Started in 1954 by the UA journalism program, the John Peter and Catherine Anne Zenger Award honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to press freedom and the people’s right to know around the world.
The University of Arizona School of Journalism is one of only about 100 fully accredited journalism programs in the nation. Its classes range from traditional reporting skills to internet research and computerized graphic design. Its two newspapers, the local edition of The Tombstone Epitaph and El Independiente, the nation’s only student-run bilingual newspaper, are unique in American journalism education.
When it was established, the honor always was bestowed posthumously. In 1995, the directors of the Arizona Newspapers Association adopted rules to honor the men and women journalists of Arizona who have been at least 25 years in journalism with at least 10 years in Arizona. The Hall of Fame Committee may make recommendations for exceptions as it did in 1996.
To be honored, nominees must have made a significant contribution to journalism, their communities, and Arizona. Nominees are not restricted to any one avenue of newspaper management and may be an owner, publisher, editor, or manager of a department.
Since its inception, one or more worthy newspaper men and women were nominated each year by the ANA Hall of Fame committee and approved by the Board of Directors. (The Hall of Fame came under the purview of the Arizona Newspapers Foundation after it was formed in 1997.)
There were no awards from 1982 to 1995.
The Journalism Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson chaired the program for many years.
Who are the Zengers?
The Zenger Award is named for a husband and wife team of pioneering journalists.
John Peter Zenger was editor of the New York Weekly Journal in 1734 when he was jailed by British colonial authorities on charges of seditious libel. He had criticized the corrupt administration of New York’s governor, William Cosby. While Zenger was imprisoned, his wife, Anna Catherine Zenger, continued to publish the newspaper.
Zenger’s subsequent trial and acquittal is considered a landmark case in the history of freedom of the press, paving the way for the American Revolution.
1959 — Herbert Brucker, Hartford Courant
1958 — John Moss, U.S. House Govermental Information Subcommittee
1957 — James R. Wiggins, The Washington (D.C.) Post and Times Herald
1956 — James S. Pope, Louisville Courier Journal
1955 — Basil L. Walters, Chicago Daily News & Knight Newspapers
1954 — E. Palmer Hoyt, The Denver Post
1969 — J. Edward Murray, The Arizona Republic
1968 — Wes Gallagher, The Associated Press
1967 — John S. Knight, Knight Newspapers, Inc.
1966 — Arthur Krock, The New York Times
1965 — Eugene C. Pulliam, The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette
1964 — John Netherland Heiskell, Arkansas Gazette
1963 — James B. Reston, The New York Times
1962 — John H. Colburn, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch
1961 — Clark R. Mollenhoff, Cowles Publications
1960 — Virgil M. Newton Jr., Tampa (Fla.) Tribune
1979 — Jack C. Landau, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
1978 — Robert H. Estabrook, Lakeville (Conn.) Journal
1977 — Robert W. Greene, Newsday
1976 — Donald F. Bolles, The Arizona Republic
1975 — Seymour M. Hersh, The New York Times
1974 — Thomas E. Gish, The Mountain Eagle
1973 — Katharine Graham, The Washington Post
1972 — Dan Hicks Jr., Monroe County Democrat
1971 — The New York Times
1970 — Erwin D. Canham, The Christian Science Monitor
1989 — Robert C. Maynard, The Oakland Tribune
1988 — Jean H. Otto, The Rocky Mountain News
1987 — Eugene L. Roberts Jr., The Philadelphia Inquirer
1986 — John R. Finnegan, St. Paul (Minn.)Pioneer Press & Dispatch
1985 — Thomas Winship, The Boston Globe
1984 — Tom Wicker, The New York Times
1982 — Fred W. Friendly, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
1981 — Paul S. Cousley, Alton (Ill.) Telegraph
1980 — Walter Cronkite, CBS
1998 — U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont
1997 — Mark Goodman, Student Press Law Center
1996 — Nat Hentoff, Washington Post
1995 — Ben Bagdikian, media scholar
1994 — Investigative Reporters & Editors
1993 — Jane E. Kirtley, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
1992 — Helen Thomas, United Press International
1991 — Peter Arnett, Cable News Network
1990 — Terry A. Anderson, The Associated Press
2009 — Tom Arviso Jr., Navajo Times
2007 — Jerry Mitchell, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger
2005 — Bill Moyers, Broadcast Journalist
2003 — Vanessa Leggett, Lecturer and free lance writer
2001 — Lou Boccardi and The Associated Press
2000 — Paul K. McMasters, The Freedom Forum
2021 — Committee to Protect Journalists, for its role in defending the rights and safety of journalists around the world.
2020 — Dean Baquet, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and first Black executive editor to lead both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times
2019 — Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Anchor for CNN and host of CNN International’s nightly interview program Amanpour. She is also the host of Amanpour & Company on PBS
2018 — Carmen Aristegui Flores, Mexican journalist and anchorwoman
2017 — Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times
2016 — Dana Priest, Washington Post investigative reporter, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
2015 — Kathy Gannon, AP foreign correspondent, and Anja Niegringhaus, AP foreign photographer
2014 — Paul Steiger, the founding editor-in-chief and CEO of ProPublica
2013 — Jonathan Randal, journalist, foreign correspondent and author
2012 — Rocío Gallegos Rodríguez and Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, investigative reporters, El Diario de Juárez, Mexico