2021 William S. Dixon Awards Event October 7, 2021.
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He’s been called a hero, a legendary journalist, and the ultimate old-school editor. When he retired this year from a 40-plus-year career, a billionaire, Hollywood moguls and news media elite attended his retirement sendoff. Now, retired Washington Post Editor Martin Baron will be the keynote speaker for the Foundation for Open Government’s (FOG) 2021 William S. Dixon Awards virtual event Oct. 7, 2021, beginning at 12 noon.
Baron, 66, has led several newsrooms to 17 Pulitzer Prizes, including 10 awarded to The Post: four for national reporting; two for explanatory reporting; and one each for investigative reporting, criticism, feature photography and public service.
Baron was the Boston Globe’s editor in 2003 when the newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, recognition awarded to the newspaper for its inquiry into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the local Catholic Archdiocese, one of New England’s most powerful institutions. Many of those same Catholic priests were sent to be rehabilitated in New Mexico, only to be reassigned to another parish. The story of the investigation was told in the gripping Academy Award–winning movie Spotlight (2015), and Liev Schreiber played Baron on the big screen.
The 2021 William S. Dixon, First Amendment Freedom Award will be a virtual event on Oct. 7, 2021, beginning at 12 noon. Attendance is by donation with a suggested donation of $60 per person. All proceeds benefit the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, a 501(c)(3) New Mexican nonprofit corporation. For more information, call 505-764-3750.
A Florida native, Baron began his journalism career at the Miami Herald in 1976. Three years later he moved to the Los Angeles Times, working his way up from business reporter to business editor and then to editor of the newspaper’s Orange County edition. He landed at the New York Times in 1996, soon becoming the associate managing editor responsible for nighttime news operations. Baron was named executive editor of the Miami Herald in 2000. Under his leadership as its top editor, the Herald won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for breaking news coverage for its reporting on the raid to recover Elián González, a Cuban boy at the center of a fierce immigration and custody dispute. He became the Globe’s editor in 2001 and was the newspaper’s top editor until he joined the Washington Post in 2013.
Baron was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1976 with both a BA in journalism and an MBA, having completed a five-year program in four years. His career in journalism has been recognized with numerous honors and awards, and he is the recipient of several honorary degrees.
The annual Dixon event honors those New Mexicans who believe in government transparency at the state or local level – and who have made significant contributions to casting sunshine (transparency) on government operations in the state. The 2021 recipients include: Ed Williams a reporter with Searchlight, Rep. Matthew McQueen, Rep. Kelly Fajardo and Doug Michel, a private citizen.