A. G. Sulzberger, Publisher of The New York Times, to Receive NEFAC’s 2020 Hamblett Award


CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 | justin@nefac.org

A. G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, will receive the New England First Amendment Coalition’s 2020 Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award.

Named after the late publisher of The Providence Journal, the Hamblett Award is given each year to an individual who has promoted, defended or advocated for the First Amendment throughout his or her career.

NEFAC will honor Sulzberger at its tenth annual luncheon from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2020, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Tickets can be purchased here.

The coalition will also present its Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award and Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award during the event. Nominations for both awards are due Jan. 10.

Supporters of the 2020 New England First Amendment Awards include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Northeastern University, Boston 25 News, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP and the New England Newspaper & Press Association.

As publisher since January 2018, Sulzberger is the principal steward of journalism at The Times. He recently visited his alma mater, Brown University, to address the growing global threat to journalism. In his Sept. 23 remarks, he criticized President Trump’s attempt to “delegitimize real news” and dismiss “factual and fair reporting as politically motivated fabrications.”

Sulzberger said:

Around the globe, a relentless campaign is targeting journalists because of the fundamental role they play in ensuring a free and informed society. To stop journalists from exposing uncomfortable truths and holding power to account, a growing number of governments have engaged in overt, sometimes violent, efforts to discredit their work and intimidate them into silence.

This is a worldwide assault on journalists and journalism. But even more important, it’s an assault on the public’s right to know, on core democratic values, on the concept of truth itself. And perhaps most troubling, the seeds of this campaign were planted right here, in a country that has long prided itself on being the fiercest defender of free expression and a free press.

But Sulzberger also offered hope, calling on citizens to defend the First Amendment and the free press:

The United States has done more than any other country to popularize the idea of free expression and to champion the rights of the free press. The time has come for us to fight for those ideals again.

Prior to becoming publisher of The Times, Sulzberger was a reporter at The Providence Journal and The Oregonian. He joined The Times’s Metro desk in 2009 and later worked as a national correspondent, covering the Midwest as head of the Kansas City bureau.

Previous recipients of the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award are Stephen Engelberg of ProPublica (2019); Jane Mayer of The New Yorker (2018); Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post (2017); U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont (2016); retired federal judge Nancy Gertner (2015); James Risen of The New York Times (2014); Philip Balboni, co-founder of GlobalPost and founder of NECN (2013); Martin Baron, current executive editor of The Washington Post (2012); and Anthony Lewis, the late journalist and author (2011).

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Major Supporters of NEFAC include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, the Barr Foundation, The Boston Globe, WBUR and Boston University.