn off your phone. pro. i'm supposed to be a host: congratulations, nina totenberg, we are fortunate to count you as a colleague. [applause] >> nina will be up here in a dance.to do that i just want to say one more word. as chris said, a lifetime achievement award can sound like a sendoff so i accepted this assignment of introducing nina only on the guarantee from nina
that she plans to be with us for a long time to come. we honor her lifetime achievement so far. but i wanted to stop for a second to think about what that achievement actually is. nina has logged thousands of hours of tape and thousands of pieces. i will not even tell you how old she is, not because she would be embarrassed but because she would not. but because all of you should be embarrassed to know that at her age she is so much more productive than any of the rest of us. she is brilliant, relentless, dogged, persevering, fair, deeply knowledgeable, yet always accessible. there is something special, something we need to note now. something we cannot take a lesson from. for nearly 50 years she has covered one of the most important institutions in this country. every day she has gone to the supreme court with a mission. that it matters to be there. it mattered to explain to the public what the court did and how the law works.
in doing this, she has been at odds with the zeitgeist. she has been the adversary of the prevailing winds of cynicism, that institutions are all corrupt. in the age when so many of our citizens are suspicious of the government and mistrusting institutions, nina totenberg has the strength and independence of mind to rise above this troubling spirit of our age. those thousands of pieces are not just a lifetime body of excellent journalism, although they are that -- the achievement of nina totenberg is a statement that understanding how our government works and explaining it to her fellow citizens is a job worth devoting a lifetime to. that journalism matters. so, thank you for that, and congratulations. colleagues, nina totenberg. [applause] ♪ ♪
am utterly amazed and honored that i am appear this evening. thisat i am up here evening. when i got the call telling me i won this award and the conversation began, having our annual dinner, as i said, i thought to myself, oh, god, i'm going to be asked to give a thoughtful speech and i'm too busy to do thoughtful. so, this isn't long. this is quite short. here it goes, because i can't be funny like fritz. if you are old enough to get a lifetime achievement award and you are a woman, that means that you are old enough to remember when, at a journalistic celebration like this, you were one of perhaps three or four women in the room. and just grateful to be there,
but also lonely. like aw, the woman in the trump administration cabinet. , when i started going to awards dinners, to the day when a skirt would be up your giving at the awards and that has long since happened. in all, i would have to say that i have been an incredibly lucky person to start out literally chasing ambulances for the record american in boston, lucky to cover murders and local politics, lucky to cover national politics later on, scandals, and the more proper or at least the more a steer supreme court. -- austere supreme court, and to
have had one hell of a good time. jill and amy, who have come from other cities. in fact, we all three piled into a car last night in new york to get here at 4:00 in the morning. and of course, my sweet husband, david, who is the second love of my life. when weboth widowed were married 16 years ago and he famously said to me one night when we were according and i crawled into bed at 1:00 in the morning in boston where he was chairman of surgery at one of the local hospitals, and it was some latebreaking story and i , and as io wbur crawled into bed he says, this
is like being with a surgeon. yeah, we are adrenaline junkies. she does understand deadlines, think gosh. gave me the who idea for what to talk about this evening. don't worry, it will not be long. he was sorting through some of our old books to make room for newer books, believe me. and he found one, it was in 1970 book that i obviously book when i was 10 years old, it was a volume called "politics and the press." it is a collection of lectures from the university of maryland, not long after spiro agnew had famously dressed us down as reporters for being the "nattering nabobs of negativism." although i think that those words were penned by the great bill safire.
it is really fascinating to read these lectures. given by reporters like the wonderful david broder and otis chandler -- most of them focus on something called, back in 1970, the credibility gap, the idea among some parts of the public that, as chandler put it "they are not getting a fax from the press, that we are not telling it as it is." david broder thought part of the problem was that neither politicians know reporters fully appreciated the fact that they have entirely different purposes , that politicians want to use to polish their images and reporters want to use politicians to get a good story. but it was chandler's lecture that struck me particularly. areticians, he lamented,
less thick-skinned than they once were. they recognize that their image is important to them and they go to great lengths to criticize reportage that is not is favorable to them as they had expected. little did he know. [laughter] there is also an essay by herb klein, the head of communications under nixon, and it is also fascinating for the way it speaks of the press as an institution, that is valuable and essential to a democracy. there is a sense of institutionalism that i fear is going by the wayside. i don't know if it is because we butot teach civics or what, our institutions are the only way we can really function as a democracy.
made what ially thought was the most prescient point. than anymore important other factor that make an trip into the credibility gap is, we incrediblyage of difficult problems, questions that do not lend themselves to simple answers. they are problems that people do not even want to think about, do not want to believe are happening, do not want to ." back then, it was the vietnam war. it was civil rights. t was a generation in result. today, it is refugees, disasters, insurmountable economic disparities, and much more. chandler's solution was to forge ahead. i think our mandate, he said, is
to inform the public and if in the prospect we anger people, that is simply the risk of our business. the mandate, however, is to be fair, he stressed, in short, to use real fax not alternate fax -- real facts, not alternate facts. i think it is a dangerous thing, to let advocacy organizations that claim to be independent be part of the white house press pool, giving the rest of us information. [applause] put me down as someone who aspires to inform people that life is not simple. it is possible to believe in god and science, to be gay in , to be for gun
regulation but believe in one's right to defend your home and family. it is possible not to have a formal education but to be a non-americane fighting for the american dream, to believe in the rule of law and not agree with every legality. it is possible to have opinions but playfair in which you write and broadcast. finally, i want to say a word about npr, the place where i have been privileged to work for more than four decades. not really 50 years, more like 40 years. let's make it worse than it is. [laughter] npr, whorst went to knew what on earth it was when i would call and say, high, this is nina totenberg from npr. today, it is one of the most
respected and rigorous journalistic institutions in america. threatened as we all are by figuring out how to make journalism pay for itself when there is a generation who believes that they should get all information for free. and threatened, as most of you are not, by a sometimes hostile polity that would like to cut us off at the knees as an institution. but somehow, i am convinced we will survive, largely because so many millions, tens of millions of americans have come to depend on us for fair and thorough reporting. me,that is a tribute not to but to npr. you know, of course, if you get a lifetime achievement award, you cannot help but worry that your life or your professional
, if not over, close to over? all i can say is, thank you so much for this award. i'm deeply honored. but, forget it. i am not going anywhere except back to work tomorrow morning. thank you very much. [applause] >> as c-span's washington journal, live every morning with news and policy issues that impact you. potentialning, the
political fallout from the republican health care bill. also, a look at law as pertaining to surveillance and data collection. and we address mass incarceration and the 2.9 million people in prison in the united states. join the discussion. >> sunday night, a conversation with a columnist, thomas salonen on q&a. seeing whatavoid people with different views thought. my years, i had to
my -- i understood there were reasons people had different views. -- not just a question of being on the side, i think the new administration in washington has some good points. announcer: sunday night on ." pan's "q&a >> in case you missed it, the childal coordinator for exploitation prevention. >> i used to think the hardest
thing i would never have to do is look into the eyes of a child and listen to her story about being abused. i was wrong. the hardest thing i ever had to do was watch their abuse, sometimes still photos, sometimes video, sometimes with sound. all hard-wrenching and even now, impossible to forget. >> agriculture secretary. >> many times even the best farmers are not able to produce a crop even with the best production capabilities they may have so i think trade is an answer. >> nbc's chris matthews at the first amendment award ceremony. >> the church that arrives -- arrives -- that is what contains the politician. the is what contains overreach of power.
that is what matters is our, this week, this time in our lives. -- ks treasured >> treasury secretary. >> it is about creating personal -- in making u.s. businesses competitive. where we have a very high business tax rate. we are able to take see tax code and redesign things. >> ceo ian read on pharmaceutical costs. >> no one is using medicines in the exchanges because exchanged is not provide access. we do need to reform health care. epa administrator scott pruitt on environmental policy. >> with respect to technology across the globe, there is exciting stuff going on in nuclear space. mostly in europe.
the cousin of the disincentives we have put into play in this country. if you really care about environmental concerns -- announcer: c-span programs are available by searching the c-span library hand on our homepage. now, pfizer's ceo discusses how to improve america's health care system. national press club for one hour. [gavel pound] >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. for those of you just now tuning in, welcome to the national press club.