NABJ Congratulates Les Payne on Induction Into the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Posted by: Aprill Turner
WASHINGTON (May 3, 2016)- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) congratulates NABJ founder and former president Les Payne on his induction into the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction will take place at the Press Club of Long Island’s (PCLI) annual awards dinner on June 2.
“Founder Payne has been an inspiration to many, has steered the careers of journalists across the country and has had a direct impact on numerous NABJ members throughout his remarkable career. He’s most deserving of this honor and it’s wonderful to see one of our distinguished founders receive this praise,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover.
According to Chris Vaccaro PCLI President, Payne was selected for his “years of influential writing” and dedication to the news business and affiliation to Long Island media.
Payne is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who spent most of his career as an editor and columnist at Newsday.
Payne joined Newsday in the late 1960s, and became the associate managing editor for the paper’s national, science, and international news sections. In 1968, as an investigative reporter, Payne covered the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and in the 1970s, he covered the Black Panther Party. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for the 33-part Newsday series “The Heroin Trail”, which traced the international flow of heroin from the poppy fields of Turkey to the veins of drug addicts in New York City. The series later became a book. Payne also covered the Symbionese Liberation Army and co-authored “The Life and Death of the Symbionese Liberation Army” with Tim Findley and Carolyn Craven. As a Newsday correspondent, Payne reported extensively from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the United Nations.
As a founder and former president of NABJ, Payne has worked to improve media fairness and employment practices. He is also the Inaugural Professor for the David Laventhol Chair at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Payne has received a number of awards including the United Nations’ World Hunger Media Award and three Unity Awards for investigative reporting. In 1990, he won cable television’s highest honor, the Ace Award, for an interview with Mayor David Dinkins broadcast on “Les Payne’s New York Journal”. In addition, he is a recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees from Medgar Evers College and Long Island University.
NABJ congratulates Payne on this distinguished honor.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.
*Portions of the HistoryMakers series was used to compile this report.