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NABJ Special Honors Award Winners 2012

DeWayne Wickham
Lifetime Achievement Award

In addition to being a founding member of NABJ, the current USA Today columnist also founded the Association of Black Media Workers, the NABJ chapter in Baltimore. He assisted in the creation of professional chapters in both Greensboro, N.C., and Norfolk, Va.

Wickham also founded NABJ student chapters at Delaware State University and North Carolina A&T State University, the latter at which he currently serves as distinguished professor of journalism and interim chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Read more.

Pierre Thomas
2012 Journalist of the Year

"Pierre Thomas' entire career has been a testament to his abilities as an incisive reporter whose storytelling is noteworthy," said NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr. "We honor him now because during the past year his abilities have allowed him to be frontline, reporting on the stories that captivated us all."

Thomas and his team lead ABC's coverage of many of last year's tops stories. Read more.

Monica Pearson
2012 Legacy Award

"Monica is an icon and for nearly four decades has served the Atlanta market giving a voice to the issues and interests of the city. She epitomizes the true meaning of this award, a true trailblazer opening the doors for women and for people of color in local news. Monica is most befitting of our annual Legacy Award," said NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr.

Pearson, 64, is the longest-running anchor in the Atlanta market, working through seven presidencies and six Georgia governors as the state nearly doubled in size. Read more.

Janet Rollé
Pat Tobin Media Professional Award

"NABJ is proud to honor Janet Rollé. She represents the very essence of this award; the behind the scenes force helping to create on-air successes," NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr. said. "Rollé is one of our industry's brightest stars. We are delighted that we have the opportunity to recognize her contributions."

Rollé oversees the positioning and promotion of CNN's multiple networks and services, including CNN,, CNN International, HLN,, CNN Mobile and all other CNN services. Read more.

Gerrick Kennedy
Emerging Journalist of the Year

A "NABJ Baby," Kennedy is now an award-winning journalist and blogger. He began at the Los Angeles Times in 2009 as an intern and contributed to both the metro and online entertainment teams as part of the paper's Metpro training program. He is currently a music reporter for the paper where he covers pop, R&B/soul and hip-hop. He has interviewed some of music's biggest stars including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Brandy, Monica, Drake, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Usher, Rodney Jerkins, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. Kennedy also contributed greatly to the coverage of the recent death of Whitney Houston.

 "I'm honored and humbled to receive such a prestigious award. As someone who has benefited from both NABJ's Student Projects....Read more.

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