VERMILLION, S.D. -- The 27th presentation of the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media, planned for Oct. 3 during Dakota Days homecoming festivities at the University of South Dakota, is being postponed until next year because the intended recipient has an unavoidable conflict.
The Freedom Forum and USD, co-sponsors of the award given annually since 1989, said in a joint statement that the date and details of the next presentation will be announced later. James C. Duff, Freedom Forum’s chief executive officer, said both organizations have agreed to continue the award in honor of USD alumnus and Freedom Forum founder Al Neuharth, who died April 19, 2013, at age 89.
The award, recognizing lifetime achievement, is named for Neuharth, a native of Eureka, S.D., and 1950 USD journalism graduate. He traveled from his home in Florida to preside at every award presentation through 2012. He also maintained an office on the USD campus in the Al Neuharth Media Center, dedicated in 2003. At the height of his distinguished media career, Neuharth was CEO of the Gannett Company and founded USA TODAY in 1982.
Past Al Neuharth Award recipients are: Walter Cronkite (1989); Carl T. Rowan (1990); Helen Thomas (1991); Tom Brokaw (1992); Larry King (1993); Charles Kuralt (1994); Albert R. Hunt and Judy Woodruff (1995); Robert MacNeil (1996); Cokie Roberts (1997); Tim Russert and Louis D. Boccardi (1998); John Seigenthaler (1999); Jim Lehrer (2001); Tom Curley (2002); Don Hewitt (2004); Garrison Keillor (2005); Bob Schieffer (2006); John Quinn and Ken Paulson (2007); Charles Overby (2008); Katie Couric (2009); Cathie Black and Frank Vega (2010); Brian Lamb (2011); Marilyn Hagerty (2012).