FRONTLINE Executive Producer to Receive NEFAC’s 2022 First Amendment Award

Raney Aronson-Rath to Be Honored for Contributions to Journalism, Freedom of the Press

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition will present its 2022 Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award to Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer for PBS’ flagship investigative journalism series FRONTLINE.

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 Aronson-Rath at its 12th annual New England First Amendment Awards ceremony from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 13. The program will be held online. Ticket and registration information can be found here.

All ticket proceeds will benefit civics and First Amendment education in New England.

The coalition will also present its Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award and Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award during the program. Nominations for both awards are due March 4.

Supporters of the 2022 New England First Amendment Awards include The Boston Globe, Hearst Connecticut Media Group, WBUR, Boston University, Connecticut Public, The Day and the Harrington School of Communication and Media at The University of Rhode Island, Northeastern University and the Tully Center for Free Speech.

Aronson-Rath oversees FRONTLINE’s reporting on air and online and directs the series’ editorial vision, executive producing more than 20 documentaries each year on critical issues facing the country and world. Under her leadership, FRONTLINE has earned two Oscar nominations and won every major award in broadcast journalism.

In addition to her work at FRONTLINE, Aronson-Rath spearheaded an initiative to bolster local journalism in news deserts and led an ongoing charge for transparency in journalism — including through the FRONTLINE Transparency Project, an effort to open up the source material behind FRONTLINE’s reporting.

She also served as the sole public media representative on the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy, a panel that published a landmark report on the causes and consequences of growing distrust in democratic institutions, including the press.

Previous recipients of the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award are Yamiche Alcindor, former White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour (2021); A. G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times (2020); 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, former reporter for The New York Times (2014); Philip Balboni, co-founder of GlobalPost and founder of NECN (2013); Martin Baron, former 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.

Leadership Circle donors include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, WBUR-Boston, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry and Connecticut Public.