60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager accepted the award, announcing that he will donate its $5,000 grant to the Ed Bradley Scholarship administered by the RTNDF.
The Taishoff award was given to a news program rather than an individual this year for the first time, the NPF judges said, because of 60 Minutes' continuing coverage of stories including Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S. economy, despite the a tough environment faced by news organization. "The show continues to excel at long-form accountability journalism at a time when all broadcast news organizations are beset by changing economics and demographics," the judges said.
The judges highlighted Fager's role in continuing the "high standards established by the show's creator, the late Don Hewitt, with the first broadcast in 1968." Hewitt received the Taishoff award in 1985, just the third year of its existence.
The NPF was established as a non-profit organization in 1976 dedicated to the betterment of journalists through its educational and awards programs. The award is named in honor of Sol Taishoff, the founder and editor of Broadcasting magazine and a passionate supporter of free-press issues for broadcasters.
Building on the long-time support of Bradley and his family, this gift from CBSNews/60 Minutes will allow the RTDNF 2010 Scholarship and Fellowship winners to travel to the RTDNA@NAB annual convention. The convention is a valuable opportunity to meet news directors and industry professionals who can direct them to their first job in radio, television or digital news.
Among the winners attending the convention through this gift will be the 2009 Ed Bradley Scholarship winner, John Ketchum of Central Michigan University. Bradley endowed a $10,000 annual award through RTDNF to help deserving minority students make careers in communications.
Earlier this week, it was announced 60 Minutes won the Polk Award. Read more about this award.