WASHINGTON, D.C. –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced at its spring Board of Directors meeting that Michael Wilbon will be honored with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Wilbon will join other honorees at the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala on August 8, in Tampa.
“Michael is the epitome of the cross-over journalist, and he has achieved that distinction at the highest levels,” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. “One of far too few black columnists in the United States, Michael connects with sports fans and players like none other while capturing the enduring, challenging and inspiring moments of the game.”
A sports writer for the Washington Post since 1980, and a columnist since 1990 with a column that appears as much as four times per week, Wilbon is one of fewer than 20 black sports columnists at major daily newspapers in America.
In 2001, Wilbon became an original co-host for ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, a fast paced sports talk show with in-depth debate on various topics between Wilbon and co-host Tony Kornheiser. Now one of ESPN’s most watched shows, Wilbon has excelled in covering nearly every major sporting event in the past three decades for the Post and ESPN. He has also co-written two books with NBA legend Charles Barkley: “I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It,” and “Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man?”
“Michael is a thought-provoking columnist who still holds onto his foundation of being a print journalist despite being showcased on a variety of electronic platforms,” said NABJ Treasurer Gregory Lee, Jr. “Wilbon not only set the standard with his wide-ranging commentary, but his professionalism and mentorship ranks just as high as the columns that are printed in the/ Washington Post/. Michael is not just a role model for sports journalists, but for the entire profession.”
Wilbon has taken part in the NABJ Sports Task Force mentoring program where he helped guide up-and-coming black sports journalists. Wilbon was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists as its top sports columnist in 2001 and he has been among the top three national sports columnists selected by the Associated Press Sports Editors three times.
CNN’s T.J. Holmes will host the 2009 NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards Gala on August 8, 2009 as part of the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair in Tampa, Fla.
The NABJ Convention is the largest gathering of minority journalists in the country.
Salute to Excellence recognizes journalism that best covered the black experience or addressed issues affecting the worldwide black community during 2008. For more information, go to www.nabj.org.