By: E&P Staff
Ellen Goodman received the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award Saturday night at the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC) conference in New Orleans.
The announcement that The Boston Globe/Washington Post Writers Group columnist would get the honor was reported this past February by E&P.
Goodman, a past Pulitzer Prize winner, was presented with the award by NSNC President Mike Argento of the York (Pa.) Daily Record.
The NSNC also presented its Will Rogers Humanitarian Award — and there was a tie between two recipients for the first time in the nine-year history of the prize.
The winners were Carol A. Dawson, who writes “The Extra Miler” column for the Jeffersonville (Ind.) Evening News and The New Albany (Ind.) Tribune; and Bill Campbell, a longtime Florida columnist now writing for The Beachcomber of Destin, Fla.
James Rogers, great-grandson of Will Rogers, presented each winner with a statuette of the famous humorist/columnist/actor.
Dawson originated her column to recognize individuals who “go the extra mile” and do not seek or receive public credit for their deeds.
During the past three years, her column has featured more than 150 people in Indiana plus many serving in the military. One column she wrote about troops overseas resulted in nearly 3,000 cards and letters being sent to places around the world.
Campbell, a columnist for the past 20 years, had community service as a theme for many of his writings. He gave support to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations and involved himself personally with a number of these groups.
As president of the local unit of the American Cancer Society, he was instrumental in launching “Relay for Life,” a program that has raised more than $1 million for cancer patients.
Campbell was nominated for this year’s Will Rogers Humanitarian Award (an NSNC prize originally proposed by columnist Robert Haught) by a physician who praised Campbell’s efforts to urge men to get checked for prostate cancer at an annual free screening.
The NSNC last year approved a proposal that future conferences include a time to focus on how columnists can better serve those people for whom newspapers have become a last resort. At this year’s meeting, columnists visited various parts of New Orleans to talk to residents affected by Hurricane Katrina and to assist in rebuilding projects.
Another award recipient at the NSNC conference was Kristin Butler of Duke University. She received the organization’s scholarship for best college columnist.