The Ridenhour Courage Prize

2008

Bill Moyers

The 2008 Ridenhour Courage Prize is awarded to Bill Moyers in recognition of his fierce embrace of the public interest and his advocacy of media pluralism. Throughout his distinguished broadcast career, Moyers has contributed an unyielding moral voice to our national discourse. In the face of political and institutional opposition, he has fought tenaciously on behalf of open debate and liberal values, and against the corporate takeover of culture and information that actively threatens to weaken our democracy.

In recent years, Moyers has championed the expansion of critical, independent print and web-based journalism, articulating and helping to implement the vision of an information alternative to the mainstream media. Bill Moyers’ exemplary career in journalism has embodied the theme—so central to the Ridenhour Prize process—of resistance to an unacceptable status quo.

During his long career in journalism, Bill Moyers has been recognized as one of the unique voices of his generation. Beginning as a cub reporter for the Marshall News Messenger at the age of 16, he went on to serve as a founding organizer of the Peace Corps, a Special Assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson, publisher of Newsday, senior correspondent for the distinguished documentary series CBS Reports and senior news analyst for the CBS Evening News. Together with his wife and creative partner Judith Davidson Moyers, he formed Public Affairs Television, which produced such groundbreaking series as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, Healing and the Mind, The Language of Life, The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith, Genesis, On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying, Close to Home: Addiction and Recovery, America’s First River, Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, NOW with Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason, and Moyers on America. Among their acclaimed documentaries are Earth on Edge, Trade Secrets, Trading Democracy, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, All Our Children, Free Speech for Sale, and Surviving the Good Times. Their latest weekly public affairs series, Bill Moyers Journal, premiered in April 2007.

Bill Moyers has received more than 30 Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and two prestigious Gold Batons, the highest honor from the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, nine Peabody awards, and three George Polk Awards, including the Career Achievement Award. In the first year it was awarded, he received the prestigious Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute. He has also recently received the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

His books include such bestsellers as: Listening to America, The Power of Myth, Healing and the Mind, The Language of Life, and Moyers on America: A Journalist and His Times. His next book, Moyers on Democracy, will be published in 2008.

2008 Courage Prize Speeches

Bill Moyers' speech