Honoring Reporting That Changes How We Understand the World
The Morley Safer Award honored one of the most respected and celebrated journalists in the history of television. During more than forty years at CBS News’s 60 Minutes, Safer’s work included tough investigative pieces and profiles of heroes and villains. His elegant and witty essays introduced us to people and places that were often obscure and always memorable. Safer challenged conventional interpretations and found many of his most compelling stories where no one else was looking. Before joining the 60 Minutes team in 1970, Safer’s groundbreaking coverage of the Vietnam War had brought the hard realities of that conflict into America’s living rooms.
As claims such as “fake news” demonstrate that we are living in a time that increasingly rejects the power of evidence—a concern shared by journalists and historians alike, the Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin, together with the Safer family, decided to celebrate and support the integrity, tenacity, and courage of reporters like Morley Safer by presenting the Morley Safer Award for Outstanding Reporting.
Designed to honor reporting that displayed integrity, tenacity, and audacity—characteristics critical to the health of journalism, history, and even our democracy—stories from any medium: print, broadcast, radio, or digital were considered for the Morley Safer Award. The jury looked for work that honored Safer’s journalistic priorities: challenging conventional thinking, illuminating overlooked stories, embracing history, and exhibiting a dedication to precise and elegant language.
The Morley Safer Award for Outstanding Reporting included a cash prize of $5,000. It was presented at a lunch in New York City in October of 2019.
The Morley Safer Award was supported by philanthropic contributions from
the Safer Family, the Marion Goldin Charitable Gift Fund, and an anonymous donor.