The National Press Foundation announced today that it will present the Benjamin C. Bradlee Award for Editor of the Year to Leonard Downie, Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post.
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The award will be presented at NPF’s 26th annual awards dinner, February 10, 2009, at the Hilton Washington Hotel.
The judges noted that during Mr. Downie’s 17-year leadership of the Post’s newsroom, its staff won 25 Pulitzer prizes, including three Pulitzer Gold Medals for Public Service. They cited his support for the development of the Post’s web site, emphasis on local reporting and his leadership of the paper through several economically difficult times. He is currently Vice President at Large at the Washington Post Co.
The National Press Foundation is a 501(c)3 that provides free, all-expenses paid educational opportunities for journalists in the U.S. and internationally. The annual awards dinner is its largest source of unrestricted revenue. More than 1,000 journalists and Washington policy leaders attend the dinner, which honors accomplishment across all journalism platforms.
The award is the most distinguished award for editing in the country, dating back to 1984. Previous winners have included David Remnick of The New Yorker; Martin Baron of The Boston Globe, and Paul E. Steiger of The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Downie joined the Post as a summer intern in 1964. He worked in a wide variety of editorial and news capacities, including investigative reporter, Deputy Metropolitan Editor, as a supervisor of the Post’s Watergate coverage, London correspondent, National Editor, and Managing Editor under Ben Bradlee, after whom the award is named. He is the author of four non-fiction books and a novel (Rules of the Game) to be published by Knopf January 15.