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New York—The Society of Professional Journalists named Tom Brokaw as the 2004 recipient of the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award.
Brokaw was recognized at the President’s Installation Banquet during the SPJ National Convention in New York City. The award is named after longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, a living icon of journalism for her dogged pursuit of the truth in a career that has spanned almost 60 years. Thomas received the first award four years ago.
SPJ’s outgoing President Mac McKerral said, "This award recognizes dedication to the practice of journalism that goes to a level rarely achieved. It is an award for which all young journalists should aspire. No one is more deserving."
Tom Brokaw is the anchorman and managing editor of the NBC News program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. He also hosts, writes and moderates special programs on a wide range of current issues. Brokaw studied political science as an undergraduate and worked as a radio reporter at the University of South Dakota. His journalism career began at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska. He then became an editor and anchorman of the late-evening news on WSBA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. The following year he joined NBC News, reporting from California and anchoring for KNBC in Los Angeles. He served as the NBC News White House correspondent during the Watergate scandal. In 1976 Brokaw made himself a household name when he took the position as host of the Today Show. Then, in 1983 he started his current position with the NBC Nightly News.
The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. SPJ is dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, and based in Indianapolis, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.