PRESS RELEASE: New Media Award in Jewish Diversity

NPR Commentator and Duluth News Tribune Editorial Page Editor Robin Washington is First Recipient


Contact: Diane Tobin
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San Francisco, May 28, 2008—Robin Washington, the editorial page editor of Minnesota’s Duluth News Tribune and a television producer and National Public Radio commentator, is the first recipient of the Be’chol Lashon Media Award established to honor excellence in coverage of the ethnic and racial diversity of world Jewry. The purpose is to give recognition to journalists and others covering the wide diversity of Jewish ethnicity. 

The award was presented in San Francisco at the annual Be’chol Lashon International Think Tank, the largest conference of Black, Latino, and mixed-raced Jewish leaders in the world. It will be given annually. 

Mr. Washington was cited in the award for “his journalistic excellence and passion in bringing the stories of Jews of color to mainstream American print and broadcast media over his thirty-year career.” 

“Robin Washington embodies what this award is all about,” Diane Tobin, Be’chol Lashon’s Director, said at the Be’chol Lashon conference in San Francisco on May 4 where she presented the honor to Washington, who is African American and Jewish. “It is vital for the community to know about how diverse Jews really are here in American and around the world.” 

Excerpts of Washington’s work, including television profiles of scholar Julius Lester, owner of a kosher-Korean carry-out restaurant, and a NPR piece about Black-and-Jewish Passover celebrations, were presented at the event. 

This week, Washington was named coordinator for future awards, which will include print, broadcast, film and other media categories. “There are many fascinating stories to tell about little-known Jewish communities,” Washington said. “This work is crucial in breaking down stereotypes and deserves recognition.” 

A commentator/guest on NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC News, CNN and the BBC, Washington was a Fellow in Science Broadcast Journalism at Boston’s WGBH-TV and a producer at that city’s ABC and NBC affiliates, as well as nationally for BET and PBS. His columns have appeared in many newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Sun-Times and the San Jose Mercury News, as well as the Boston Herald, where he was a staff columnist. His numerous journalism awards include the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel for “You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow!,” a national PBS documentary of the first interracial Freedom Ride in 1947.