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The Freedom Forum was created in 1991 under the direction of Al Neuharth, former publisher of USA Today newspaper. Funding was provided by a foundation started by publisher Frank E. Gannett in 1935, called the Gannett Foundation. The foundation took on the name of The Freedom Forum in 1991.
The Freedom Forum describes itself as "a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people."
It runs the First Amendment Center and the Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. It is also the creator of the Newseum, a museum dedicated to the history of news, which opened in 1997 in Rosslyn Va., and re-opened in 2008 in Washington, D.C..
Each year, the Freedom Forum gives out the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media. Past winners include Walter Cronkite (1989), Carl T. Rowan (1990), Helen Thomas (1991), Tom Brokaw (1992), Larry King (1993), Charles Kuralt of CBS (1994), Albert R. Hunt and Judy Woodruff (1995), Robert MacNeil (1996), Cokie Roberts (1997), Tim Russert and Louis D. Boccardi (1998), John Seigenthaler (1999), Jim Lehrer (2001), Tom Curley (2002), Don Hewitt of CBS (2004), Garrison Keillor (2005), Bob Schieffer of CBS (2006), John Quinn[disambiguation needed] and Ken Paulson (2007), Charles Overby (2008) and Katie Couric (2009).
As of July 2011[update], Charles L. Overby serves as Chairman and CEO of the organization. On May 31, 2011, the organization announced that James C. Duff, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, would join the organization as president and CEO.
- "About the Freedom Forum". Freedom Forum. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- "Freedom Forum and Newseum Officers". Freedom Forum. January 12, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- "Charles L. Overby, Chairman and chief executive officer/Newseum, Freedom Forum, and Diversity Institute". Freedom Forum. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- "James C. Duff Is Named Freedom Forum President and CEO". PR Newswire. May 31, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
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