Past Distinguished Speaker Wins Prestigious Journalism Prize


Mary E. Walsh spoke to the World Affairs Council of San Antonio on May 17, 2016.  She is a respected journalist and now the 2016 Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize winner. We are proud to have hosted her as a distinguished speaker last year!

David Martin and Mary Walsh “CBS News”
Wins the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for
Distinguished Reporting on National Defense in 2016

David Martin, a national security correspondent, and Mary E. Walsh, a national security producer  with the CBS News, has won the 30th Annual Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense.  The $5,000 award recognizes journalists whose high standards for accuracy and substance help foster a better public understanding of National Defense. 
The 30th Annual Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prizes for Distinguished reporting in 2016 will be presented by Red Cavaney, Chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, at the Foundation’s Annual Dinner on Monday, June 5, 2017, at The Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C.

When announcing their decision to award David Martin and Mary E. Walsh the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense in 2016, the judges issued the following statement:
“In their stories on how American servicemen cope with the consequences of battle – whether the wounds are visible or not — David Martin and Mary Walsh put a human face on both pain and determination.  No one could fail to be moved by the resilience of Marine veteran, John Peck, who lost all four limbs to an IED in Afghanistan and was undergoing an arm transplant or by Medal of Honor recipient Clint Romesha who made the bitter choices of fighting in a remote Afghani battleground real, even for those who have never seen battle.

The judges believe that the CBS submission, The New Cold War, admirably served the fundamental objective of the Ford Prize: to foster a better understanding of the critical issues and complexities of national defense.  For those who may have thought the Cold War was over – or had given way to emerging threats like cyberwarfare or terrorism – the CBS coverage dispelled any illusions.  The team explained compellingly why the nuclear missions remain critical – tying it to changes in Russia’s aggressiveness on land (sending undercover Russian soldiers to invade Crimea), an increase in the size and frequency of Russia’s nuclear strategy and in changes in Russian military doctrine that approve the first use of smaller tactical weapons. At the same time, they pointed to the resumption of American B-52 flights over the North Pole – the first such flights in decades.  The team was also resourceful – gaining access for their cameras to sophisticated technologies and installations as well as to the senior leaders and strategists and showing what an enormous burden of responsibility they carry.”