Veteran sportscaster Lesley Visser is the recipient of the 2018 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in The Media.
The Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in The Media is named for the late USA TODAY, Freedom Forum and Newseum founder Al Neuharth, and is sponsored by the Freedom Forum, Freedom Forum Institute and the University of South Dakota. Neuharth, a South Dakota native, graduated in 1950 from USD, which is now home to the Al Neuharth Media Center. Visser will be the 32nd person to receive the Award for Excellence, which honors lifetime achievement in the media industry. Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite was the first honoree.
The award will be presented at an evening dinner during the weeklong Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference, an annual symposium at the Newseum that brings together 51 of the nation’s top high school students with an interest in journalism. The conference, designed to inspire and encourage students to pursue journalism as a career, began in 1999 and is funded by the Freedom Forum and Freedom Forum Institute.