PULLMAN, Wash. – The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication is pleased to announce Lester Holt as the keynote speaker and recipient of the 2020 Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism at the 45th Murrow Symposium.

Holt, news anchor for the weekday edition of NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC, will receive the Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism and will give the keynote speech at the 45th Murrow Symposium at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, in the Compton Union Building Senior Ballroom at Washington State University’s Pullman campus.

Known best for anchoring NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, he also anchors Dateline NBC, now in its 28th season. He leads NBC News’ special reports, breaking news and primetime political coverage. One of Holt’s trademarks is his on-the-ground reporting and his deep commitment to providing viewers with first-person accounts when disaster and tragedy strikes. From the Southern California wildfires to Hurricane Katrina, he has covered more than a dozen natural disasters.

An award-winning broadcast journalist, Holt was selected to moderate the first presidential debate of 2016, which was the most-watched debate in American history. He has conducted revealing, news-making interviews with then candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. NBC News was the most-watched news organization of Election 2016, with Holt anchoring all of the network’s primetime coverage through the Republican and Democratic conventions, debates and Election Night. Holt was also a co-moderator for the first Democratic debate this past summer, kicking off the 2020 election cycle.

Holt in 2010 photographed by the United States Air Force while reporting on an airdrop mission in Afghanistan. Photo by
NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.

“Lester Holt is cut from the same cloth as Edward R. Murrow,” said Dean Bruce Pinkleton. “As one of our nation’s premier journalists, his stories have reverberated across our nation and world. He’s a courageous seeker of the truth, and we’re excited to honor him with this award.”

Following Mr. Holt’s Sunday night keynote speech, additional Murrow Symposium events, including a career fair, workshops and panel discussions, will take place on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24, in the Compton Union Building.

We thank the generosity of our sponsors BECU, Alaska Airlines, Copacino + Fujikado, Northwest Public Broadcasting, KIRO, KHQ Spokane and KPTV Fox 12 for helping to keep the Murrow Symposium free and open to the public. As part of the Symposium, communication experts will discuss their careers and mentor students preparing for careers in journalism, advertising and public relations, science communication, communication technology, media production and related fields.

The Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony, address and other Symposium events are free and open to the public, but those planning to attend must register. Registration opens Monday, Feb. 3.

Media contact:

  • Corrie Wilder, Murrow College of Communication, 425-405-1776, corrie.wilder@wsu.edu