MSNBC President Rashida Jones Named Recipient of RTDNA First Amendment Award

By Mark Mwachiro 

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced the honorees for its 2023 First Amendment Awards, and included in that list is MSNBC president Rashida Jones.

Jones will receive the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, which recognizes a radio or television journalist or news executive who has made a major contribution to protecting First Amendment freedoms.

We are so grateful to have the opportunity to honor these individuals at the First Amendment Awards,” said RTDNA Foundation President Dan Shelley. “This year’s recipients feature some trailblazing pioneers, visionary leaders, brave reporters, and brilliant journalists. All are people who helped push journalism forward.”


A total of nine honorees will be recognized at the 32 annual First Amendment Awards Dinner on March 2 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.

Other honorees receiving an award include Maria Hinojosa from Futuro Media, Jordan Wertlieb from Hearst Television, Keith Woods from NPR, Hilde Lysiak from Nogales High School, Connie Walker from Okanese First Nation from Sarah Koenig, Serial Productions, and a posthumous award being given to Jeff German from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Boyd Huppert from KARE-TV in Minneapolis will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jones is the second person from the NBC News family to receive an award in consecutive years. Last year, NBCUniversal News Group chairman Cesar Conde also received the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award.

During his acceptance speech, Conde said, “My mother fled Cuba in the early 1960s when Fidel Castro was tightening his grip on that island country. And so my two younger brothers and I were born here in the states, but we grew up in Miami, in a diaspora that know all too well that the freedom of the press could not be taken for granted. So I grew up with a very healthy and deep respect and understanding for journalism as a fundamental pillar of a democratic society.”