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Lifetime Achievement

About the Award
The William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2001 and is presented to individuals who demonstrate exceptional long-term commitment and service to the Religion Newswriters Association and its members, and to the field of religion newswriting.

The award’s namesake, William A. Reed, was the first African-American president of the RNA, serving from 1976-78. He was also the first African-American to work full time for The Tennessean in Nashville, and one of the first African-Americans on the religion beat. W.C. Fields, a Southern Baptist Convention spokesman said of Reed, "I always felt that he was not only a good newsman, he was very sensitive to the implications of the stories he was writing.” Reed died in 1991.

Past winners include:

  • 2016: Cecile S. Holmes, Religion News Service, Houston Chronicle (read)
  • 2015: Richard Dujardin, The Providence Journal (read)
  • 2014: Roy Larson, Chicago Sun-Times (read)
  • 2013: Adon Taft, The Miami Herald (read)
  • 2012: Paul Carlson, Religion News Service (read)
  • 2010: Gustav Niebuhr, The New York Times (read)
  • 2009: Gayle White, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (read)
  • 2008: John Dart, Los Angeles Times (press release, PDF)
  • 2007: Russ Chandler, Los Angeles Times (press release, PDF)
  • 2006: Dick Ostling, The Associated Press (press release, PDF)
  • 2005: Ed Briggs, Richmond Times-Dispatch (press release, PDF)
  • 2004: David E. Anderson, Religion News Service (press release, PDF)
  • 2003: Richard Philbrick, Chicago Tribune (press release, PDF)
  • 2002: Helen Parmley, The Dallas Morning News (press release, PDF)
  • 2001: Willmar Thorkelson, Minneapolis Star (press release, PDF)


How to nominate someone
Please submit via e-mail the name of the person you'd like to nominate, along with a brief paragraph about why you think he or she deserves to be a lifetime achievement award winner. Nominee names are due to RNA by January 1. The winner is chosen in spring and honored at RNA's Awards Banquet each fall.

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11/21/2016 » 2/1/2017
2017 RNA Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence

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