Ann Curry
Ann Curry at Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Ann Curry accepted the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement, the L.A. Press Club’s highest honor, during the 56th annual SoCal Journalism Awards gala on June 29 at the Millennium Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles.

Curry is an NBC News national and international correspondent and “Today” anchor at large. She reports for all platforms of NBC News, including “Today,” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Dateline,” MSNBC, and all digital properties. She also serves as anchor for multiple NBC News primetimes specials and is a regular substitute anchor for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”

Curry, who was a reporter at KCBS in Los Angeles from 1984 to 1990, was introduced by a former co-worker there, KNBC news anchor Colleen Williams.

In her acceptance speech, Curry encouraged separation between journalism and advertising, according to The Hollywood Reporter: “Our credibility will only be as strong as the wall between journalists and advertisers. Our job is not to worry about increasing the bottom line of our corporate parents. It is not about selling soap. … It is about empowering people with the truth — even and especially when it is not pretty and not popular.”

The Public Service Award for Journalistic Contributions to Civic Life went to Maria Shriver of “The Shriver Report.” She was introduced by Lisa Ling of “Our America with Lisa Ling.”

The President’s Award for Impact on Media went to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who was unable to attend) and Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler. The presenter was philanthropist Eli Broad.

The Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity and Journalism went to Khaled Abu Toameh of The Jerusalem Post. The presenter was Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan while working for The Wall Street Journal.

Among those chosen from finalists in other categories were:

Journalist of the Year, Print (Under 50,000 Circulation): Alfred Lee, Los Angeles Business Journal

Photojournalist: Ringo H.W. Chiu, Los Angeles Business Journal

Headline, Second Place: Kevin Leung, Los Angeles Times, “He’s a Wokking Encyclopedia”

News Feature (Over 1,000 Words), Second Place: Kari Hamanaka, Orange County Business Journal, “Taco Tech”

Personality Profile, Third Place: Alfred Lee, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Russell Goldsmith: Taking Image Into Account”

Commentary, Third Place: Calvin Naito, Freelance, “Clean Break on Water”

Design, Second Place: Brian Allison, Yumi Kanegawa and Alexis Rawlins, Los Angeles Downtown News, Issue of June 17

Feature, Third Place: Angela Shelley, Cathy Hue, Laura Ling, Benjamin Gottlieb and Jack Moody, KCET-TV, “Dangerous High”

Feature Documentary, Third Place: Juan Devis Bruce Dickson, Matthew Crotty and Alex Chu, KCET-TV, “AgH20: Silver and Water”

Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column: Justin Chang, Variety, “American Hustle: It’s Worth Falling for This ‘Hustle’”

Non-Political Column/Commentary: Justin Chang, Variety, “Why ‘Prisoners’ Is Too Easy on the Subject of Torture”

Entertainment Commentary/Reviews, Third Place: Justin Chang, Variety Magazine, “‘12 Years a Slave’: A Journey Through Brutality Toward Grace”

Website News Organization: Janice Min, The Hollywood Reporter

Website News Organization, Third Place: Justin Devis, Justin Cram, Yosuke Kitagawa, Alvaro Parra and Rubi Fregoso, KCET, “Departures”

Best Photography: Brandon Choe, UCLA Daily Bruin, “MelPasquale”

Best Newswriting-Print, Second Place: Annie Yu, The Clause (Azusa Pacific University), “Theology Professor to Leave University Over Transgender Identity”

Best Reporting-Broadcast, Podcast: Joy Wang, USC’s Annenberg TV News, “Protestors Demand Higher Wages for Fast Food Workers”

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