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Willow Bay to receive lifetime achievement award

Los Angeles Press Club will honor School of Journalism director with accolade that’s been given to Cronkite, Koppel and Brokaw

Willow Bay pose
Willow Bay in front of Wallis Annenberg Hall (Photo/Brett Van Ort)

Willow Bay, director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, has been chosen by the Los Angeles Press Club to receive its highest honor, the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The award will be presented by philanthropist and USC Trustee Wallis Annenberg at the club’s 57th Southern California Journalism Awards gala in downtown Los Angeles on June 28.

“The LA Press Club is such a vital part of this city’s journalism,” Bay said. “I am deeply honored to receive the Quinn Award.”

This just in …

Now entering her second year as School of Journalism director, Bay was the first woman to co-anchor CNN’s financial news program Moneyline News Hour and has anchored numerous shows on CNN, NBC, MSNBC and ABC. She also helped guide the early expansion of The Huffington Post, where she still serves as senior strategic adviser, and works as a special correspondent for Bloomberg TV.

Bay joined the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in July 2014, the beginning of a milestone academic year for the school. She launched the operation of the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center in Wallis Annenberg Hall, welcomed the first cohort of the school’s new nine-month Journalism Master of Science, forged partnerships with key media industry partners and created new curriculum and new fellowships for master’s students.

She was drawn to USC Annenberg, she said, in part because she has always found enormous satisfaction in supporting young people as they embark on their careers. And now more than ever, she believes journalists need a new kind of guidance.

I want to see our graduates go out and change the world with their reporting.

Willow Bay

“I saw a real opportunity to equip students — not just with the skill sets they need, which these days is sizable — but also with the mindset that’s entrepreneurial and risk-taking. I want to see our graduates go out and change the world with their reporting, which is critical, but also change the world of journalism.”

Working hard

Still relatively new in her role at USC Annenberg, Bay has developed fellowships for master’s students in journalism and launched “What’s Working,” an editorial initiative that publishes and features students’ bylined work on The Huffington Post.

In May, she and Sarah Banet-Weiser, the new director of the School of Communication,  led a Maymester trip with 16 undergraduates on a curriculum-based, working trip to New York City, where they met with media professionals.

The Quinn Award was established in 1979 in the name of the late Joseph M. Quinn, a former Press Club president and war correspondent who built City News Service and founded the club’s awards program in 1957. The award has been presented to local and national journalists, including Walter Cronkite, Otis Chandler, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Ann Curry, Judy Woodruff, Warren Olney and Patt Morrison.

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Willow Bay to receive lifetime achievement award

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