The Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications seeks to honor New Hampshire residents or organizations who have worked to protect free speech and free press.

Nominations are open for the school's 17th annual First Amendment Award, honoring diligence in protecting free press and free speech liberties. The recipient will be recognized at an evening gala at the Palace Theatre in Manchester this fall.

A committee of judges chooses the recipient from public nominations. First Amendment recipients receive a bronze eagle sculpture created by Mrs. Loeb and a $1,500 award.

Nomination forms are available at loebschool.org or by calling (603) 627-0005. The deadline for nominations is Monday, September 16. 

The award and the school are legacies of the late Nackey S. Loeb, president and publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News.

Past recipients include:

  • former state Attorney General Philip McLaughlin,
  • former Keene Sentinel Executive Editor Thomas Kearney,
  • former Executive Editor John Howe of The Laconia Citizen,
  • former legislator Daniel Hughes,
  • former Dover City Councilor David Scott,
  • Londonderry High School Journalism Adviser Mary DeWinkeleer,
  • First Amendment attorney William Chapman,
  • former ConVal School Board member Gail Pierson Cromwell,
  • The Portsmouth Herald,
  • David Lang and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire,
  • The Telegraph of Nashua,
  • slain journalist James Foley,
  • former Portsmouth police officer John Connors,
  • open government activist David Pearl,
  • Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green,
  • Right to Know-NH, and
  • columnist and speaker Robert Azzi.

First Amendment judges are:

  • Rod Doherty, former executive editor of Foster's Daily Democrat;
  • Retired N.H. Supreme Court Justice Richard Galway;
  • Attorney Gregory Sullivan of Malloy & Sullivan, LPC.; and
  • previous First Amendment recipients John Howe and Mary DeWinkeleer.

The nonprofit Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, Inc. was founded in 1999 to foster interest, integrity, and excellence in journalism and other forms of communication. It offers free classes and low-cost workshops in communications and media-related topics, taught by professionals from New Hampshire media outlets and businesses.

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