The Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, presented annually by the School of Communications, has been given to some of the most respectable names in journalism–Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert and Bob Schieffer, to name a few.
Quinnipiac University’s website reads: “The School of Communications presents the Fred Friendly Award each year to honor those who have shown courage and forthrightness in preserving the rights set forth in the First Amendment.”
Brokaw, Russert and Schieffer have each been absolutely qualified candidates in the past. But for 2010, The Chronicle can think of no person or organization more deserving of such an award than the Quad News, the student body’s independent news outlet.
The students of the Quad News passionately embody the description of the Fred Friendly Award on Quinnipiac’s website, displaying the rights of the First Amendment and the tenets of good journalism each and every day.
But these students have not been rewarded for their work. Much to the contrary, they have been denied recognition by the University. Most recently, Quinnipiac refused to offer the Quad News a vending table in the Student Center.
The students of the Quad News have shown unprecedented ambition in creating and maintaining an independent news outlet. To deny campus recognition to such courageous and forthright students of journalism is an insult to Fred Friendly, and each and every journalist who has received the award with his namesake.
“It is an honor, a sacred trust and a privilege to present this award each year and keep alive the legacy of Fred Friendly,” President John Lahey said in 2005.
By denying students who possess the very qualities Fred Friendly held most dear, Quinnipiac University is not keeping alive the legacy of Fred Friendly.
It is killing it.