VERMILLION, S.D. – Martin Baron, veteran journalist, executive editor of The Washington Post and the recipient of the 2017 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media, will host a public forum in the Freedom Forum Conference Room on the University of South Dakota campus April 26 at 6 p.m.
"USD is honored to welcome Marty Baron to campus,” said USD President James W. Abbott. “Our students will benefit from the opportunity to meet and learn from one of the nation’s foremost experts in journalism and continue the mission of the Al Neuharth Media Center.”
Baron has been executive editor of The Washington Post since January 2013. Previously, he was editor at The Boston Globe from 2001 to 2012.
While at the Globe, his investigative team’s coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston earned the paper a Pulitzer Prize. The story behind the paper’s investigation was featured in the 2015 movie Spotlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Baron’s part was played by actor Liev Schreiber.
Since Baron became executive editor of the Post in 2013, the paper has won numerous awards for its coverage, including Pulitzer Prizes for its reporting on killings by police officers, security lapses at the Secret Service, and secret surveillance programs by the National Security Agency. In 2012, Baron was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Baron’s visit is part of an annual tradition that brings the previous year’s winner of the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media to USD’s campus, providing access to some of the nation’s most distinguished and renowned experts in journalism. This year, the event has partnered with the South Dakota Humanities Council which has sponsored Baron’s lecture as part of its Democracy and the Informed Citizen Initiative.
“USD is proud to host such an exemplary journalist as Martin Baron,” said Michelle Van Maanen, chair of the Department of Media & Journalism at USD. “I am excited for our students to learn more about his Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporting and thoughts on the role of media in the ‘fake news’ era.”
The Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media is named for the late USA TODAY, Freedom Forum and Newseum founder Al Neuharth, and is sponsored by the Freedom Forum, Newseum Institute and the University of South Dakota. Neuharth, a South Dakota native, graduated in 1950 from USD, which is now home to the Al Neuharth Media Center. Baron is the 31st person to receive the Award for Excellence, which honors lifetime achievement in the media industry. Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite was the first honoree.