Lester Holt of NBC Wins Quinnipiac’s Fred Friendly Award

Quinnipiac University has announced Lester Holt, anchor of "NBC Nightly News" and "Dateline," as the winner of its annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award.

The university will present Holt with the award at a luncheon on June 19 at the Metropolitan Club in New York, the school said in a statement Tuesday.

Quinnipiac began presenting the award in 1994 to "those who have shown courage and forthrightness in preserving the rights set forth in the First Amendment," officials said. Fred Friendly was a former president of CBS News.

"In the great tradition established by Fred Friendly, Lester is determined to ask the tough questions, and wait, and wait, and wait until he gets the answer," Lee Kamlet, the dean of the university's school of communications said in the statement. "At a time when journalism is under intense scrutiny, we are proud to recognize Lester Holt for his ethical devotion to fact and truth."

Holt has been with NBC News since 2000, according to the statement. The university referenced his work moderating the first presidential debate in 2016, as well as broadcasting "Nightly News" from Israel during President Donald Trump's first international trip in May. The statement also mentioned his field reporting on the tensions between North and South Korea, the Arab Spring in Egypt, and terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris.

"His field reporting often focuses on people most directly affected by the biggest stories of the day," the university's statement said.

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