NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC anchor Lester Holt was honored with the Arthur W. Page Center’s Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication.
Holt received the award at a virtual ceremony held on Wednesday night. He was honored in a video by fellow NBC News staff, featuring NBC Nightly News executive producer Meghan Rafferty, NBC News chief White House correspondent Kristen Welker, and NBC News investigative producer Dan Slepian.
“Everything that Lester does is a reflection of his integrity. He is always determined to get it right and always determined to be truthful. Tough, but fair – that’s how I think of Lester,” Welker said in the video.
In receiving the award, Holt said, “It means a lot to me, but it means a lot to our industry because I think it’s important that we find these moments to recognize the importance of integrity in the media.”
He added, “As I’ve always said, free and independent journalism is an important pillar of our democracy. And I do think it’s important that we take time sometimes to recognize that, and so I’m so appreciative of receiving this award.”
Holt, in his speech, also spoke about the legacy of NBC Nightly News, saying, “We appreciate that it’s a legacy broadcast. We’re about to hit 75 years of NBC Nightly News, and through that time, it has been a legacy of integrity, of trust…We understand that every night when we go in, that we are upholding a tradition that a lot of people cherish. In a time when people are watching various digital outlets and cable, we are still a handhold, a bedrock of journalism, and our goal every day is to try to honor that.”
He also touched on diversity within the broadcast journalism business, saying, “I’m proud to work for a network that has really made huge strides in making sure that when people watch us, they see people that may look like them. We, as a company, have made huge commitments to diversity, not only in the faces you see but the stories that we cover.”
Other recipients of the award this year include General Motors’ Mary Barra and Jon Iwata, founding executive director of the Data & Trust Alliance.
Past award recipients include CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, and the late Gwen Ifill.