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New England First Amendment Coalition to honor Margaret Sullivan

Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan.

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Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan.

The New England First Amendment Coalition plans to honor Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan for her efforts to defend the First Amendment and the public’s right to know.

The coalition, known as NEFAC for short, will present Sullivan with its annual Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award on Feb. 24. The award is named for the late publisher of The Providence Journal, and previous honorees include US Senator Patrick Leahy; New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis; former Globe editor Martin Baron (who’s now at the Washington Post); GlobalPost cofounder Philip Balboni; New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, andformer federal judge Nancy Gertner.

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NEFAC said it chose to recognize Sullivan for her previous work at The New York Times, where she served as the public editor, and for what she’s accomplished in her current position at the Post, where she’s “applied consistent scrutiny to issues surrounding access to information, media intimidation, and the media’s role as truth tellers during the most bizarre presidential election in modern history.”

Sullivan began her journalism career as a summer intern at her hometown newspaper, The Buffalo News, and worked her way up to government reporter, metro columnist and city-desk editor before taking the helm as chief editor.

“Margaret Sullivan has been a forceful advocate for stronger access to public information not just in words, but in deeds and in an array of journalism roles,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director, in a press release. “At a time of historic distrust in the media’s role in a free society, she has consistently fought for the profession to hold itself to high standards and to hew to crystal clear ethics for the benefit of media consumers.”

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