Zenger Award for Press Freedom

Since 1954, the University of Arizona journalism program has awarded the Zenger Award for Press Freedom to a journalist who fights for freedom of the press and the people’s right to know.

About the Award

The award is named for a husband-and-wife team of pioneering journalists, John Peter and Anna Catherine Zenger. John Peter was editor of the New York Weekly Journal in 1734 when he was jailed by British colonial authorities on charges of seditious libel. He had criticized the corrupt administration of New York’s governor, William Cosby. While Zenger was imprisoned, Anna Catherine continued to publish the newspaper.

John Peter Zenger’s subsequent trial and acquittal is considered a landmark case in the history of freedom of the press, helping to lay the foundation for the First Amendment. Past Zenger Award winners include Christiane AmanpourCarmen Aristegui, Dean Baquet, Walter Cronkite and Katharine Graham.

Recent Recipients

2019 — Christiane Amanpour, CNN
2018 — Carmen Aristegui, CNN en Español
2017 — Dean Baquet, The New York Times
2016 — Dana Priest, The Washington Post
2015 — Kathy Gannon, The Associated Press
2014 — Paul Steiger, ProPublica
2013 — Jonathan Randal, global reporter
2012 — Rocío Gallegos Rodriguez and Sandra Rodríguez Nieto
2009 — Tom Arviso Jr., Navajo Times
2007 — Jerry Mitchell, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger
2005 — Bill Moyers, Broadcast Journalist
2003 — Vanessa Leggett, Lecturer and freelance writer
2001 — Lou Boccardi and The Associated Press
2000 — Paul K. McMasters, The Freedom Forum
1998 — U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont
1997 — Mark Goodman, Student Press Law Center
1996 — Nat Hentoff, Washington Post
1995 — Ben Bagdikian, media scholar
1994 — Investigative Reporters & Editors
1993 — Jane E. Kirtley, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
1992 — Helen Thomas, United Press International
1991 — Peter Arnett, Cable News Network
1990 — Terry A. Anderson, The Associated Press
1989 — Robert C. Maynard, The Oakland Tribune
1988 — Jean H. Otto, The Rocky Mountain News
1987 — Eugene L. Roberts Jr., The Philadelphia Inquirer
1986 — John R. Finnegan, St. Paul (Minn.)Pioneer Press & Dispatch
1985 — Thomas Winship, The Boston Globe
1984 — Tom Wicker, The New York Times
1982 — Fred W. Friendly, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
1981 — Paul S. Cousley, Alton (Ill.) Telegraph
1980 — Walter Cronkite, CBS
1979 — Jack C. Landau, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
1978 — Robert H. Estabrook, Lakeville (Conn.) Journal
1977 — Robert W. Greene, Newsday
1976 — Donald F. Bolles, The Arizona Republic
1975 — Seymour M. Hersh, The New York Times
1974 — Thomas E. Gish, The Mountain Eagle
1973 — Katharine Graham, The Washington Post
1972 — Dan Hicks Jr., Monroe County Democrat
1971 — The New York Times
1970 — Erwin D. Canham, The Christian Science Monitor
1969 — J. Edward Murray, The Arizona Republic
1968 — Wes Gallagher, The Associated Press
1967 — John S. Knight, Knight Newspapers, Inc.
1966 — Arthur Krock, The New York Times
1965 — Eugene C. Pulliam, The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette
1964 — John Netherland Heiskell, Arkansas Gazette
1963 — James B. Reston, The New York Times
1962 — John H. Colburn, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch
1961 — Clark R. Mollenhoff, Cowles Publications
1960 — Virgil M. Newton Jr., Tampa (Fla.) Tribune
1959 — Herbert Brucker, Hartford Courant
1958 — John Moss, U.S. House Govermental Information Subcommittee
1957 — James R. Wiggins, The Washington (D.C.) Post and Times Herald
1956 — James S. Pope, Louisville Courier Journal
1955 — Basil L. Walters, Chicago Daily News & Knight Newspapers
1954 — E. Palmer Hoyt, The Denver Post

View a digital collection of the speeches of past Zenger Award recipients at the UA Campus Repository.