William Allen White Award
About the Medal
Although the William Allen White Foundation had been recognizing individuals for outstanding journalistic service since 1950, the first William Allen White medallions were not awarded until 1970. Before then, winners of the Award for Outstanding Journalistic Merit received certificates.
In 1969, however, the Foundation, under acting director Lee F. Young and Foundation president Dolph Simons, Jr., commissioned University of Kansas professor of design Elden C. Tefft to design a medallion worthy of representing the prestigious award. The result was a medallion design that carries a portrait of White on the front and this inscription on the back:
An American Journalist Who Exemplifies
William Allen White Ideals In Service
To His Profession And His Community
The name of the individual medal winner is inscribed directly above this standing inscription.
Medallic Art Company of Danbury, Conn., was contracted to manufacture the medallions and to deliver them by Feb. 10, White's birthday, 1970.
The bronze medallion is two-and-one-half inches, and is mounted in a black morocco/blue-lined easel case. A medallion has been presented to all surviving Journalistic Merit winners, including those cited before the creation of the medallion.
— Taken from The William Allen White Foundation, May 1980
2021 National Citation Award recipient Martin Baron
Martin Baron, retired executive editor of The Washington Post, accepted the National Citation award on April 21, 2021, in a Zoom event that included an address by Baron and Q&A. The recording is below:
|Along with reporter Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward was half of one of the most famous reporting teams in history. The team from The Washington Post, occasionally called "Woodstein," uncovered an elaborate plot to re-elect President Richard Nixon in 1972. Woodward and Bernstein received a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1973.|
|All roads seem to lead to Texas for Molly Ivins. The nationally-syndicated political columnist has worked all over the country, but time and again has returned to the Lone Star state.|
|Cokie Roberts is the chief congressional analyst for ABC News, covering politics, Congress and public policy. Roberts also serves as a news analyst for National Public Radio, where she was the congressional corespondent for more than ten years. In addition, Roberts was the former co-anchor of This Week With Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts.|
Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr.
|Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. is the New York Times publisher.|
|Marlin Fitzwater spent a decade in the front row of history, as press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Today he is an author and lecturer whose presidential anecdotes, political analysis, and television commentary have received worldwide attention.|
Gerald F. Seib
|Gerald F. Seib is a 1978 graduate of the KU School of Journalism and the Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief. He also writes the paper’s “Capital Journal” column on a periodic basis and is a regular commentator on Washington affairs for CNBC, cable television.|
|When Gordon Parks was growing up in Fort Scott, Kan., his mother told him to never give up. That advice sustained him through his mother’s death, leaving home, being homeless, and to an amazing life and career. Perhaps the most important event of Parks’ life was his birth. He has told it before: He was born dead. A young white doctor plunged the bloody baby into icy water to revive him. In gratitude, the baby’s mother named her son Gordon after the physician. And so begins a history of fighting for the life he wanted.|
Richard C. Clarkson
|Richard C. Clarkson is a 1956 School of Journalism graduate and nationally known photojournalist.|
|Hersh’s journalism and publishing awards include the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for exposing the My Lai massacre and cover up during the Vietnam War, in 1969. He has also received five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.|
|Tom Curley is president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press. He is the 12th person to head The AP since its founding in 1846.|