Individual 1961

Personal Award: Fred Friendly

CBS Television

Fred Friendly is one of the young veterans of the young profession of television journalism. A man of extraordinarily strong character, his far-ranging two-ton pencil, as he calls it, has examined and illuminated for television the great and raw-nerved issues of our times, from war or peace to birth control to segregation to civil liberties to migratory labor to medical care. A courageous perfectionist, the only thing he fears is falling even one degree short of the perfection upon which he insists for himself and his work. More than any single individual, he has brought a dynamic meaning to the phrase “electronic journalism.” For most men, it is enough that the broadcasts which conceive and bring to fruition be landmarks, as Fred Friendly’s have been. But television owes a debt to Fred Friendly not only for his broadcasts, but for the broadcasts by other television journalists on other networks and stations which have been stimulated by Mr. Friendly’s own pioneering. As a result, not only CBS News, but the news organizations of other broadcasters—and the public—have been vastly enriched by the remarkable journalism of Fred Friendly. In recognition, a Peabody Special Award.