Broadcast Journalist John Seigenthaler to Receive Al Neuharth Award at USD

Image John Seigenthaler John Seigenthaler

Broadcast journalist John M. Seigenthaler, who anchors Al Jazeera America's prime-time news program and previously anchored "NBC Nightly News" weekend edition, will receive the 2015 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media on Oct. 1 at the University of South Dakota.

The award is named for the late USA Today and Freedom Forum founder Al Neuharth, a native of Eureka, South Dakota, and 1950 graduate of USD. It honors lifetime achievement in media and will be presented as part of a daylong celebration on campus.

Seigenthaler is following in the footsteps of his father, the late John Seigenthaler, who received the 1999 Al Neuharth award in recognition of his lifetime work promoting quality journalism and the First Amendment. The elder Seigenthaler, a civil rights champion, founder of the Newseum Institute's First Amendment Center and founding editorial page editor of USA Today, died in 2014.

During his 11 years at NBC, the younger Seigenthaler appeared on "Today," "Dateline" and "Meet the Press" and anchored news programs on CNBC and MSNBC. He has received numerous awards for his work in journalism.

"John's commitment to excellence in television news spans a period in which news and information has become available in unprecedented volume from an ever-increasing number of sources," said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute. "Whether the platform is local, national or international, he consistently has called for and delivered the kind of clear, accurate and solid journalism his audiences sought and deserved."

The Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media is presented by USD and the Newseum Institute. Seigenthaler is the 29th recipient.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Michael Ewald
USD News