WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will induct five legendary journalists into its Hall of Fame, the organization's highest honor; and present the Ida B. Wells Award, the annual honor highlighting the achievement of a media executive who has demonstrated a commitment to diversifying the nation's newsrooms and improving the coverage of people and communities of color. The ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC. Proceeds of the gala reception and program benefit fellowship programs.
Annually, NABJ pays homage to legendary black journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the industry. Over the last 18 years, NABJ has inducted 40 journalists into the esteemed Hall of Fame.
"These trailblazers in the industry have endured great challenges so that black journalists today can have more freedom and professional opportunities," said NABJ President Kathy Times. "Their accomplishments will be preserved and passed on to future generations. We're proud to salute these worthy honorees."
The NABJ Hall of Fame inductees and the Ida B. Wells Award recipient were named at the organization's Spring Board of Directors meeting in Washington, DC.
NABJ Hall of Fame Inductees:
Ed Bradley – CBS News '60 Minutes'
Before his passing in 2006, Bradley spent nearly his entire 39-year career with CBS News. At CBS, the man once described as "the coolest guy in the business" rose to the pinnacle of journalistic achievement.
Merri Dee – WGN-TV Chicago
Dee's 30-year career in Chicago broadcasting and her charitable efforts on behalf of children and victims' rights make her a standout honoree. She is one of the first African-American women to anchor the news in the Windy City, and she is a survivor.
JC Hayward – WUSA-TV Washington
Hayward, reporter and anchor of 36 years at Washington, DC's WUSA-TV holds the national record for a woman anchoring the same evening newscast at the same station. She is widely known and respected in the metropolitan area for her supreme devotion and commitment to community and public service, charitable giving, and education.
Eugene Robinson – The Washington Post
Robinson is a columnist and former assistant managing editor at The Washington Post who won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2009. He won for a selection of columns on the 2008 presidential campaign. Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper's Style section.
Ray Taliaferro – KGO Newstalk 810 San Francisco
Ray was the first black talk show host on a major market radio station in the country. Taliaferro has literally owned the Bay Area's overnight radio listening audience since 1986 when his talk show moved to the 1 to 5 a.m. time slot.
Ida B. Wells Award Recipient:
Walterene Swanston – National Public Radio
Walt is diversity consultant and the retired director of diversity management for National Public Radio. She has a decades-long professional track record as a champion of media diversity. For more than 25 years, she has worked with newspapers, television and radio stations to recruit, promote, train and retain people of color and women. Swanston also served as the first executive director of UNITY: Journalists of Color, the joint convention of the Black, Asian, Hispanic and Native American journalism associations.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C. NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with more than 3,000 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.