[ Music ]>>Ladies and gentlemen, please
welcome 60 Minutes correspondent, and Newhouse School alumnus, Steve Kroft. [ Applause ]>>Good afternoon everyone, and welcome
to the 13th annual Mirror Awards Ceremony. I’m Steve Kroft, a proud Newhouse School
alumnus, and a trustee of the university. This spring, the Newhouse School lost
a Dean and journalism lost a champion. Many of you knew and loved Lorraine Branham, who
died in April after a brave fight with cancer. We feel her loss here today, and we
could not go forward with this program without taking a moment to acknowledge what
she meant to the school and to all of us. It’s my honor to be here
today to pay tribute to her. Lorraine Branham was a trailblazer; in 2008
she became the first woman of color to serve as the Dean of the Newhouse School or of any
school at Syracuse University, she was a mentor and an inspiration to many students, but
especially to young women and minorities working in the business, who are part of her legacy. She had also been a trailblazer
during her journalistic career; working as a newspaper reporter, first in
New Jersey, then for the Baltimore Sun, before joining the Philadelphia
Inquirer as an editor, a position that she held for nearly a decade. In 1996 she moved south where she became the
first woman and the first African-American, to be the executive editor of the Tallahassee
Democrat, a paper that’s a powerful voice in the State Capitol and a
political kingmaker in Florida. She began her career in academia as director of
the journalism school at the University of Texas in Austin, before coming to
Syracuse and becoming Dean, she prevailed over 300 other applicants. When she took the helm at Newhouse,
communication schools along with communication industries
were all scrambling, trying to keep up with the
massive changes in technology. Through her vision and determination, as
well as her charm, she transformed the school and kept it relevant from the development
of satellite campus programs in Los Angeles and here in New York City, to an increased
emphasis on innovation in entrepreneurship, and the curriculum to a major fundraising effort
that led to the school’s dazzling newsroom and production studios which are now
the centerpiece of Newhouse facilities. Newhouse offers programs that
cover all areas of communications, but Lorraine’s passion was always journalism
and she infused the program with a sense of what it was really like to work in
a newsroom and the ethical challenges and adventures that awaited the students. She was serious about the role of the Newhouse
School in defending and strengthening the field of journalism, not only through the training
of the next generation of journalists, but also through programs like the Toner
Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, the Poly Free Speech Award, and of course
the Mirror Awards, which she loved. Lorraine was present for all but
the first Mirror Award Ceremony, she was immensely proud each year
of the nominees and their work, and proud that the Newhouse School was able to showcase the important role
of journalism in our democracy. So thank you all for being here and
allowing us to do it one more time. Please raise a glass. [ Ambient Noise ] Program will begin very shortly. [Music]>>Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome SI
Newhouse School interim dean, Amy Falkner. [Music]>>Good afternoon everyone
and welcome, I am Amy Falkner, interim dean of the Newhouse
School at Syracuse University. I have to begin by thanking Steve Kroft for that
lovely tribute to our late and beloved dean. Lorraine loved the Mirror Awards and I can almost feel her spirit here
today enjoying the festivities with us. Now, onto our program and please
continue to enjoy your lunch as I speak. Let me first acknowledge
the elephants in the room, or rather the giraffes, cheetahs, and zebras. You can thank Discovery for
your plush seatmates today. They are kind of sneak preview of the
upcoming Discovery series, Serengeti, which follows a cast of African
wildlife over the course of a year. Discovery has, for many years, been the
premiere event sponsor for the Mirror Awards and Discovery president and CEO,
David Zaslav, who is here today, has been a great friend to the Newhouse School. Thank you, David. [ Applause ] I would also like to thank
Charter Communications, which generously sponsored
this year’s competition in addition to serving as an event sponsor. I thank our luncheon co-chairs Nomi Bergman
and Tom Rutledge, and our Master of Ceremonies, Alisyn Camerota , and I want to thank
all of you for being here today. This is the 13th time we have gathered
to celebrate the Mirror Awards, and to celebrate the vital role of a free
press in our society, and our democracy. The work of the Mirror Award
finalists also serves as an inspiration to our journalism students at the
Newhouse School who are training to take on that role in the future. You are helping us do that through your
presence here with your financial investment in the Mirror Awards, which helps to fund
scholarships for our students, so thank you. Today, we will present six jury journalism
awards including two special topic awards for this year; one on social
media in the crosshairs, and one on journalists or journalism in peril. Two topics that have dominated the news
cycle and elicited some stellar reporting. We will also honor Jeff Zucker
of CNN, and Warner Media, with the Fred Dressler Leadership
Award, and Twitch, with the i3 Award for impact,
innovation, and influence. Thank you to Jeff Zucker for being here, and
to special guests David Zaslav, Garvey Candella and Wim Stocks, for helping
us present these honors. Next, thank you to the many alumni, faculty,
and friends of the school, who served as judges and organizers for the awards competition. I want to extend a warm welcome
to those of them who are in the audience today, and were able to join us. A special thank you as well, to Syracuse
University Chancellor, Kent Syverud, his wife, Dr. Ruth Chen, and Provost, Michele Wheatly. I’d also like to thank members
of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees who are in attendance today. I would be remiss if I didn’t
thank our friend Donald Newhouse. His unwavering support and ongoing support
of the school, means so much to us. I would be doubly remiss if I didn’t
thank my beautiful wife Colleen Brown, who ironed my dress and got
all the wrinkles out today. I’m wearing this dress as a tribute to
the rain, so I’m rocking the orange today. Thank you, Colleen. Finally, we are delighted to be joined by
some of our students and recent graduates. Now, on to our program. Please join me in welcoming our Master of
Ceremonies, CNN anchor, Alisyn Camerota. [ Applause – Music ]>>Hi everybody, thanks so much Dean. I too am rocking the orange, as
you can see, in a shameless attempt to get an honorary Doctorate from Syracuse. I am delighted to be here with all of you
today to help honor all of these men and women who remind us, with their work every day, how
much our democracy depends on the Free Press. [ Applause ] And I am particularly thrilled to be here
to watch my boss, my mentor, and my friend, Jeff Zucker, receive an award today. In these turbulent times, I can tell
you that there is no cooler head or steadier hand in the news room than Jeff. Journalism today requires a strong dose of
Ernest Hemingway’s definition of courage, which is grace under pressure,
and Jeff defines that. And because tone comes from the
top, his spirit infuses CNN, and it makes it not just the world’s
most watched news organization, but a place we are all proud to work. So I am told how important it is
to keep the program moving today and get everyone out on time. Plus, as a morning anchor, it’s almost my
bedtime so I am going to begin the awards now. So please continue to enjoy your lunch and
your dessert, as I bring you the juried awards. We begin now with the juried
awards, over the past two months, our double tier of judges whittled
over a hundred and seventy-nine entries down to twenty four finalists,
in six categories. So the results provide a snapshot of the
major media moments of 2018 and they remind us of what was important, what has
changed, and what is at stake. So this year’s entries delved into topics
ranging from ad fraud, to politics, to the Trump presidency of course, to racism,
and of course, social media journalism in peril, and the Me Too movement. This year was also a year when many entries
covered many platforms, so you’ll see things from radio broadcasts, documentaries,
online articles, podcasts, to traditional print articles,
in both magazines and newspapers. And now, the 2019 Mirror Award winners;
first up we have the Mirror Award for best single article or story. The finalists are; Face the Racist Nation, by
Jesse Brenneman and Lois Beckett, for WNYC radio and Guardian US, Erasing History, by Maria
Bustillos for Columbia Journalism Review, How Not to Cover America, by Michael Massing,
for the American Prospect, and If Bobbie Talks, I’m Finished: How Les Moonves Tried to Silence
an Accuser, by James B. Stewart, Rachel Abrams, and Ellen Gabler, for The New York Times. And the Mirror Award goes to,
Jesse Brenneman and Lois Beckett, for Face the Racist Nation,
for WNYC radio and Guardian US. [ Applause – Music ] And just to give you a little bit
of context, while they come on up, I’ll just tell you what the judges
thought about this and how they decided. The judges said that this was an
outstanding piece, it was uniquely produced, and it gets stronger and
stronger as it goes along. The narrative and the interviews
in it, they said, were spot-on. Step right up. We’ll come, follow me right over here. Congratulations. [ Music ]>>Thank you so much, it’s so fun to be here
with so many journalists that I respect, and so many great stories in this category. The radio episode that we
did was a collaboration between Guardian US and On the Media, from WNYC. The episodes producer, Jesse Brenneman, couldn’t
be here today but we are both so grateful to my guardian editors, John and
Jane, and to Kat, Brooke, Bob, Alana, and the entire, wonderful, On the Media team. Since we produced this episode
in early 2018 the debate over how media outlets should cover white
supremacy has obviously not gone away, and the stakes are only getting higher. There’s two things that are worth mentioning
today as we continue to think about this; one is that we’ve had this entire debate before. In the early 1920s there is a tremendous
discussion within American media over how we should cover
the insurgent Ku Klux Klan. Black, Jewish, Catholic, newspapers, the
newspapers who represented the targets of white supremacist violence often
had a different perspective on this than mainstream white newspapers, including
considering the possibility, very seriously, that sometimes the Klan should
not be covered at all. What black newspaper publishers called,
maintaining a dignified silence. It wasn’t just the tendency of some
white newspapers to produce neutral or both sides coverage of the controversial
Ku Klux Klan that was dangerous. In 1921 the New York World ran
a serious front page expose of the Ku Klux Klan that continued for weeks. This prompted a congressional inquiry,
was widely read, and historians say that that expose ended up increasing the clans
membership by hundreds of thousands of people. But some Americans presented with an expose of
racist violence and said saw their own ideas and beliefs represented and they cut out
an image of the Klan’s recruitment form that was printed in the newspaper
and they mailed it in and joined. That mistake, a sincere one, trying to
investigate racist violence that backfired, that mistake obviously had consequences. Everyone in this room, I don’t have to tell you, who knows how hard journalists are working right
now and how careful we are always trying to be under pressure from all sides,
and everything that we cover, and especially in covering white supremacy. And there has been truly exceptional
journalism on this subject. Investigations that we will
be proud of for decades. But I think it’s also worth saying, here in this
room together, that we’ve also made mistakes. That we have not fully absorbed the history
of the Klan’s coverage and that in the wake of one white supremacist terror attack after
another, after another, we’re still grappling with the ways that any coverage of white supremacists talking
points amplifies their message. Grappling with the fact that white
nationalist’s see all of our coverage, no matter how negative, as a recruiting tool. The second thing worth noting is that the
newsrooms tasked with covering this crisis of white supremacist terrorism in
America, remain themselves, overwhelmingly, disproportionately, white and this is a problem. American news editors pledged 40
years ago to fix this problem, to make sure that our newsrooms
represent the full American public so that we wouldn’t keep missing stories, so we
would have the full experience and perspective of the entire country inside of our
newsrooms as we decided what angles to take, as we decided how to cover the news. And this industry just didn’t do it. And so, in 2015, as we saw emboldened white
nationalist politics move into the mainstream, we were having discussions inside
newsrooms about how to evaluate this threat, how serious it was, was it ironic, where
was it coming from, who was driving it. And in all of these conversations, many
of the people who are the direct targets of white supremacist violence,
they were not in the room and they are still, often, not in the room. I know that we would all if you asked
anyone in this room we would all say that newsroom diversity is very important. The newsroom diversity is not about optics, it’s not that some nice thing
to do because we are nice. We know, we have seen over and over again,
that when our newsrooms are not as diverse as they should be, we make mistakes. And those mistakes have serious consequences. And it’s often not us that are
paying the price for those mistakes. And we’re going to keep doing the same thing
over and over again until we build newsrooms that actually represent this entire
country that we are supposed to cover. The represented in terms of race crucially,
but also in terms of class and geography. There is good news that there are many wonderful
people in this room who are really working hard on this, who are building more inclusive
and better newsrooms, and there’s been real, real progress, and that is we’re celebrating. But there still are apparently a few people
in this industry who still believe the fiction that they’re mostly white newsrooms,
led by mostly white editors from similar social backgrounds,
can cover this country objectively. They don’t. They never have, and there are a lot of problems that we are facing and none
of us have enough time. But the lack of newsroom diversity
in American newsrooms is a crisis, it is not an awkward one, it is a dangerous one. And, unlike so many of the other pressures
that we face coming from the outside, this one’s inside of our house,
and we can fix it if we want to. Thank you. [ Applause ] Thank you so much for that powerful
and candid message for journalists. Our next award is for best profile, recognizing
a carefully researched and sourced piece about an individual or an organization
noteworthy in the media industry. The finalists are; James O’Keefe Can’t Get No
Respect, by Tim Alberta for Politico, Winning, by Patrick Radden Keefe for The
New Yorker, The Skimm Brains, by Noreen Malone for the New York Magazine,
The Puzzle of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, by Jason Schwartz for Politico, and Broads Save
America, by Hannah Smothers for Cosmopolitan. And the Mirror Award goes to,
Tim Alberta for his piece, James O’Keefe Can’t Get No
Respect, for Politico. [ Applause – Music ] Okay, as he makes his way up,
I’ll give you a little insight into what the judges were thinking. The judges called Alberta’s piece a fair,
incisive profile that captured new information, was thoroughly researched,
with well-chosen quotes, and the rigorous fact-checking
that the subject demands. An overall great read. Congratulations. [ Music ]>>Hi, wow, you guys are fired up. How’s everybody doing? Good, more wine at the tables. I’ll be quick and thank you for having me, thank
you to Syracuse and Newhouse, and obviously, to all the fellow finalists, job well done. For a community college kid who wanted to cover
baseball for a living, this is sort of a trip. I could not have gotten into
Syracuse even if Aunt Becky was part of my family, so this is very cool. Too soon? Sorry, thank you for having me. I’m a little surprised that I won
this award if I’m being candid, because it was not received terribly well. In fact there was no shortage of pearl
clutching from some of the keepers of the journalistic flame who asked
many of them before reading the story, why on earth would you spill
any ink on James O’Keefe? To which I responded, because
I find him interesting. And I don’t know that I needed
to say much more than that. And if I were to say one thing here on
my soapbox, since this is a Mirror Award, if we’re looking in the mirror,
there’s a real risk of self-censorship these days whether it’s the
loudest voices on the right or the wokest voices on the left telling us what we should and should
not cover, trying to impose these parameters on us and I think that we all need to
proceed, not with caution, but with courage, and write about what you want to write about. I want to thank my wife who couldn’t be here,
she’s at home with our three little kids, which means I’m going to be stealing three of
those stuffed animals on the way out of here. I want to thank Politico magazine, the great
editors there Blake Hounshell and Steve Heuser, who guided this piece through,
and my great friend and former editor Kristin
Roberts, who’s in the audience. Kristin, you mean the world to me. Thank you very much, enjoy your lunch. [ Applause ]>>Thanks so much Tim, okay moving
on to the best commentary category. We honor those writers who demonstrate
analytic skills, a unique voice, and deep knowledge of the issues. The finalists are; Missing the Story, by
Jelani Cobb for Columbia Journalism Review, The Great Remove, by Sarah Jones for Columbia
Journalism Review, Carlos Mazda for Vox, for his piece The Trump-Fox and
Friends feedback loop, explained, The Nunes memo fiasco shows how politicians
troll the media, and The big problem with comparing Nixon to Trump, and David
Zurawik for the Baltimore Sun for his piece, Mayor’s call to change the narrative is not
the answer to Baltimore’s perception problems, Covering Trump as media figures challenges
my core journalistic beliefs more and more, and Cavanagh media take away: It takes more than
TV hearings and hash tags to change the culture. And the Mirror Award goes to,
Sarah Jones for her piece, The Great Removed, for Columbia
Journalism Review. [ Applause – Music ] Okay, so judges called this
piece, a compelling, sorry, a compelling examination of class blindness. Jones let her story unfold using her own
voice and the examples of others in this, in the non-elite, building her
case and bringing the reader along. [inaudible] [ Music ]>>Wow, um wow, there are a lot of people. First of all, thank you so much. Thank you so much to Michelle Legro, my
editor at the Columbia Journalism Review, for reaching out to me and for
believing that I have a story to tell. This is not a place where I
thought I would ever be standing. And I, I want to thank too, the
journalists who spoke to me for the story who shared their experiences with me
as journalists who maybe didn’t come from the most traditional backgrounds,
who came from immigrant families, from working-class families, from poor
families, and who wanted to enter journalism because they believed they had something
important to contribute, and who, once they were there, found it difficult,
sometimes, to stay and to report the stories that were important to their communities. Economic inequality is not just a sound
bite that we hear from aspiring candidates for president, it is a real and
escalating crisis in this country, and our newsrooms are not
immune to its consequences. A year on from finishing this piece I think my
reporting raised questions that still stand. Questions that I think newsroom leaders need
to answer for themselves; who are you hiring, what stories are you commissioning, who gets
the big cover stories, the important essays, are you paying a fair and living wage so
that your workers can live dignified lives? And when your workers try to
unionize, do you recognize that union, or do you make them wait for months? [ Applause – Cheering ] The way that we answer these questions
will determine whether or not we live up to the most important, the loftiest
principles, that our industry espouses. Whether we hold up a mirror to power,
or whether we are part of the problem.. Thank you again. [ Applause ]>>Great job Sarah. Okay, so in addition to the
traditional award categories, this year’s Mirror Awards competition include
two special categories, and they were created in response to the intense attention
to, and the coverage of, these topics, so they are the best story on journalism
or journalism in peril, and the best story on social media in the crosshairs. So first up we have the best story on
journalists or journalism in peril, the finalists are; How Duterte Used
Facebook To Fuel the Philippine Drug War, by Davey Alba for BuzzFeed News, The last
independent newsroom in Turkey, by Shawn Carrie and Asmaa Omar, for Columbia Journalism
Review, Target: Journalism by Johnny Dwyer and Ryan Gallagher, for the
Intercept, Jamaal Khashoggi, What the Arab world needs
most is free expression, by Jamal Khashoggi of the Washington Post. And the Mirror Award goes to, Davey
Alba for How Duterte Used Facebook to Fuel the Philippine Drug
War, for BuzzFeed news. [ Music ] Okay, I’ll tell you what the judges said. They called Alba’s reporting, deep and colorful,
they said this is a detailed and important piece of the weaponization of Facebook. [ Music ]>>Thank you, I’m honored to
be in such good company here. Congratulations to the other winners. I’m grateful to have a story
about the country I grew up in, read and celebrated by others in the industry. It feels unlikely for me, an immigrant from the
Philippines, to be getting this honor right now. And for the US media to care
so deeply about what is going on with the state of Philippine democracy. But I’m endlessly thankful for all the
things that have made this moment possible. Now more than ever, it’s a privilege to be
doing work that shines a light on the forces that have put the media in peril. Not many people have the opportunity, but we in
this room do, and I feel proud of this and proud of the journalists everywhere fighting
back against the tide and working day in and day out to report the truth. I would be remiss to not mention my hope
that, in addition to doing good work, our industry can move towards making
journalism a field that is equitable, fair, and truly stable, to work in. Earlier this month at a luncheon honoring young
journalists, I discovered that a colleague, who is being recognized for having
written the best national story in the US, was also working five nights a week as a
bartender to be able to support his family. At BuzzFeed News where I work and where
several of my colleagues present here who have also been nominated, work,
our requests for a newsrooms union to be recognized has dragged on for 122 days. The awards today are supposed to
recognize the best stories in media and an increasingly crucial one
is the media unionizing movement. Journalism is a fragile industry, but the
more workers band together in solidarity, and the more the institutions and managers we
work for understand the movement to be a way to make the important project of reporting
the news, stronger and not weaker, the better off I believe
media as a whole will be. Thank you again. [ Applause – Cheering ]>>Okay now, to the second half of that
category, we present the Mirror Award for best story on social
media in the crosshairs. The finalists are; The Facebook Armageddon, by
Matthew Ingram for Columbia Journalism Review, The team from BuzzFeed News featuring Ryan Mac,
Charlie Warzel, Alex Kantrowitz, Pranav Dixit, Megha Rajagopalan, and Aisha Nazim,
for their series of stories on problems with Facebook called, Growth at Any Cost: Top
Facebook Executive Defended Data Collection in 2016 Memo and Warned That Facebook Could Get
People Killed, How WhatsApp Destroyed a Village, and We Had to Stop Facebook: When
Anti-Muslim Violence Goes Viral, the team from The Daily featuring Kevin Roose,
Allen Mills, Stella Tan, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dior, Theo Balcomb, Rachel Vestar,
Claire Tennis-Skeeter Alexandre Lee Young, and Lisa Tobin, for The Business of Internet
Outrage, and I Am Not an Internet Troll, and Miles O’Brien for his PBS NewsHour
segments; How Facebook Newsfeed Can Be Fooled Into Spreading Misinformation: Inside
Facebook’s Race to Separate News From Junk, and Why We Love to Like Junk
News That Reaffirms Our Beliefs. And the Mirror Award goes to, all right
this one’s a tie, the judges have decided that both Miles O’Brien and the
BuzzFeed News team deserve this award. Congratulations. [ Applause ] Here’s what the judges said about this, they
called the BuzzFeed News pieces, an excellent and surprising package on Facebook’s
attitude and how it safeguards its content. And then judges called Miles
O’Brien’s PBS NewsHour segment’s, effectively explored the exploitation
of false content and pondered solutions. They called it timely and
relevant, an outstanding report. Come on up. [ Music ]>>So I’m here with Cameron Hickey, the
producer, who of course made me look good. You know how this business
works, it takes a village. Thank you to Syracuse University, to
Newhouse, thank you to the judges, thank you to the PBS Newshour, the
best little news shop in the business, the little engine that could
in the journalistic realms. Sarah Just, Ray Jacobson, Patty Parson, my
main three people there, who supported me. So, this character, Cameron Hickey, came to
me more than a year before these pieces aired, and he said, I’ve got this great idea. I want to build some software, and I
want to figure out fake or junk news, but it’s going to take some time and it’s
going to be, you know, I need some time off, and you know I’ve got this little company
that does, you know, I do pieces for PBS, I’m a freelancer, emphasis on the free. I mean I drive an Uber on
the side to pay the rent. And pretty much, and I said this
is, this is going to cost us an arm and a leg, and I got a discount, it’s okay. So got to go for the low hanging fruit right? So we did it and it, I had to cobble together
money, thank you to the Knight Foundation for kicking in, thank you the NewsHour for being
understanding of the cash flow considerations of all this, the investigation went
on its way and it led us to one of the most prolific purveyors of
fake and junk news on the internet, and it also led to Cameron’s grandmother
and that was where it got very interesting. And I’ll let him pick up the story from
there because this was his passion project. But thank you.>>Thank you so much, thanks to Syracuse,
and to all of the other nominees, there’s so much work here
represented today that I really admire and I’m just really proud to be a part of this. And particularly I want to thank Miles
O’Brien, he supported this project in a way that I don’t think I would
have expected anyone to. He let us spend the time that we needed to
do the scale of story that was worth telling, and really surprised me in terms
of the feedback that we’ve gotten. But most of all I want to thank my grandmother. Her voracious appetite for junk news combined
with her willingness to let us interview her and learn more about it, is really what was the
signature element of this set of stories so, Betty Manlove, thank you so much. I want to just talk a little
bit about the stories and the issues that we have to deal with. When we reported this series it
was before the world had ever heard of Cambridge Analytica, right? It was before tech CEOs were
marched up to Capitol Hill, it was before all the bad actors were being
de-platformed, but even now that we know so much more about the scale the problems that
and the world’s woken up to their consequences, the challenge continues to grow, right? As an industry, we’re struggling to keep up. The platforms that enabled this explosion
of junk news manifested as propaganda, disinformation hate, they now
struggle with this tension between individual privacy
and collective transparency. As a result our job has become more difficult. But we know one thing, we know that the only
mechanism that’s repeatedly proven effective at instigating change at these
platforms is accountability journalism. We investigate, we report,
they’re forced to respond. If we’re going to continue to be effective
at holding these companies accountable to the public interests, we need to work
harder and focus more directly on the ways that we can be supportive and
collaborative with each other. Our numbers are shrinking and our
obstacles are growing but we will continue to have meaningful impact when we work together. Thank you. [ Applause – Music ]>>Come on up guys. [ Music ]>>Hey guys, first off I want to say on behalf
of Megha, Charlie, Alex, Pranav, and Aisha, thank you to Syracuse for selecting us. I’ll keep it short. And also thanks to Ben Smith and the
BuzzFeed News newsroom for, for believing us and letting us continue to
report on this subject. It’s a great place to work and we’d like to
keep it that way, so please recognize the union.>>I just want a second what Ryan
says, it’s just amazing to work in such a collaborative newsroom and you know
I wouldn’t be standing up here if it wasn’t for Ryan asking me to come
participate in the story. And I think that when newsrooms
can be competitive places but when journalists work together,
you know, everything gets better. And then the last thing I’ll say is that,
man we have a lot of work left to do, and there’s so much more to unearth
inside Facebook and Google and the rest of the tech companies, so we’re going to
savor this moment and get back to work, and we’ll hopefully see you
guys up here again soon. [ Applause ]>>I know it looks like my job
is easy and I’m just handing out awards, those things are heavy, okay? I’m balancing too sometimes it wants, alright. They’re like barbells. you guys are being so patient
we only have 15 Awards left. Okay this is the last one. This is the final juried
category; the John M. Higgins award for the best in-depth enterprise reporting. As a cable industry beat reporter and then
as an editor at Broadcasting and Cable, John Higgins exemplified fairness
and excellence in media reporting. So with this award we honor a reporter or
team of writers, who tackled big issues with keen analysis and excellent reporting, and
the finalists for the 2019 Higgins Award are; CJR Special Report Photojournalism’s
Moment of Reckoning, by Kristin Chick for Columbia Journalism
Review, Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker, with his articles; Trouble at the Top,
and As Leslie Moonves Negotiates His Exit from CBS Six Women Raise New
Assault and Harassment Claims, Craig Silverman for his BuzzFeed news
articles, Apps Installed on Millions of Android Phones Tracked User Behavior to
Execute a Multi-Million Dollar Ad Fraud Scheme, and Mark Warner is pressing the
FTC to tackle digital ad fraud after a BuzzFeed news investigation,
and this ad fraud scheme stole millions but almost no one wants to own up to it. And the Mirror Award goes to, Ronan Farrow
for a series of investigative pieces on Les Moonves for The New Yorker. About Farrow’s work, here’s what the judges
said is; it is hard to express anything but admiration for the job that Ronan
Farrow has done and continues to do. Farrow’s investigative work has obviously
been a game changer; this is a powerful piece of reporting that does what journalism
is supposed to do, bring truth to power. [ Music ]>>Hey everybody, you good? You hydrating? I won’t take more of your time I promise. This is a huge honor, thank you to the Newhouse
School for recognizing this kind of reporting, thank you to Alisyn who consistently
uses her platform in a powerful way. Can we get a moment for Alisyn, guys? You know, when, when you work in television
especially, you run into people who talk about media reporting like it’s something
soft or supplemental, and being in this room, with these reporters I admire so much who are
on this beat, and reporting this story on CBS, are both reminders of the
fact that that is not true. Not even close. When a culture of corruption and cover-up
flourishes at a major news organization at one of our great institutions of reporting,
when there are lies being told to us by networks we trust, the cost is not just
those institutions, the cost is our democracy, it’s our future, it’s our freedoms. There’s a battle happening right
now for the soul of this country. This is a time of mistrust, some of it is
earned, some of it is not earned and is driven by partisan hatred of what the press does. We’re beset by changing consumption habits, by
authoritarian rhetoric that seeks to turn us into enemies of the people, by corporate
consolidation that interferes with what we do. All of you are familiar with
all these challenges. And when we lose that battle for the soul of
the country, for the trust of the country, we lose everything, and we only win by keeping
this precious institution that I am so honored to be a part of, pure and transparent,
and at its maximum capacity to do the job that we all know is so important. The job that alone, amongst all professions,
is protected explicitly by the Constitution. We need to keep this precious
and important thing, honest and transparent, and the best it can be. And you guys are all doing
that, you are banging your heads against the wall every day
making sure it happens. Reporting on ourselves is the only
way we keep that momentum going. It’s the only way we maintain that trust. It is one of the most important
things that we can do as journalists. It means burning bridges sometimes,
it means alienating people, it means giving up job opportunities,
it’s not always easy, a lot of you have been through that. And I look out across this room and I’ll be
completely honest, you’ll have to forgive me, I’ve been on deadline, I haven’t
slept, I’m a little punchy today, guys. I see some people who have lied to protect
power in the way we’re all decrying today, who have lied to the public,
who have lied to The New Yorker. In one case, after we fact checked,
even came back and apologized for lying. And I said well, you know maybe
go on the record and say that, but I also see a far greater number
of people who are pushing back on that exact culture of corruption. Who really care about what we do and
who keep it vital and transparent, and I think if you all keep going, if you do
the kind of work that we’ve heard about over and over again today, and we’ve
got a shot at winning that fight. And all of our futures will be better for it. Thank you so much for what
you guys do, seriously. [ Applause ] I promise, not much longer, but I also just
want to say, you know, I went up here with one of my colleagues, our great
fact checker Sean Lavery. Fact checking is everything, and for each speech
you heard here today, for every journalist that stepped up, there’s a
whole team that makes it happen. I know that firsthand, these CBS
stories were driven not just by me but by our wonderful editor Deirdre Foley
Mendelson, by a second editor who’s here tonight but was too shy to come up, David
Rohde, by David Remnick our boss, a man without whom we would not have seen a
lot of the difficult and important stories of the last few years, and by our wonderful
lawyer Fabio Bertoni, and Natalie Raby, our head of publicity at the New
Yorker, who proves that PR people and media companies can be not just about
dissembling and lying and protecting power, but actually about making
sure the truth gets told. So thank you to all of you
in those roles as well. I’m grateful, bye guys. [ Applause – Low Conversation ]>>Congratulations to all of our juried
award winners, and now it is time to present the i3 Award for
impact, innovation, and influence. And this award is given by the Newhouse School
to recognize an individual or an organization that has captured the public’s imagination
about the potential or the importance of the media in some sort of unique way. So the recipient of this year’s i3 Award is
Twitch, and here to offer remarks is Wim Stocks, he’s the CEO of World Gaming and
Collegiate Stargate, come on up. [ Music ]>>I was just introduced by Alisyn Camerota. That is a life milestone for me. Thank you very much. Good afternoon all, I’m pleased and honored
to be here in front of this room of media and broadcast captains to present an award
for a company that’s not even nine years old. Yet in this brief time, has changed our
world in revolutionary and seismic ways. If you don’t know about Twitch or haven’t
heard of the company, don’t be shocked and don’t be discouraged, it’s
not your fault, you’re just old and you’re no longer in the mainstream. I don’t mean a traditional
mainstream, I mean the new mainstream, that which embodies the 16
to 35 year old demographic. It’s a mainstream that is
notoriously difficult to reach. This population doesn’t watch
television, they don’t go to movies, they are not just cord cutters,
they are cord never-errs, never having owned a cable subscription. First and foremost they are digital online
natives and have never known anything but. So when this new mainstream audience are
entertaining themselves and consuming media, they’re doing it online, they’re interacting
via social media, they’re digesting and creating content, and largely
playing games while they’re online. This is where Twitch comes in; Twitch is
the NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, HBO, Netflix, CNN, Showtime, all combined for the new mainstream. The following was built from the ground
up by a disintermediated audience and aspiring content creators, and which
literally, has no barrier to entry. Anyone can be a broadcaster on Twitch,
all you need is a camera, a computer, download the Twitch API, upload your content,
and voila you are a global broadcaster. There are millions of people doing exactly
this via Twitch; creating content and casting, in the current vernacular, to audiences as
small as their friends and families and as large as hundreds of millions of people globally. Much of Twitch’s momentum has come from
the huge growth in gaming but further, I will pose that Twitch is one of the
key levers that has elevated gaming into the stratospheric realm it is today. Twitch has also changed the paradigm
of what it means to consume content and the behavior surrounding that consumption. When you’re watching Twitch,
it’s not a passive experience. Say you’re like that of watching a basketball
game on television, you’re sitting on the couch, you’ve got your feet up,
probably drinking a beer. Far from it the Twitch viewing experience
is about engagement and interaction. When people are on Twitch, they’re on their
computers, leaning in chatting online, to the content being watched, voting on
it, reacting to it, and emoting to it. This audience is super engaged. Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner,
probably said it best remarking that he’d like to see NBA game broadcasts
become more like those on Twitch. Essentially what he’s saying is that he’d
sacrificed a bit of production polish in exchange for, to achieving a much
larger engagement for the audiences who are following NBA games
and following the league. Twitch is has also spawned a revolution
what it means to become a celebrity. The dynamics around building a persona,
and how fan interactions and engagement with their favorite celebrities
are also evolving in seismic ways. Ninja, the world-famous and world-renowned
gamer, leveraged all of these new dynamics on Twitch to build a behemoth personal global
brand that is enabling him to reap millions of dollars of income per month and I
don’t even think he’s 25 years old yet. Well no question he’s a temple example these
same dynamics of disintermediation brought about by Twitch are enabling thousands and
thousands of others to build their personalities and garner audiences of millions
of people around the world. Here’s some other statistics which hopefully
further illustrate the power of Twitch; in 2018 Twitch averaged 15 million users daily, that’s larger than ESPN,
HBO, and Netflix, combined. In 2018 there were in excess of 2.2
million broadcasters and content creators on Twitch trending, I think the last
stat I saw is twinning up 40% in 2019. In 2018 the total collective consumption of
content and broadcast on Twitch was in excess of 430 billion minutes, or translated
into years, it’s 800,000 years of content. One last point to note in case you were
unaware, Amazon purchased Twitch four years ago, at a price of just under a billion dollars. Many analysts now suggest this just may have
been the media bargain of the millennium. With that, I am thrilled and honored to present
the i3 Award to Twitch for the global impact and influence they’ve created and which is
changing the landscape of media and broadcast. Accepting the award on behalf
of Twitch’s Marc Garvey Candela, head of all Twitch partnership strategy,
and one of my best friends in the industry, an amazing guy in his own right, Garvey. [ Music ]>>It’s really hard to follow up on
Wim, he’s so eloquent and well-spoken. But on behalf of Twitch, I would
like to thank Newhouse School and Syracuse University for this great honor. When we launched in 2011 we had a dream
to service an under service community of which we’re a part of ourselves. We wanted to do that in a way that
made a major impact on the way game and eSports enthusiasts enjoyed live
content and interacting with each other. We did this by creating a suite
of tools, products, and services, that enabled content creators to more deeply and uniquely engage their community
while also creating tools, products, and services that enabled the community to support their favorite content
creators at their own discretion. The influence of live interactive content
creation along with the host of tools inherent in our platform cannot be understated. Whether it’s our content creators like Ninja,
who Wim had mentioned, who has brought eSports and gaming into the mainstream, so I’ve read,
to Apex legends breaking records of viewership on Twitch with almost 8.3 million hours
broadcast and consumed on our platform in one day, which led to the
game having 25 million players in their first week and that was outstanding. A side note, it grew to 50
million users in two weeks. Shattered every kind of record you could
think of so there can be no doubt that Twitch and our broadcasts have become
major influencers in our own right. It kind of makes sense with over a million
people on our platform at any given second of any given day with, as Wim had mentioned
as well, 434 billion minutes consumed which is about eight hundred and twenty five thousand
years in 2018.I think that’s just amazing. I try to bring the years into it to make that number a little bit
more palatable for everybody. So as we looked to continue innovating, it became clear that we could not
create tools fast enough to keep up with our broadcasters
and our community’s needs. So we created a tool that allows others to
make tools on our platforms, extensions. Twitch extensions enable people to create
live apps that interact with the stream as a panel on a channel or with the chat. This allows our community to create
interactive experience such as mini-games, leaderboards, live gear information, and more. Now innovation is in the hands of those
we serve and experience has already proven that this is absolutely the future. We’re also innovating in what types of content
can live in our platform; from sports to music, to just chatting, as our community grows
and evolves we listen and we grow with them. Of note we also have the RNC and DNC on Twitch
last year, which was an amazing experience for a lot of 26 year old people, that’s our
median age on our platform, to come together and have really great discussions about
matters that mean something on a platform that empowers them and gives them confidence that their individual voice
absolutely does mean something. And I think that’s in the heart and soul of
Twitch, it’s just a medium to express yourself, have your voice heard, and have like-minded
individuals have great conversations with. So again, thank you very, very, much. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, and congratulations. Okay, we close the program today by
honoring my friend and boss, Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide and Chairman
of Warner Media News and Sports, with the Fred Dressler Leadership Award. The award is named for the late
Time Warner Cable executive and Newhouse alumnus, Fred Dressler. It’s given by the Newhouse School to recognize
an individual who has made distinct, consistent, and unique contributions, to the
public’s understanding of the media. And here to present the award is
Discovery President and CEO, David Zaslav. But first, please enjoy this video tribute
featuring some of Jeff’s friends and colleagues. [ Music ]>>I’m Jake Tapper with his breaking news,
Jeff Zucker, Chairman of Warner Media News and Sports, and President of CNN Worldwide will
be receiving the Fred Dressler Leadership Award at the Newhouse Mirror Awards
today in New York City, before an audience of industry professionals.>>Growing up I had a couple dreams.>>Here’s what we know about Mr. Zucker.>>The first was that I would
play center court at Wimbledon.>>Jeff has indefatigable energy.>>Always a man to be reckoned with.>>I wasn’t quite good enough.>>One of his best skills–>>The next one was that I would play
quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.>>– is the ability to not
seem as short as he actually is.>>I wasn’t quite big enough. The next one was that I would
go to Harvard Law School.>>He is smart.>>They called him the whiz kid.>>All-around very clever guy.>>I didn’t get in.>>He’s not just a producer at
heart he’s a producer indeed.>>He’d grown up with television in
a way that a lot of people had not.>>He is in the business
that he was meant to be in.>>So I ended up in television.>>We see you.>>I was incredibly lucky. I had the best jobs of my
life when I was really young.>>And I so vividly remember my first day here.>>Jeff was a Boy Wonder from the moment
he walked through the doors of NBC.>>As an Olympic researcher for NBC Sports.>>I met Jeff 25 years ago.>>From NBC News.>>From there I went straight to the Today Show.>>When he was the youngest executive producer.>>He was only 26 years old.>>Jeff was so young that we
began to call him Doogie Howser.>>I really feel like he’s the
heart and soul of the program.>>One of the first moments I
remember Jeff gave me a chance to fill in for Meredith Vieira on The Today Show. All right, that’s a really great question. He gave me my job at the Today
Show as national correspondent.>>Jamie, good morning.>>And I think Jeff was willing to take risk and almost remove the veneer
of the TV screen from viewers.>>He had this great optimism.>>Well he was viewed by his peers as the
new generation of television producers.>>About NBC, the responsibility to lead
this great company is awe-inspiring.>>>>About our ability to lead.>>You know NBC News continues to be one of
the great symbols of this entire company.>>About our ability to create
a great voice around the world.>>What was important in the news
and how to present it in a way that the country would care about it.>>At the ripe old age of 28, our
executive producer, Jeff Zucker has decided that he’s ready for primetime flair. He’s moving on.>>Look out Hollywood, here comes Zucker.>>That’s a 24/7 [inaudible]>>He runs CNN the way he ran the Today Show.>>Jeff at CNN is not only
24/7 but it’s worldwide.>>He doesn’t sleep.>>I think one of the things that I’ve always
been proud of is that I’m always willing to be the last person in the control room.>>And he has the kind of energy if
you will, and he works his ass off.>>Jeff has a combination of energy, intensity–>>And the system in which he
can adapt to it very quickly.>>Being agile and being willing
to move, willing to take chances, understand that not everything
we’re going to try is going to work.>>He’s always bubbling with new
ideas, eager to get on with it.>>He has a vision, he articulates
it, he talks to a lot of people.>>I think those things make Jeff very special. His ability to have those conversations and
those moments with a lot of different people.>>What I admire most about Jeff is–>>– completely changed CNN.>>Jeff does not hesitate to give
people chances and to take risks.>>He brought in different people–>>– extreme honor to join the CNN team.>>The only reason I came back
to work was because of Jeff.>>Special correspondent, Jamie Gangel.>>A collective conscience.>>CNN’s Don Lemon.>>Jeff took that chance on me. It worked out, I succeeded.>>He was an inspired leader.>>– that really drove people
to bring their best.>>– and I think he cares very
much about not only succeeding but succeeding with everybody together.>>Obviously I’m a journalist and I will
always be grateful to him for doing that.>>I said to him one time, you know,
you are the only boss I’ve ever had who is ballsier than I am and I meant it.>>I’ve had so many great moments
and milestones in my career.>>Zucker is one of the most talented
producers I’ve ever been around.>>Running the Today Show–>>Jeff really is the whole package.>>– running NBC Entertainment–>>He’s a strong leader, he’s smart,
he’s not afraid to make decisions.>>Being given the opportunity
to run all of NBC Universal.>>He just constantly wants to
know more, more, more, more, more.>>Starting Hulu.>>Jeff Zucker is the guy.>>I think what I’m proudest of today
is what we’ve been able to do at CNN.>>He knows the subject matter, and
he’s passionate and to make sure that the world is informed and that people know that there’s someone holding
those in power accountable.>>Fred Dressler, who happened to have
been a journalist, one of my great friends and this is a big moment for me,
because Fred was one of my best friends, and Jeff is my best friend today. But Jeff to get this award is
a huge deal for me personally.>>Jeff congratulations, this
is a very distinguished award from a great university, Syracuse.>>So congratulations, Jeff.>>Jeff, congratulations.>>Congratulations on the award.>>Congratulations on this–>>– well-deserved honor as you continue
to accomplish so many great things.>>All the best to you, congratulations.>>Let’s get after–>>– peace.>>Thank you all very much. [ Music ]>>Ladies and gentlemen, David Zaslav. [ Music ]>>Got to figure out how I can see,
this really is a great moment for me. Jeff and I have been friends
for really almost 30 years, and we’ve been in the trenches together,
so before I talk about Jeff I wanted to thank Alisyn, and I wanted to acknowledge
our co-chairs Tom Rutledge and Nomi Bergman, two great leaders in the cable business. Also here today is the chairman of Discovery,
Bob Myron, who’s also chairman of sports at Syracuse so, when things go well it’s
Bob and Steve Myron, who’s also on our board and a great leader who ran Bright House
with such distinction for so many years. I’d also like to acknowledge the
Newhouse family and the Newhouse School. I’m a little biased because I’m sort of in the
Newhouse family, really I do feel that way. I’m invited for holidays and they’ve
adopted two of my kids effectively who went to Newhouse very successfully,
Allie is here tonight. And there’s no better family, there’s no more
heartfelt or quality family in the world, the Newhouse family and the Myron’s. Okay, so I wanted to talk about Jeff. We met 30 years ago when I was trying to build
the cable business, and we started up CNBC and Bravo, and News 12 Long Island, and Romance
Classics, and Jeff was running The Today Show. He was the executive producer and we
already saw he was the youngest ever, but we were the young guys
and it was an incredible time. GE owned NBC, Jack Welch was CEO,
and our big boss up in Fairfield, and GE was the number one most
admired company in the world. It was a time that we would look at each other
and we believed that anything was possible, and looking back, boy were
we lucky but we knew it. And Jeff, with all of this incredible energy
and talent, and hard work and confidence, he almost single-handedly pulled us
along and remade and revitalized NBC. But Jeff really stood at the very
core for a foundation of facts, at his heart he’s a journalist,
he’s found his way back to what he loves the most even
though he’s so good at so much. And when Jeff thinks about facts, he talked
about starting as the Olympic researcher, today he’s really in hand-to-hand combat;
training and mounting his troops all over the world, and fighting for the facts. And he’s doing it in a world were facts matter
so much, and we’ve never been more under threat, because as Jeff has said to me, we can’t have
a civilized society without factual truth. And that’s what you all do, and
that’s what you all stand for. I also want to talk about
a few other sides of Jeff, as a co-worker, as a boss, and as a best friend. He didn’t just do his job
better than anybody else, but he did your job better than anybody else. He was really impressive, but he made
all of us feel like we could be better. He brought us along and he made us better. He inspired us, and his passion for our
business and confidence was contagious. Because of that combination of talent, hard
work, and confidence, Jeff took off like it was like a rocket ship and we
were all there to see it. And eventually we were all
on board for the ride, and what a ride it was for all of us at NBC GE. Jeff was promoted to the president of
NBC News, president of NBC Entertainment, president of NBC Entertainment and Cable, and
then finally to the CEO of the whole company. And during that time, he drove NBC
basically to number one in everything, in the entertainment side he, he sent
around an embossed glass picture. We had all of the top 10 shows were on
NBC; the news division was number one, the Today Show number one, Nightly News
number one, Meet the Press number one, and we had the fastest growing
cable group in America, just saying. In honor, Jeff, of your love for
late-night TV, and to instill a little humor in our presentation today,
I took the liberty of coming up with ten reasons why Jeff deserves
this Fred Dressler Mirror Award, but for time’s sake now I’ve
cut it down to four. Okay, so here are the top four reasons Jeff
Zucker deserves the Fred Dressler Mirror Award; number four, Jeff is a fearless defender
of journalism, and our democracy, and a fighter for factual
truth, the number three reason that Jeff deserves the Fred Dressler Mirror
Award, the more credentials and awards that Jeff can get before his
mayoral campaign, the better, the number two reason why Jeff deserves the Fred
Dressler Mirror Award is courage and the fact that he stands up even when it’s hard, even
when it may cost him his job, it’s a combination that every journalism needs, and we’ve
seen in this most difficult time, we’ve seen Jeff stand up and do the right thing. He did it for 20 years at
NBC, and he’s doing it at CNN, and it’s a voice that we
hear all around the world. And finally, the number one reason Jeff
deserves this Newhouse Mirror Award, is because, as we all know everything
looks bigger in a mirror. I’m not that tall either, okay? So here we are, Jeff, I get to give you
one of my very good friends Fred Dressler who was a journalist ,he’s somebody that taught
me a lot, you brought me along, you mentored me, you were my friend, and this idea of giving
you the Fred Dressler Award is something that for the last few weeks I’ve been thinking
about and excited about, and it’s a great honor, and it’s a great moment for me, so everybody
if you can give a big round of applause for Jeff Zucker, one of the
greatest media leaders of all time, the Fred Dressler Mirror Award. [ Applause – Music ]>>Okay, David, thank you very,
very, much, and I’m going to, I’ll talk to you, talk about you in a moment. I also want to mention thank you
to everybody who put together that very special Bar Mitzvah video, and
I have to say, wow, I used to have hair, I used to be skinny, and I was young once, and that was a somewhat unfortunate
trip down Memory Lane. I’m pretty sure, I’m pretty sure
that my daughter who’s here, has no idea who that was in that video. But it was really kind and very
touching so thank you for that. And thank you for, thank you
for this award and honor. I am truly honored by it, even though I actually
always figured you kind of got these awards at the end of your career, although
I wonder if somebody’s trying to tell me something, I do really appreciate it. I’ve always, I’ve always admired these
awards from afar and I am now grateful that you’ve honored me in this way. David, I really want to thank you, not, I
actually nobody has ever said such kind things in front of one of my children
so I really appreciate that. But, but I don’t, I don’t want to thank
you for presenting me with this award and for your words, though those were beautiful
and kind, what I want to thank you for is being such an amazing friend and person. As David noted, we worked for
so many years together at NBC, and the fact is we’ve become even
closer in the decades since David moved to Discovery, and I was asked to leave NBC. There is no finer executive in media
today, and much more importantly, there’s no finer person than David. He’s the best friend that anyone could
ever want and I’m lucky that he’s mine. [ Applause ] I also want to say a word about Alisyn
Camerota, I was going to say that I love waking up with you every morning but I
love waking up to you every morning. Alisyn personifies what I want
CNN to be, serious, smart, entertaining, and always the right tone. Thank you for following my
orders to be here today. So I know that we all want to get
back to the office as soon as possible so I’ll just make a few quick observations about
some of the folks that you saw in the video. You might recall this photo of
me with a full head of curly hair and a young anchorman talking, that
was at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and that was my first real job in television. I was the Olympic researcher, I was 23 years
old, I was assigned to be the writer researcher on the late night show there in Seoul with this brand-new up-and-coming
Syracuse graduate named Bob Costas. It was a remarkable experience, and I’ve
always wondered what became of that young man. I hope it worked out for him. Actually, working with Bob was my first real
job in television, and we’ve remained colleagues and friends for more than 30
years, and in all that time, I’ve never worked with anyone as talented. And then there was those incredibly
kind remarks from Tom Brokaw, and I just want to tell you the real
story about the nickname Doogie Howser. For those of you who don’t know Doogie
Howser was the title character on a show and ABC in the 80’s, he was a teenage
doctor, a hotshot young physician. Now Tom says everyone at NBC
called me Doogie, that’s not true. Tom’s the only one who called me Doogie, and in fact I’ll never forget
the time I was 26 years old, I was the brand new executive producer of
The Today Show, I was on the third floor of Rockefeller Center arguing with Jodie Foster,
the actress, face to face over some demands that she had before doing an interview with us. So I’m going at it with her, face
to face, trying to be really tough and really mature very professional. It’s heated, and all of a sudden the elevator
doors open, off walks Brokaw, who sees only me and says in that loud Brokaw voice,
hey Doogie, and keeps walking. I lost all my credibility and
Jodie Foster won the argument. I think all of this just proves
that I’ve been around a long time, and the reality is that I’ve
had a blessed career. It has long fluctuated between news and
sports and I’m fortunate to be able to work, to be able to work on both
again now at Warner Media. I’ve had many positions of
leadership through the years, but I would say that my career
has only been possible because I’ve had the incredible good fortune
to have done almost all of it with Michael Bass and Allyson Gollust, both
of whom are here today. Michael and I, Michael and I have been
together for more than 30 years, and Allyson and I for almost 25, and I would
not be here today without either one of them, so thank you to both of you. [ Applause ] And that’s also the case with Lindsay,
who’s been with me for most of it too. And I could not do any of this without her. This award, as you heard,
is named for Fred Dressler who was a great leader in the media industry. I knew Fred a little bit, but I
know what he meant to our business and I am humbled to be associated with him. Someone else who’s on my mind today
is my good friend Tim Russert. Many of you know he was the
Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News and the host of Meet the Press. In my years at NBC News and The Today
Show, Tim and I spoke every day. Tim died suddenly 11 years ago
today and boy do we miss his voice. No one held those in power more accountable than
Tim, and I think a lot about that these days. I want to congratulate each of the winners
here today because your work is tremendous and a testament to great journalism,
and holding those in power accountable. I guess that is what is most
important for me to close with. I’ve had this most blessed career, I’ve
gotten to see places and go to events and meet people beyond my wildest
dreams, but none of it compares to the work we are doing now at CNN. I am proud to lead the 3500 employees there
that toil every day here in the United States and around the world, in pursuit of the truth. Sadly, the truth is under
assault, the press is under attack, from the most powerful people
in the world, and that is wrong. And it is dangerous. Our job is to hold those in power
accountable and to shine a light on the truth, it is not to pick a side or to be unnecessarily
confrontational, it is to tell the truth. There has never been a more important
time in our lives and our careers. I was thrust into a position of leadership
at a very young age, I was 26 when I took over the Today Show, I was 34 when
I took over NBC Entertainment, and I was 41 when I was asked
to lead NBC Universal. All of those experiences have prepared
me for these days, these are the times that require leadership, and I am proud to
stand, with my colleagues, for what is right. I am proud to stand up for the truth, I
am proud to stand up for a free press, we are certainly not the enemy of the people. If leadership means not being afraid,
if leadership means not backing down, then I am incredibly honored to accept
the Fred Dressler Leadership Award. Thank you to Syracuse, thank you to each of
you for being here today, and thank you to each of you for supporting a free,
independent, and fair press. Thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Ladies and gentlemen,
please give a round of applause for our Master of Ceremonies, Alisyn Camerota. [ Applause ] What a wonderful job she did. Thank you so much Alisyn. This has been such a fantastic afternoon,
and what a wonderful platform for journalism. Truth to power, facts do matter,
everyone in this room makes a difference. I’d like to add my congratulations
to Jeff, and to Garvey from Twitch, and all of the Mirror Awards, everybody who was
a finalist, and everyone who was a winner today. Thanks again to our premier sponsor Discovery,
I’d like to ask someone from my Newhouse team to make sure Tim Alberta gets two more giraffes
or whatever he needs, so that would be awesome. I’d like to thank the Newhouse team; Carol
Satchwell, Kate Walters, Amanda Griffin, Jeff Passetti, Wendy Loughlin, Lynn
Vanderhoek, everything you do is appreciated. On behalf of the Newhouse School,
I would like to thank all of you for your support of the Mirror Awards. We do have some trees for you on your way out,
compliments of Discovery, so please grab those. We hope to see you next year. Thank you. [ Applause ] [ Music ]