July 16, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (July 16, 2018) – Lester Holt, anchor of "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," and “Dateline NBC,” will be awarded the 2018 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism at Poynter’s annual Bowtie Ball in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Dec. 8. 

Holt joined NBC News in 2000 and is known for his outstanding work in the field, reporting and anchoring both locally and around the world. He’s covered everything from terrorist attacks in Manchester, Brussels and Paris to natural disasters in Japan and Haiti. He’s reported on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, led coverage of presidential elections and investigated local issues with national impact, like health care, immigration and poverty. 

“Lester Holt’s distinguished journalism career is one covering communities with depth, grace and integrity. He worked as a local journalist in some of America’s most vibrant markets, and his excellence and work ethic have led him to be the anchor of one of America’s most watched and influential newscasts,” Poynter president Neil Brown said. "Whether it’s reporting from global hot spots, moderating presidential debates or conducting news-making presidential interviews, Lester Holt stands tall as a journalist who continues to make a mark. We are pleased to honor him with the Poynter Medal of Lifetime Achievement and look forward to a great celebration of journalism here in December."

Tickets to Poynter’s Bowtie Ball with Lester Holt are now on sale here. Sponsorships are also available.

When he was named to the role of “NBC Nightly News” anchor in June 2015, Holt became the first African-American solo anchor of a weekday network nightly newscast. In addition to anchoring “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” Holt also leads NBC News’ special reports, breaking news and primetime political coverage. He was selected to moderate the first presidential debate of 2016, which was the most-watched debate in American history. Holt’s one-on-one with President Trump in May 2017 stands as the most consequential interview of the Trump presidency after Trump told Holt the firing of former FBI head James Comey was tied to the Russia investigation. 

Holt joined NBC News after nearly 20 years of working in local TV news at WBBM-TV in Chicago, WCBS-TV in New York City and sister station KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. During his tenure at WBBM-TV, he earned a 1990 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award for his work on "48 Hours: No Place Like Home."

As part of NBC’s “Across America” series in 2016 and 2018, Holt revisited his local roots, embarking on a nationwide tour of hometowns. He reported on issues like job creation, reducing crime and opioid addiction from Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Portland, Oregon, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Holt’s work has been recognized with numerous honors, including multiple Emmy Awards and Quinnipiac University’s Fred Friendly First Amendment Award. In 2016, he was featured on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list and was named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists. 

Holt studied government at California State University in Sacramento.

The Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement recognizes the outstanding career achievements of a journalist whose work has made a lasting impact serving citizens in our democracy. Previous recipients are “PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff and “CBS Evening News” anchor Bob Schieffer. 

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

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