The Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor TCU alumna and Raycom Media Vice President Susana Schuler with the First Amendment Service Award in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
According to a press release by RTDNF, the service award honors a media professional who has distinguished himself or herself through off-air management capacities.
Schuler, a Cum Laude graduate from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism and a minor in business, said the award was a tremendous honor. She even joked she received the award only because the award selection committee ran out of names.
“It’s really a humbling experience for me,” she said. “But it is the crust of what we do and, you know, what we set out to do when you say you’re going to be a journalist.”
Schuler said the award signifies not only her efforts in journalism, but also her company’s ability to help her utilize her First Amendment right to access information and report the truth.
“[The award] really is a testament to why we get into this business as journalists,” she said. “And hopefully…it’s a good reflection of Raycom 8212; a company that challenges me and our stations every day to go out there and uncover the stories that are important to a community.”
Schuler also said the award reflected heavily on her TCU education and training.
“[TCU] is where I got my interest in journalism,” Schuler said. “I was not born into this industry.”
Schuler credited former TCU journalism professor Anantha Babbili with sparking her interest in journalism.
“[TCU] gave me an exposure to something that I frankly didn’t know how much I would fall in love with,” she said. “And then they motivated me throughout my time there to pursue the craft and to get very aggressive, hands-on experience.”
The award is one of three First Amendment awards given to leaders in the journalism field committed to the First Amendment.
At the awards banquet, Schuler will receive the award from CEO of Raycom Media Paul McTear.
According to the release, David Barrett and Wolf Blitzer will receive the other two awards, the First Amendment Leadership Award and the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award, respectively. Barrett is the president and CEO of Hearst Television Incorporation and Blitzer is CNN’s lead anchor, according to the release.
Stacey Woelfel, the chairman of RTDNF, said in an RTDNF press release he was excited to honor the First Amendment Award recipients at the 21st Annual First Amendment Awards Dinner on Thursday.
“[The honorees] all represent the very best in local and national broadcasting,” Woelfel said in the press release. “Each has fought for the principles the First Amendment embodies and has had a personal role in keeping our country informed.”