The Academy of New England Journalists, founded by Sigma Delta Chi in 1960, honors extraordinary newspaper men and women for their lifetime of achievement and distinction in New England journalism. Please join us as we pay tribute to this year’s Yankee Quill Award winners for their exceptional contributions to their communities and our industry.
The 2016 honorees are Edward Achorn, vice president/editorial pages, The Providence Journal; Maura Casey, editorial writer at The Hartford Courant and The New York Times; Brian McGrory, editor of The Boston Globe, and Lincoln McKie Jr., journalism professor at Northeastern University and former executive editor of the Lowell Sun and managing editor of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
In addition, the Academy of New England Journalists posthumously honors Sarah Josepha Hale, 19th century poet, writer and magazine editor from Newport, N.H., as a historic figure in journalism. She is known as the “Mother of Thanksgiving, author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and ardent supporter of girls’ education in the early 19th century. Last year, the academy honored Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Monitor.
The Yankee Quill is presented annually by the Academy of New England Journalists through the auspices of the New England Society of News Editors. It is considered the highest individual honor awarded by fellow journalists in the region. Selection for the award is not based on any single achievement but rather on the broad influence for good over the course of a career.
Achorn receives the Quill for his commitment to fighting waste and corruption in government with powerful editorials that made a difference, advocating for the underprivileged when few others stepped up, and spreading the word in public speaking and teaching about the value of an informed citizenry to a democratic society.
Casey is presented the Quill for her passionate commitment to First Amendment rights, and her key involvement in arranging journalism exchange programs for New England editors with their counterparts in Russia and Iran. She has also worked as editorial page editor at The Eagle-
Tribune in Lawrence, Mass., and associate editorial page editor at The Day, New London, Conn.
McGrory receives the Yankee Quill for his strong commitment to accountability journalism that has made a difference in Boston and beyond, his leadership in bringing the region’s largest newspaper smartly into the 21st century of digital journalism in the face of formidable industry challenges, and his record of rigorously upholding the principle of a free press and the right of the public to access government records and attend public meetings.
McKie is honored for his work in Worcester and Lowell and the Journal Transcript Newspapers in suburban Boston. He is praised for his contribution to journalism education at Northeastern University by bringing a practical voice to training students for the real world of news, exposing them to valuable experience by assigning them to cover journalism meeting and producing the bulletin of the New England Newspaper and Press Association.