Mirror Awards Announced Today — Russert Honored

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By: E&P Staff

Joseph Nocera of The New York Times and Ken Auletta of The New Yorkers were among the winners of the annual Mirror Awards today, handed out at a luncheon in the Rainbow Room at 30 Rock in New York City.

The late Tim Russert, as was planned months ago, was honored with the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement Award. NBC anchor Brian Williams accepted it for him and delivered a brief tribute.

The awards, sponsored by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, went to Nocera for Best Commentary, Auletta for Best Single Article, Jeff Coplon for Best Profile in New York Magazine, a team from Frontline (PBS) for Best Investigative Piece, and The New York Times’ Monday media section for Overall Excellence.

Joe Strupp of E&P was one of five finalists for Best Profile for his “Getting Wired: New Image for AP.”

Coplon’s winner,”‘How Race is Live in America” profiled the late Gerald Boyd, former managing editor of The New York Times. Both Nocera and Auletta were honored for pieces about the possible, and then final, sale of the Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch. The PBS honoree also was media-related, the mammoth “News War” and “What’s Happening in the News” specials.

CNN and YouTube were given the 1-3 Award for Impact, Innovation and Influence for their work on recent presidential debates. Humorist Andy Borowitz poked fun at Fox News and John McCain in his monologue. Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg announced the winners.

Williams described his relationship with Russert as “somewhere between Huntley & Brinkley and Martin & Lewis. We called each other brother, we got each other.” He cited Ben Bradlee’s reference to Russert’s funeral coverage as “akin to a state funeral.” He added, “Will we see his kind again? No! Will we practice that kind of journalism again? Yes!”

The NBC anchor noted that when he heard about Russert’s death, he was in Afghanistan working on a story that he did not get to finish. He said it would be done in time for tonight’s telecast: “Tim was all about preparation and finishing your work.”

Later, when asked by E&P if the coverage of Russert’s death and funeral was excessive, Williams said, “I think it was perfectly appropriate, it was the essence of catharsis. It is not as if other news was not being covered.”

Among others who commented on Russert at the event was Auletta, who said, “He would ask disagreeable questions, but he was never disagreeable.”

David Rubin, dean of the S.I. Newhouse School off Public Communications at Syracuse University, said of Russert: “We wanted to honor him for his ability to educate America. His enthusiasm for the news was infectious. I am sure he taught more people about the inner workings of the political system than who universities of political scientists.”

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