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Former USA TODAY editor Peter S. Prichard to receive 2014 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media

Presentation is Oct. 9 at the University of South Dakota

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Veteran journalist Peter S. Prichard, former editor of USA Today and former president of the Newseum, is the recipient of the 2014 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media, to be presented Oct. 9, at the University of South Dakota, Neuharth’s alma mater.

The award, which honors lifetime achievement in media, will be presented at 6 p.m., Oct. 9, as part of a daylong celebration at the university campus in Vermillion. The presentation event will be held in the Al Neuharth Media Center on campus. The presentation will be the first Neuharth Award event on the campus following 2013 death of Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, the Newseum and the Freedom Forum.

“Peter Prichard provided signal leadership at the nation’s first national newspaper and at the Newseum, the museum of news in Washington, D.C., two of the major projects in Al Neuharth’s storied career,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, which presents the award. “Peter added immensely to the success of each, and continues to help the Newseum be responsive to the continued changes in how news is gathered and reported.”

Prichard served as president of the Newseum and Freedom Forum until January 2009, and currently is chair of the Newseum board of trustees. He was editor-in-chief of USA Today, the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper, from 1988 to 1995, longer than any other editor. During his tenure, USA Today won several national journalism awards, and its circulation increased from 1.4 million to 2.3 million.

Prichard retired from the Freedom Forum in 2010. He is a trustee and former chair of Guest Services, Inc., a diversified hospitality and wholesale produce company based in Fairfax, Va. He also serves as chair of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn. He is a former chair of the National Press Foundation, which provides continuing education for journalists, and also a former chair of Jesuit Volunteers International, which places young volunteers in developing nations to help the poor. He and his wife, Ann, a former book reviewer, live in Essex. They have two children and five grandchildren. A photo of Prichard is available for download at

Since the first award, presented in 1989 to Walter Cronkite, several leaders in media have been selected for the honor, including Carl T. Rowan (1990); Helen Thomas (1991); Tom Brokaw (1992); Larry King (1993); Charles Kuralt (1994); Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt (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) and Gwen Ifill (2013).


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 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News