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2022 John S. Carroll Journalist of the Year

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2022 John S. Carroll Journalist of the Year
Pierre Thomas, Chief Justice Correspondent, ABC News

Over his long and distinguished career, Pierre Thomas has covered some of the biggest stories of our time. While doing so as the chief Justice correspondent for ABC News, he also has taken the initiative to go beyond the story and help the public understand the vital role that journalism plays in our democracy.

“Journalists are not always portrayed as patriotic, but we are,” Thomas said. “And we want the country to thrive, and one of the ways it can do well is to have a public that knows how to consume news.”

Thomas has been volunteering with the News Literacy Project in various capacities since 2009 and has played a meaningful role in the organization’s growth. In recognition of his commitment to both quality journalism and to news literacy education, Thomas has been named the News Literacy Project’s 2022 John S. Carroll Journalist of the Year.

“In addition to being a superb, award-winning journalist, Thomas embodies the journalistic and personal values that John S. Carroll epitomized,” NLP founder and CEO Alan C. Miller said in nominating Thomas for the award.

Thomas was one of NLP’s first volunteer journalist fellows; he participated in the in-person classroom program and initial digital unit, which evolved to become the Checkology® virtual classroom, and took part in five NLP-related events between February 2009 and January 2022. Thomas served on two prior advisory groups and is now a member of the National Leadership Council.

“Given what’s at stake in this moment that we find ourselves, we have to get as many people to know how to discern the news and how to consume it as possible,” he said. “And if anyone did not understand why an organization like News Literacy Project is important, all you need to do is look at January 6th. A bunch of people, angry, showed up, committed acts of violence based on misinformation. And that’s not a political view, that’s a journalistic, fact-driven view.”

Thomas will be honored as a News Literacy Change-Maker in a virtual celebration event June 9 along with NLP’s Alan C. Miller Educator of the Year and the Gwen Ifill Student of the Year. To join the event, register here.

As the ABC News chief Justice correspondent, Thomas covers major stories across all ABC News platforms. Since joining the network in 2000, he has covered some of the most important news stories of the day, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to mass shootings to racial injustice. He has received many of journalism’s highest  honors, including the prestigious Peabody and Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University awards and numerous Emmys and Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2012 he was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Thomas is also the past chairman of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press.

In 2020, he reported on the murder of George Floyd and the racial injustice and police brutality protests that followed.

About John S. Carroll

Named for one of the most revered newspaper editors of his generation, the John S. Carroll Journalist of the Year Award is given annually to journalists who have contributed significantly to NLP and its mission. The honorees, who receive $500 and a glass plaque with an etched photo of Carroll, are selected by a committee of NLP board members and staff. During an acclaimed journalism career spanning four decades, Carroll was the editor of three major U.S. newspapers — the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader, The Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times. He was a founding member of NLP’s board and served as its chair for four years until shortly before his death in 2015.

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