Articles, Blog

2018 Mirror Awards Ceremony

>>Ladies and gentlemen, the dean of
the Newhouse School, Lorraine Branham.>>Good afternoon everyone and welcome
to the 12th Annual Mirror Award Ceremony. I am Lorraine Branham. I’m the dean of the Newhouse
School at Syracuse University. And I just realized that
this is my 10th Mirror Awards and it’s also my 10-year anniversary
as dean, so very exciting time. Please start to enjoy your
first course as I speak. I want to be able to get you all out on time. I want to start by thanking Discovery
Incorporated and CEO, David Zaslav, for the many years they have served as
the premiere Mirror Awards event sponsor. This year, Discovery celebrates
the 30th anniversary of Shark Week. Perhaps you’ve noticed those
sharks in your seats. They have brought sharks
for all of you to take home. We thank Discovery for their continued support
of the Newhouse School and the Mirror Awards. Additionally, I would also like
to thank Charter Communications, which alongside Discovery
sponsored this year’s competition. And I want to thank all of
you for being here today. I know it’s a busy time and you all have a lot
going on, but I thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedules to be here. In doing so, you’re supporting
the Newhouse School, our students and thereby supporting the future of journalism. Your financial investment in the
Mirror Awards funds scholarships for our increasingly diverse student population and you’re also supporting
the Mirror Awards Program, which is also an investment in journalism. The Newhouse School established
the Mirror Awards to recognize and amplify the vital role journalism
plays in our democracy in society. This is the 12th year of the awards, but the last few years have really
underscored their importance. This year, you’ll note, we’ve added two
special topic categories, one on fake news, the other on sexual misconduct in the media
industry, issues that have roiled our industry on its head, but also elicited some of
the best reporting of the past year. At a time when journalism seems to be under
attack, we at the Newhouse School are proud to sponsor this competition and to host this
gathering as a reminder that journalism matters. In addition to presenting the jury journalism
awards today, we also honor HBO’s Sheila Nevins with the Fred Dressler Leadership
Award and NPR with the i-3 Award for impact, innovation, and influence. We’re also excited this year that we’re
also recognizing “60 Minutes” for 50 years of excellence in broadcast journalism. [ Applause ] I’d like to thank Ms. Nevins for being here
and to thank special guest, Erin Lee Carr, Jarl Mohn, Robert Siegel and Jeff Fager
for helping us to present these honors. I also have to thank our luncheon co-chairs,
Kristina Hahn and Bruce Perlmutter, both alumni of the university
and the Newhouse School. [ Applause ] And also, our mistress of ceremony, Kimberly
Brooks, who you’ll be meeting shortly. And I would have to thank the many alumni,
faculty, and friends of the school who served as judges and organizers
for the awards competition. It is a lot of work, as you can imagine,
reading all of those entries and I want to extend a warm welcome to those
who were able to join us today. Would our judges please stand up
and be recognized for a moment? I know you’re out there. [ Applause ] Thank you so much. I also would like to recognize
Chancellor Kent Syverud, Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly, and members of
the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, who are in attendance, including our friend
and supporter, Bob Miron and Steve Barnes, chairman of the Board of Trustees. Thank you for being here with us today. [ Applause ] And I would be remised if– although I know
he hates it if I did not think our friend and patron saint, Donald
Newhouse, who also joins us today. His unwavering and ongoing support and
faith in the school means so much to us. Thank you, Donald, for all you do. Finally, we are delighted to be joined by
some of our students and recent graduates. Ladies and gentlemen, if you happen
to have an empty seat at your table, would you please raise your hand? We’d love to have you meet and get to
know some of our outstanding young people. [ Applause ] Please begin to enjoy your lunch. Our awards program will begin shortly. Thank you, bon appetit.>>Ladies and gentlemen, please
welcome your host, anchor, and correspondent for Fusion TV Kimberly Brooks.>>Good afternoon everyone. I am so delighted to be here today
with all of you to help honor the men and women whose work reminds us of how important
journalism is to our democracy and society. So we realized how important it is to keep the
program moving and to get everyone out on time, so we are going to begin the awards. So continue to enjoy your lunch
and dessert as we get started. Now my job is to just make sure that I
pronounce all of these names correctly and that I say the right winners, so
we don’t have a Steve Harvey moment and your job is to have fun. When your table wins, I need you
to clap and to be excited for them. And if they don’t win, still
clap so everyone feels OK, OK? So are you guys ready? All right. Very good. So we’re going to be– we’re going
to begin with our juried awards. So over the past two months, our
double tier of judges withheld– whittled down over 230 entries and they whittled
it down to 21 finalists in six categories. The results provide a snapshot
of the major media moments of 2017 reminding us what was important,
what has changed and what’s at stake. So this year’s entries delve into topics ranging
for Neo-Nazism to the media bubble to ad fraud and of course fake news and Me Too. And now the 2018 Mirror Awards winners. Are you guys ready? I got to hear you. We need some energy in here. There we go, all right. So our first award is for Best Profile. This recognizes a carefully researched
resource and sourced piece about an individual or organization noteworthy
in the media industry. The finalists are “Editor in Exile”
by Lois Parshley for Pacific Standard. “Is Trump-Whisperer Maggie Haberman
Changing The New York Times?” by Joe Pompeo for Vanity Fair. “CNN’s Jake Tapper is the Realest Man in
Fake News” by Taffy Brodesser-Akner for GQ. And the Mirror Award goes to– I feel like
I’m one, Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Lois Parshley for her piece “Editor
in Exile for Pacific Standard”. Give it up for her. [Background Music] Judges said Lois Parshley
deeply reported and evocatively written as a perfect example of profile
writing within the context of political turmoil in journalism heroism.>>Hello. First, I would like to say a
heartfelt thanks to Nick Jackson, Ryan Jacobs and all of the wonderful fact checkers
who we appreciate say more than ever at Pacific Standard and very
grateful to have had the opportunity to help share the important reporting that
the university has been doing in the Maldives. As she says, “Dictatorships find that
their biggest enemy is the truth, so they go after the people who criticize them.” As someone with education and an international
network, she feels pressured to use that privilege to stand up for the truth. It’s an exercise in courage
that we could all keep in mind. Thank you.>>Hello, hello. So Lois, Lois Parshley. So we’ll do this with you. We’re going to take a picture with you. And so for everyone that wins,
we’ll have a nice photo at the end. So come back up for just a second. We don’t want to miss you getting your photo. [ Applause ] All right, you guys, next up we have the
Mirror Award for Best Single Article or Story. The finalists are “RT, Sputnik
and Russia’s New Theory War” by Jim Rutenberg for The
New York Times Magazine. “The Sinclair Revolution Will Be Televised. It’ll just Have Low Production Values” by
Felix Gillette for Bloomberg Businessweek. And “Sheldon Adelson: Playing to Win” by Nadine
Epstein and Wesley G. Pippert for Moment. “Report From Whitefish: After the Cyber
Storm” by Ellen Wexler also for Moment. And the Mirror Award goes to Jim
Rutenberg for his piece, “RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory War”
for The New York Times Magazine. [Background Music] Judges said Rutenberg’s
piece was a fantastic story that appears to shine a light on state-owned
media and how it works. Give it up for Jim. [ Music ]>>I think it’s a bad day to start day drinking. I just wanted to thank my editor of the
magazine Jake Silverstein who’s here, who let me go to Moscow and Berlin in the
summer which I very much recommend in July. Our– My direct editor on that was
Charlie Homans, Jessica Lustig, who was our top line editor, who was– just did
a terrific job with great suggestions, our– the copy editing, which never gets the
due that it deserves, Dan Crompton, our great fact-checking team
Jackie Pyzer [assumed spelling] who did a terrific job helping
to research this and report it. And I just want to say this category in
general that everybody’s work was so great and it really struck me that
what we were all talking about and writing about was the misuse of media. So that was whether it was Felix
Gillette’s excellent piece on Sinclair which has proven quite prescient. Nadine Epstein and Wesley Pippert’s,
I hope I didn’t mispronounce Pippert, great piece on Sheldon Adelson or Ellen Wexler
on the use of the web to spread anti-Semitism. And I guess all I can say is for 2018, we can
solve that misuse of media with good media, that the only answer to bad media is good
media, and staying focus on the truth, and I’m looking forward to another
great year of journalism from all of us. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Moving right along onto the Best
Commentary category, we honor those writers who demonstrate deep knowledge of the
issues, analytic skills and unique voice. The finalists are “What’s
Going to Save Journalism?” by Leslie Savan for The Nation. “Don’t Let the Koch Brothers Buy ‘Time’
Magazine” by Charles Alexander for The Nation. “MTV News And Other Sites Are
Franctically Pivoting to Video. It Won’t Work” by Zach Schonfeld for Newsweek. “The Media Bubble Is Worse Than you Think” by
Jack Shafer and Tucker Doherty for Politico. And the Mirror Award goes to Jack Shafer
and Tucker Doherty for their piece “The Media Bubble Is Worse
Than you Think” for Politico. [Background music] Judges applauded the
article as the good mix of data and commentary that stirred genuine debate in the industry.>>Well, I wanted to first thank my
co-author Jack who couldn’t be here. In a lot of ways, he and I
are sort of polar opposites and I think that’s really
actually what made the story work. I sort of brought in the data
side and he’s sort of an old folk, he has been around the media circle for decades. And I think without the two of us working
together, it couldn’t have come together. I’d like to thank the wonderful magazine team
at Politico and all my editors, Margie, Steve, Todd, and everyone else who helped
with the piece, so thank you. [ Applause ]>>Thank you. So, as you know, in addition to
the Traditional Award categories, it was mentioned that this year’s Mirror Awards
Competition also included two special categories created in response to the attention
to and coverage of these topics. They are Best Story on Fake News and Best Story
on Sexual Misconduct in the Media Industry. So, we’re going to give the awards for these. So first up, we have Best Story on Fake News. The finalists are Amanda Robb’s
“Pizzagate: A Slice of Fake News” for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. And the second piece, “Anatomy of a
Fake News Scandal” for Rolling Stone. We have “Inside the Macedonian Fake-News
Complex” by Samanth Subramanian for WIRED. And “Don’t Blame the Election on Fake News,
Blame it on the Media” by Duncan J. Watts and David M. Rothschild for
Columbia Journalism Review. And the Mirror Award goes to Amanda Robb
for her reporting on the Pizzagate incident. Judges praised Robb for her
insightful in-depth reporting of how even the wildest rumors can
get traction in the digital age.>>I didn’t occur to me that I would win or that
I would be here alone for a huge team of people. I guess just thanks to Rolling Stone, Reveal, The Center for Investigative
Reporting, and the Investigative Fund. This took an enormous amount of work
and resources by a team of 12 people. And I think that’s the way it goes now,
you know, we need to all do this together. So thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Right here in the center, right here.>>OK.>>All right, you guys, we’ve
got to keep the energy up. We’ve got to clap a little louder. Where are you out there? All right. We now present the Mirror Award for Best Story
on Sexual Misconduct in the Media Industry. The finalists are “Your Reckoning. And Mine.” by Rebecca Tracer for The Cut. “Eight women say Charlie Rose sexually
harassed them with nudity, groping, and lewd calls” by Irin Carmon and
Amy Brittain for the Washington Post. “At Vice, Cutting-Edge Media and
Allegations of Old-School Sexual Harassment” by Emily Steel for The New York Times. And the Mirror Award goes to Irin Carmon
and Amy Brittain for their article “Eight women say Charlie Rose sexually
harassed them” for the Washington Post. Give it up for them. Judges said the writers made good use
of their sources, named and unnamed. The story is well-written, flows well, and presents a good believable
account of Rose’s conduct.>>Good afternoon everybody. I’m incredibly honored to accept this award with
my peers and fearless co-reporter Amy Brittain without whom this story would
never have happened. And I’m grateful to our editors Jeff Leen
and David Fallis of the Washington Post. I’m grateful to the New House School. I’m grateful to the people in the room,
including in our category, Emily and Rebecca, and also to Ronan and to Jody and to Megan for
showing us the way and for teaching us so much about how to respectfully and
rigorously report the offensive stories. I just want to say one thing. I think there’s a temptation to think that the
last few months have been about individual men, that it’s about a handful of bad
apples and that if we get rid of them, it will end the cycle of harassment and abuse. But it’s not true. The stories that we’ve been doing
are actually about a system. The system has lawyers and a good
reputation, it has publicists. It has a perfectly reasonable
explanation about what happened. It has powerful friends that will ask is this
really worth ruining the career of a good man? What one woman says, what four
women say, what 35 women say? Indeed the system is sitting in
this room, some more than others. The system is still powerful
men getting stories killed that I believe will someday
see the light of day. After all, it took seven years from the
time that I found out about Charlie Rose until Amy’s and my story was published. So the larger story about how this behavior
persists in our industry will also take time. But if we’re going to earn the trust
of our readers and our viewers, we have to tell the truth about ourselves. And I know that there are a lot of people
in this room who are committed to that. We’ve only just begun. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>You can go this way or that way. And now for our final jury– juried
category, the John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting. As a cable industry lead reporter and then
as an editor at broadcasting and cable, John Higgins exemplified fairness
and excellence in media reporting. With this award, we honor a reporter or
a team of writers who tackled big issues with keen analysis and excellent reporting. The finalist for the 2018 Higgins Award are. “The Making of an American Nazi”
by Luke O’Brien for the Atlantic. A series– Yes. A series of investigative pieces on Harvey
Weinstein by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker. A series of investigative pieces on the
Harvey Weinstein by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, Rachel Abrahams, Ellen Gabler,
Susan Dominus, hello, old professor, and Steve Eder for The New York Times. A series of pieces on ad fraud by
Craig Silverman for Buzzfeed News. And the Mirror Award goes to– All right. So for the first time in Mirror
Awards history, there’s a tie. Judges decided that both series of investigative
pieces on Harvey Weinstein by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker and by the team at The
New York Times were deserving of the award. Ironically, this decision was made in advance of the Pulitzer Board announcing
its decision in April. So we guess great judging minds think alike. So about The New Yorker pieces, judges
said Ronan Farrow’s work is truly amazing and led the pack in a story that its
impact reverberates way beyond The New Yorker readership. Not only did this work for a
conversation but also ongoing efforts to end the cycle of workplace abuse. And about The New York Times pieces,
the judges said brilliantly executed and the best of what a great newspaper does. This is having a real impact not only on the
media industry but throughout the workplace. So, guys, please give a good
hand for both of the teams. Here to accept on behalf of
Ronan Farrow is senior editor at The New Yorker Deirdre Foley Mendelssohn. And accepting for The New York
Times team are Jim Rutenberg, Rachel Abrams, Susan Dominus and Megan Twohey. Guys, come to the stage.>>Ronan is so sad not to be here to
accept this wonderful honor himself. He’s on vacation for the first time in ages. And since we’ve seen how productive he can be,
we’re hoping that he will get in a year’s worth of sleep and round meals in this one week. I know that he joins me in thanking our
wonderful editor in chief David Remnick who stood by the story, my fellow editor
David Rohde, our lawyer, Fabio Bertoni. It’s important to have a good
lawyer in cases like this. Our incredible fact checkers, Fergus
McIntosh, Tammy Kim, Natalie Meade. Our wonderful publicity team led by
Natalie Raabe, and our web editor Mike Luo. And all the other people who
made this story possible. As well as fellow journalists who inspired us
to move the story forward, who created the best of all possible worlds, I think,
in terms of breaking a story. I’m grateful to all of them and to Irin
and the other people who were nominated in categories involving sexual misconduct and
to that wonderful speech that we just heard. Most importantly, thank you to the incredibly
brave and remarkable women who spoke to him who deserves so much credit for all of this. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>We’ve been just so blown away this whole
year by the– first of all, the bravery, as we can’t say it enough of the women
who stepped forward the cultural reaction of the power journalism to do something
really good in this culture despite all of the attacks of the past couple of years. Ronan– Congratulations to our
colleagues at The New Yorker. I think this is a great example to
competition sometimes being really healthy which is why I thank the New– Syracuse
University and New House for supporting awards like this that kind of support what we all do. It’s so important and we’ve
just seen the effects in ways I haven’t seen in
20 years of doing this. We’re lucky to work for an institution
that gives us time and resources to get to the bottom of these stories. Like Emily Steel is here, who was
nominated for her great work advice, but the stories about Bill O’Reilly were so
pivotal, so important in showing that we can get to the bottom of what’s going on. These stories don’t have
to be he said, she said. I’m going to turn it over to
Susan here to take it home.>>And you know, not only that you
could get to the bottom of these stories but that you could actually
see and affect real change. And you know, our thanks also
have to extend to Dean Baquet who is really behind Emily’s reporting from
the beginning and showed us just how much of an affect that kind of reporting could do. As for other people of Times who
contributed to this reporting, we also want to thank obviously our
editor Rebecca Corbett, who is tireless, inspiring and completely to our focus. As well as Rory Tulin [assumed
spelling] who was an indispensable editor on our project and so many others. And just the general support from the
newsroom and the community about hard work and the people who, you know, took risks, great
risks to finally come out and tell the truth about what they’ve been seeing
for many, many years. So, thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Congratulations again to all
of our juried award winners. How are you guys feeling? Are you doing OK? Sheila Nevins, doing OK? Yes. Good. OK. So, now it is time to present the i-3
award for impact, innovation and influence. This award is given by the Newhouse School
to recognize an individual or an organization that is focused to public’s attention
on the importance of the media to our economy, our democracy and culture. The recipient of this year’s i-3 award is NPR. [ Applause ] Here to offer remarks is
award winning journalist and former “All Things Considered”
senior host Robert Siegel. [ Applause ]>>Hi. I’m very honored to have this
opportunity to speak in praise of NPR where I worked for over 40 years. NPR is the rare news organization
that was from birth of what we would call today a legacy medium. We were the afterthought to what was
intended to be the Public Television Act, Washington’s effort to iNPRove
what had been decried as a vast wasteland, American television. The urging of a group of mostly
land-grant university station managers, radio was added to the name to make the
broader category of public broadcasting. When I arrived at NPR in late 1976,
we had fewer than a dozen reporters, one in New York and the rest in Washington. And we produced one big daily
program “All Things Considered”. We joked that we were so small, such an
afterthought, that the Nixon White House forgot to attack us the way they
attacked public television. We didn’t even matter to them. But what we lacked in size, NPR
made up for with other assets, and one asset was the determination to innovate. NPR was committed to presenting the news
in a conversational style when the rule of which the sound like the voice of God. And in fact, many of our best voices
sound more like goddesses than gods, women on the air at a time when
that wasn’t so common frankly. Our mission statement promised that we would
present the varied accents of our country and we did before diversity became so cool. Our Washington reporters cared as much
about the Congress and the Supreme Court as about the White House, and we cared as
much about science as we did about politics. We aimed to use all the tools of radio to
tell a well-reported story, good sound, interesting production, good writing, tools
that survived on commercial radio but mostly in the commercials, not in what came in between. We pioneered satellite distribution,
launching morning edition as a network station collaboration. And that provided a platform on
which local newsrooms could grow and they did and we grew too. Now I was NPR’s first foreign-based staffer. And I remember being stunned
to realize that by 9/11, we had more full-time foreign
correspondents than the big networks have. We’ve negotiated the advent of satellite
radio, digital media, internet radio, and we’ve become a leader in the
brave new world of podcasting. Journalism, especially broadcast journalism is
of course a team sport and there are hundreds if not thousands of people who
are being recognized today. But every winning team needs a great manager
and NPR needs a very multitalented skipper, part news publisher, part media visionary,
part entrepreneur, part guide and spokesman for a vast nationwide system
and several parts fundraiser. In Jarl Mohn, we have that rare
and mix of talents and experiences. He came to NPR having been
board chair of a local station. He’d been a shrewd entrepreneur in cable. And most important to me as a radio
lover, he started out as disc jockey. So he understands that in addition to
NPR’s impact on American news audiences, in addition to its somber mission– its sober
mission, excuse me, radio is also really fun. So, to accept this award for
impact, innovation and influence, I am honored to introduce the NPR’s
President and NPR’s leader Jarl Mohn. [ Music ]>>Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Robert. It’s an honor to be here today representing
NPR and to share the podium with Robert Siegel who is committed, as you’ve heard, over 40 years
of his life and his career to building NPR. First, as a reporter, foreign correspondent,
he ran our news division for many years. And then of course many of you know him
as the host of “Áll Things Considered”. And as we consider where we are now, I’m
really thankful for the work and the excellence that Robert has embodied at our shop. And Robert, I have to tell you,
every afternoon, I miss your voice. I miss your brilliance and I miss your wit. Thanks for all you’ve done for NPR. And to Dean Branham at the Newhouse
School, thank you, Dean Branham [applause] for this i-3 award for innovation,
impact and influence. Thanks for recognizing NPR
and the work of my colleagues, a number of– whom here at table 7 today. Thank you for joining us. And dean, your commitment and the commitment
of Syracuse University and the Newhouse School to educate and to create the
next generation of Robert Siegels and brilliant journalists is
really a service to our country. It’s a service to our informed
citizens and to something that’s so important which is civil discourse. I was thrilled to hear from the dean
that a hundred students graduated from the journalism program this year. But the thing that was most encouraging to me
which I just found out today is enrollment is up in the journalism program after
years of being flat or declining. Many more students are choosing
this as a line of work. [ Applause ] And if you think about it,
that’s really interesting. The dean tells me that many of them want– most of them in fact want to
be investigative journalists. This is great news. Our business, journalism is under fire. It’s been under economic siege for decades as
local newspapers cut back, merge or shut down. Most journalistic organizations are
having their credibility attacked daily. And the trust and the confidence of
scores of listeners, readers and users are at historic lows for our craft in general. And even with that, young people, many more
of them, want to join this line of work. That is really great news for all of us. I don’t know how many of you in the
room were graduates or are graduates of the Newhouse School, recent graduates. Hands? Yeah? Good. We need you. We need you. And we hope you’ll join us at NPR or some of these other great news
organizations that are being honored today. We hope you will commit yourself to the
tenants of accuracy, fact based fair reporting and not to be pulled into the vortex of
ideology or sensationalistic journalism. All across the country, our colleagues at public
radio stations are addressing the reduction of local coverage with growing
newsrooms and growing resources. Member stations are locally
owned or locally managed too. It’s one of the many things that make public
radio unique in a vastly consolidated world. And large markets like here in New York or in
LA at KPCC, San Francisco KQED, huge newsrooms and growing, but also in media markets. Portland Oregon KOPB, Birmingham Alabama WBHM. Two cities without daily newspapers where
public radio is picking up the slack. Amongst these radio stations,
over 1800 reporters, producers, editors across the entire public system,
these are folks that don’t work for NPR. They work for our member stations
and they serve their communities. We’re really excited about the future of
public service listener-supported journalism and the work that many of you in this room
are doing and are being recognized for today. So we’re deeply thankful to Dean Branham. We’re deeply thankful for the school, Newhouse
School and Syracuse University in recognition of this impact, influence and innovation award. So, on behalf of the 920 people of NPR and
our 261 member stations across the country that partner with us, I want to thank you all. We really appreciate it. [ Applause ]>>Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome
back to the stage, Dean Lorraine Branham.>>Could we get another round of
applause for all of our award winners? [ Applause ] Well, I’m back up here because this
year, we’re adding a special recognition to the Mirror Awards Roster of Honorees. “60 Minutes” is the most successful
American broadcast in history. And 2018 marks the program’s
58th year on the air. Fifty years. Think of how much has changed since
then in the country and for those of you who are old enough to remember 1968. Our lives, yet the relevance and the
quality of “60 Minutes” hasn’t changed. It continues to be a television mainstay
drawing some 12 million viewers a year– a week, I’m sorry. And that’s not even counting
its radio and online audiences. Who doesn’t immediately recognize the tick,
tick, tick, tick classic “60 Minutes” opening? From a look behind the scenes in the 1968
presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey which was the show’s
first episode to the explosive interview with Big Tobaccos, Insider Jeffrey Wigand in
1996 to the recent ratings topping segment with Stormy Daniels, “60 minutes” has
brought people together and made them think. And in the case of the incomparable,
Andy Rooney made them chuckle. We at the Newhouse School have a personal
connection to “60 Minutes” as well. Steve Kroft, a nearly 20-year veteran of
the show is a Syracause University alumnus. A member of what is formally known–
informally known as the Newhouse Mafia. Steve, thank you for being here and thank you
for all you do for the school and our students and thank you for being a part of the wonderful
“60 Minutes” that we all know and love. The Newhouse School was hardly alone
in seeking to honor “60 Minutes”. The show has earned every major
broadcast award and has won more Peabody and Emmy Awards than any single news program. So on behalf of the Newhouse School, I’m
happy to recognize 60 Minutes for 50 years of excellence in broadcast journalism. Now, please turn your attention to this
tribute video outlining some of the highlights of the show’s half century on the air. Please help me welcome Jeff Fager,
Executive Producer of “60 Minutes” who will accept the honor on
behalf of the program and CBS.>>Thank you so much, Dean Branham. That was really nicely said. It’s great to be here, such
a nice award and important. And we do have a lot of Newhouse
people, Steve being mentioned. I can tell you that everybody at
our table did better in college and would have done better
at Newhouse than Steve Kroft. But he’s managed to be one of the best
storytellers that has ever worked at CBS News. Makes us better all the time. I just want to– we have, as the dean
said, received a number of awards recently. I wanted to mention one that
also meant a lot to us which is the Fred Friendly
First Amendment Award. And I’m only going to mention it because
of his great email I got afterwards. It’s from Mo Rocca, one of our correspondents. He said, Jeff, so sorry. I missed your tribute. Fred Friendly launched last Wednesday. But my mother turned 90 on the same
day, plus my mother hated Fred Friendly. Rest assure when you turn 90, I’ll be there. I wrote back, I love your
note, would you like us to send you the speech so
you could learn a few things? And he wrote back and he said, you
mean your First Amendment speech? I’ll pass. To paraphrase my second amendment
friends lunches don’t kill people, speeches at lunches kill people [laughter]. I couldn’t resist. I’m accepting this on behalf of Don Hewitt
and all of the founders of “60 Minutes” who started our broadcast 50 years ago. It’s amazing. They’re all gone. Every one of them is gone but I know they
would be proud of this award and I know that they would be proud of the broadcast
that we put on every Sunday night. We’ve changed over the years. We’ve evolved with the times, but we have
not changed our standards and our values. And I think that has a huge part
of why we still are successful. And we take those standards and
values from the founders of CBS news. These things are what we hold so
carefully and what we care about so much, covering what’s important with fairness
and accuracy as our top priorities. Never underestimating the intelligence of
the audience, never doing audience research to determine what stories the audience wants us
to cover, which puts the onus on us to make them so interesting to tell them so well
that you just have to stay and watch. It can be a painstaking process to
get a story on “60 Minutes” but most of the time it’s a wonderful
collaboration of some of the most talented people
that work in our business. They’re the cream of the crop and
they prove it every Sunday night. I really don’t like to talk
about ratings very much. It’s taboo. The dean gave us 12 million viewers a year. It’s a little bit more than that. I like to quote from a number that
just came in, it actually is the number that counts how many viewers
watch in a single year. It’s Nelson’s cumulative average. And this year, for the 11th straight year,
we were the number one most watched show in America with over 100 million viewers. [ Applause ] The Voice was second, 20 million behind us. I really think that– the reason I
think that number is important is that we use the same words that you
heard you all used, public service. We still care about, it’s still what
drives us, is a public service broadcast. Many, many years after news on television
in particular became business driven. And I think that the audience knows
that, the audience feels that. And that’s a huge part of why
we’re still thriving to get today. Thank you all very much. [ Applause ] [ Applause ]>>It’s so funny because right before this
program started, my dad called and I told him, I was like I’m going to have
to call you right back, I just have a quick lunch
and I’ll call you right back. He had no idea that it was any of this. So once I tell him, he’s
going to be quite iNPRessed. I’m really sad guys because our
program is coming to a close but before we close our program today, we
can’t leave without honoring Sheila Nevins. Yes. She’s the executive producer and
former president of HBO documentary films and we’re honoring her with a
Fred Dressler Leadership Award. The award was named for the
late Time Warner cable executive and Newhouse Alumnus Fred Dressler. And 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. This year, the Dressler Award
goes to Sheila Nevins. And here to present this Award is Erin Lee Carr. But first, we have a great tribute video. Here we go.>>Ladies and gentleman, Erin Lee Carr. [ Applause ]>>What an amazing video. As you can see, many people have a lot to say about Sheila Nevins including Sheila
recipient on today’s Dressler Award. Everybody in the documentary
community has a Sheila story. Can you recall another person whose name
inspired so much confidence and perhaps fear? I cannot. So please, allow me to
share one of my Sheila stories. This was in 2013 and I was
attempting to make the grand leap from web videos to feature phone making. I met with Director Andrew Rossi who said
yes that we should pitch something to Sheila and her colleagues Sara Bernstein. I was instantly wracked with nerves but I
knew that this can be an incredible meeting. I worked for seven days straight to find a pitch
about an internet story I had inside access to. My father, the late and great
David Carr, thanks. [ Applause ] Carefully reminded me to have
other pitches ready just in case. I stared at Sheila as we shook hands. She met my gaze and didn’t blink. She immediately said– looked around and
said, “Does it smell like gasoline in here?” It didn’t smell toxic to me but what did I know. The men were called to check the levels. I sat there. Was this the time to pitch her? I didn’t think so. I waited for the men to leave us. I stilled myself. I felt the words. I so carefully crafted come out of my mouth. Then after, about 30 seconds, she
said, “I have no interest in that.” Jesus. I felt my golden shot leaving me. What were those other ideas again? I jumped back in and caught her attention. She asked fascinating probing questions. And I felt for the first time like a subject. After our four-hour long meeting, where we
discussed Christianity, circumcision, nuns, Russians, Warhol, mortality, and
her dreams, I again stared at her. She looked at me and said, “I don’t
like your ideas but I like you.” Let’s find something to work on together. And with that, the last five years went by. I am not alone in this experience. I am literally one of hundreds of
filmmakers Sheila has mentored, produced, taught and made up with. She’s a tough critic but an
even tougher friend and ally. She knows implicitly the
way to the center of a case. Sheila is a champion for the “every
man” as well as the “every woman story.” She knows that power must be
questioned, institutions checked, and voices given to the voiceless. From the jinx to real sex
to the case against state, her versatility as a producer knows no bounds. And she has the awards to
prove it like the Mirror Award. But I don’t think she does it for the awards. She does it to make films be
part of a national conversation. She sees documentary filmmaking and
journalism as a critical part of a dialogue, something we need now more than ever. Sheila is comfortable using multiple
mediums to tell stories that matter. From documentary to her book, “You Don’t
Look Your Age and Other Fairy Tales,” the book is chock-full of
insight and secrets just like her. After so many years of telling other
stories, it was time to tell her own. It was and is remarkably brave just like her. OK. Enough compliments because I’m
not exactly sure she likes them. Without further ado, please welcome to
the stage the singular Sheila Nevins.>>Thank you. [ Applause and Music ]>>I like compliments. I like compliments. It’s your ideas that I didn’t wanted. Between Erin and I, I have something
very quick to say will be out. Nothing is too short. Between Erin and I, there are probably 50 years. I have learned so much from Erin. I cannot tell you. And Erin, could I say that
you’ve learned from me. I want to talk about ageism and
then I’m going to get out here. I want to say that I’m “retired” and
I thought that would be a good thing. Except then I looked it up, and it
said, among other things like gardening and cooking, none of which I know how to do. It also said that I would be able to do all
the things that I had never been able to do. Well, I’ve been able through work to
do all the things I ever really want to do, not wanted but want. And so, I would say that the word retirement
should be replaced with the word next. And that ageism should be a
new frontier for some of us. Come on, we can think. Maybe I don’t know your name
but I know which you’re about. Anyway, my number is 917-686-4154. Thank you for this award. Thank you, Erin. [ Applause ] I got your number, Sheila [laughs].>>Thank you, Sheila. Ladies and gentleman, please
give a round of applause for our master of ceremonies, Kimberly Brooks. Ms. Sheila Nevins and our NPR Jarl
Mohn and our other awardees today. This is been an amazing afternoon and
hopefully a reminder to all about the importance of journalism and democratic society. The Founding Fathers understood the
need for free and independent press to serve as a watchdog on government. The Mirror Awards underscores the need for
the press to look inward at itself as well. Congratulations to Sheila
Nevins, NPR, “60 Minutes” and all of our award winners we had a lot of
amazing work from which to choose this year. Many thanks again to our premier sponsor
Discovery Inc., and my thanks to all of you for your support of the Mirror Awards. Don’t forget to grab a cupcake on your
way out, compliments of Discovery Inc. We hope to see you all next year. Have a great weekend. Thank you. [ Applause ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *