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Mark Twain Award to Ben Bagdikian

Mark Twain Award to Ben Bagdikian

Ben Bagdikian

Ben Bagdikian

The California Press Foundation’s 2017 Mark Twain Award for Journalistic Excellence in California will go to the late Ben H. Bagdikian.

This statewide honor goes to those from the writerly world: editors, writers, cartoonists whose journalistic work, either regional or statewide in nature, challenged the status quo.

Previous recipients are listed .

During a career that covered more than 70 years, Ben H. Bagdikian served in nearly every capacity in journalism, from foreign correspondent to newspaper executive, educator and media critic.

Bagdikian had a major role in the publication of the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret series of documents that outlined America’s strategy and involvement in the war in Vietnam. The publication of the papers, which Bagdikian obtained from Daniel Ellsberg, a former Defense Department official, created a sensation and helped turn public opinion against the war.

Earlier in his career, Bagdikian shared a Pulitzer Prize with others on the Providence Journal staff for coverage of a bank robbery and police chase. Bagdikian was the author of six books, including “The Media Monopoly,” and served as dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. He earned a Peabody Award for his research and commentary in broadcasting, a citation of merit as “journalism’s most perceptive critic” from the American Society of Journalism School Administrators, and other honors, including the Berkeley Citation, UC Berkeley’s equivalent of an honorary degree.

Bagdikian died in March 2016 at age 96.

Cal Press will present the award during its 140th Annual Winter Meeting on Friday, Dec. 1 at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco.
The Winter Meeting begins next Thursday afternoon, Nov. 30, with a First Amendment Coalition presentation, “Fake News & the First Amendment.” It will be followed by a reception and entertainment by the Irish Newsboys, dinner and a talk by former state Assemblyman Joe Nation.

Awards presented Thursday night include the FAC Open Government Award, Justus F. Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year Award and Jack Bates Award for distinguished service to the California Press.

A Friday luncheon panel discussion on housing and homelessness will be followed by the presentation of these awards: California Newspaper Hall of Fame, Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award and Mark Twain Award.

Registration for the event must close on Sunday, Nov. 26. Please visit the for details.