Boston honored with national journalism award

by Emily Tanaka / Beacon Correspondent • September 30, 2015

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President M. Lee Pelton at Boston City Hall.
President M. Lee Pelton at Boston City Hall.

Boston became the first city to receive the Historic Sites in Journalism award last week after being nominated by an Emerson professor.

The distinction, presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, is given to those who have played a major role in news’ history in America. It was first presented in 1942 and has been given to Benjamin Franklin, the Associated Press offices in New York and Washington, and World War II reporter Ernie Pyle.

Boston is the first city to receive this honor due to its historical significance in American journalism. The first American newspaper, Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, was created in Boston in 1690, and had only printed one copy before the British shut it down.

The city was nominated by Emmanuel Paraschos of the journalism department.

Paraschos wrote the Boston chapter in the 2008 Sage’s Encyclopedia of Journalism and a booklet in 2009 called “Boston Journalist Trail.”

“It’s a great honor to teach journalism history in this town, and a few blocks from my office this all happened,” Paraschos said in an interview after the ceremony.

On Sept. 25, Mayor Marty Walsh accepted the award presented by Danielle McLean, president of the New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at Boston City Hall. President M. Lee Pelton, Journalism Department Interim Chair Paul Niwa, and about 10 Emerson students and faculty members were at the event.

“It’s a wonderful recognition for the city of Boston which has a very rich history of journalism and very significant recognition for Emerson Journalism faculty and students,” Pelton said in an interview after the event. “It’s very fitting that excellence is represented by this city, by Emerson, and by this award, which has a very significant place in journalism and democratic society.”