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RTDNF to honor Barrett, Blitzer, Schuler for commitment to First Amendment

Three leaders in the field of TV news will be honored in March for their commitment to the First Amendment and excellence in journalism by the Radio Television Digital News Foundation.

The foundation will recognize David Barrett, president and CEO of Hearst, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer and Raycom Media vice president of news Susana Schuler during its 21st Annual First Amendment Awards dinner on March 10, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

Barrett will receive the First Amendment Leadership Award, presented to a business or government leader who has made a significant contribution to protecting freedom of the press. Barrett joined Hearst in 1984 as general manager of the company's Baltimore radio stations, later assuming general manager responsibility for the Hearst Radio Group and then for WBAL-TV in Baltimore. Climbing through the ranks, he became executive vice president and COO of Hearst-Argyle Television in 1987; he was named president and CEO in 2001.

Blitzer will receive the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, named for the late senior Washington correspondent for Broadcasting & Cable magazine. Blitzer is the anchor of CNN's “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” He also serves as the network's lead political anchor and is known for his in-depth international reporting.

Schuler will be honored with the First Amendment Service Award, which is presented to a person of distinction who works in an off-air, management capacity. Schuler joined Raycom Media in February 2006 to oversee Raycom Media’s growing group of news operations. She is responsible for oversight of the product, people, ratings, research, content and community involvement of the news operations.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.