Gannett Broadcasting president David Lougee accepted the First Amendment Leadership Award from the RTDNF last night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Lougee said he was there “as a representative of all the great local journalists in our company,” specifically thanking Gannett CEO Gracia Martore, senior associate general counsel Barbara Wall and the company’s 30 news directors attending the event.
“They represent this company from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, from Houston in the South to Minneapolis in the North, and from here in D.C. to Seattle in that other Washington,” Lougee said of the news directors. “We couldn’t be more proud of all of them.”
Lougee, who has been in his current role since 2007, touted the importance of local broadcasting.
“Having lived in D.C. two times now, I’ve noticed that too many national decision makers in the media live in the echo chamber of D.C. and Manhattan, and some have never lived anywhere else. But 97% of this country does not live inside the beltway or in New York. They live in the heartland. They live in 50 different states, with their own cultures, their own legislatures and now, as our stations in Denver and Seattle can attest, their own marijuana laws as well,” Lougee said. “No national media organization can or will ever cover all those critical local issues.”