Watch: A conversation with incoming SPJ Executive Director Caroline Hendrie

Caroline Hendrie joins SPJ President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins to discuss her career, the state of the industry, and her vision for SPJ’s next chapter.

Home > SPJ News > Caryl Rivers Honored with Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement

SPJ News
Latest SPJ News | RSS

Caryl Rivers Honored with Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement

For Immediate Release:

Heather Porter, Programs Coordinator, (317) 927-8000, ext 204,
Alyson Ahrns, SPJ Communications Department, (317) 927-8000, ext. 200,

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Boston University Professor Caryl Rivers with the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement. Rivers is a nationally-known author, journalist, columnist and media critic.

The Helen Thomas Award is presented to an individual or individuals for a lifetime of contribution and service to the journalism profession. The Award is named after longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, a living journalism icon for her dogged pursuit of the truth in a career that has spanned almost 60 years. Thomas received the first award in 2000.

Caryl Rivers has been observing American life and politics for four decades.
She was a Washington correspondent covering the civil rights movement, Kennedy presidency, Vietnam debate and divides over race, class and gender that convulsed the nation. Her 14 books, fiction and nonfiction, have been selections of Book of the Month, Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club. She was recently cited as one of the “Feminists Who Changed America: 1963-1975” by the University of Illinois Press.

Rivers’ articles have appeared in major American newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, The Nation, Saturday Review, Ms., Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and many others. She also blogs for The Huffington post.

Rivers received a Gannett Freedom Forum journalism grant and a Goldsmith Research Grant from Harvard for her book on gender with Dr. Rosalind Barnett of Brandeis University, “Same Difference.” The Boston Globe editorial board voted it one of the best books of the year in 2003. In 2008, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication awarded her the Donna Allen Feminist Advocacy award.

She has written award-winning screenplays based on her journalism. “The Cheats,” a drama for ABC, won the AFTRA American Scene award for its treatment of minority characters. “A Matter of Principal,” about an urban principal, won the National Association of Catholic Broadcasters Gabriel award in l990.

Despite the lengthy list of credits to her name, Rivers refuses to be put on a pedestal. After receiving a Yankee Quill Award from the New England Chapter of SPJ in 1989, Rivers said that she’s no Superwoman: “I never remember my dentist appointments, my office looks like the town dump and my children say my home-cooked meals could inspire a TV show: ‘That’s Inedible.’”

Rivers will be recognized Saturday, Sept. 6 during a dinner at the 2008 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Atlanta.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, 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. For more information on SPJ, please visit


Join SPJ
Join SPJWhy join?