Legendary television and radio producer Fred W. Friendly, a principal
exponent of the importance of a free press in a democracy, died at his
home in Riverdale, New York, on March 3 at age 82.
Viewed by many as the conscience of broadcasting, Friendly received a
special tribute at CPJ's 1997 International Press Freedom Awards on
October 23. He was honored for his distinguished career, spanning 60
years at CBS and later as the driving force behind the creation of
Friendly had suffered a series of strokes in recent years, and was
unable to attend the CPJ awards ceremony. His wife, Ruth, who accepted
the tribute on his behalf, said at the time: "Fred would be reminding
us that we have the freest press in the world...and would exhort you to
protect that precious press freedom, not to abuse it, but to use it
responsibly. And we know he would close by saying, 'In reporting
stories that involve tough choices, our job as journalists is not to
make up anybody's mind, but to open minds, and to make the agony of
decision-making--for the reader, for the viewer--so intense that they
can escape only by thinking.'"
Said CBS commentator Andy Rooney in presenting the award: "Fred
Friendly has been the single most important force for good who ever
worked in broadcasting."