NBC's Lester Holt to receive 36th-annual Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism

Lester Holt, the host of NBC Nightly News, will be honored in Phoenix on Nov. 4, Walter Cronkite's birthday

ASU announced today that Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News will be awarded the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism this year. 

Holt will be honored with the 36th-annual award at a ceremony taking place in Phoenix on Nov. 4, Walter Cronkite's birthday. Cronkite would have been 103 this year.

Holt is well-known for his 12 years as a co-anchor of "Weekend TODAY" and hosting "Dateline" since 2011. He also leads NBC's special coverage and recently moderated the first 2020 Democratic presidential debate.

Christopher Callahan, the Dean and Vice Provost of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said Holt reminds him of the man for which the school and award are named.

“Walter Cronkite was a wonderful storyteller but very fact-based, very measured, very objective and exuded a trustworthiness," Callahan said. "And I think Lester Holt has very much of those same kind of qualities."

He also complimented Holt's versatility as a reporter.

"I love the fact that he can go out and do an interview with the head of state — which is very probing and just incredibly high level — but then turn around and do really empathetic interviews with people who just lost their home or people who are getting hit with some sort of terrible disaster in their lives,” he said. 

Each year's award recipient is chosen by the Nominations Committee, a group of members on the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees, who's primary responsibility is to decide who they think they best candidate would be.

Callahan said the decision process is robust and that they look for someone who is not only a great journalist, but also an outstanding role model for journalism students.

Besides the award ceremony on Nov. 4, other possible events with Holt in Phoenix will be determined and announced at a later date.

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Reach the reporter at bstoshne@asu.edu and follow @itsbrennaaaa on Twitter. 

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