Visser Reflects On Receiving 2018 Al Neuharth Award

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If you’ve watched major sporting events on television, you’ve likely seen Lesley Visser.

“I did 10 Olympics, and I just did my 35th Super Bowl,” Visser said.

All that work helped her earn the 2018 Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media

He was such a giant in our industry, and to get an award named after him that was first given to Walter Cronkite, I mean, the greatest name in the history of CBS, was really so profound for me,” Visser said.

The award comes from the University of South Dakota and the Freedom Forum Institute.

“It says that you’re a journalist who over the period of your career has brought something better to the medium in which you work, in this case with Lesley, television,” Freedom Forum Institute President Gene Policinski said. “That you’ve served as a mentor perhaps for others who are coming up behind you.”

“You can’t plan to be recognized, you can’t plan to be honored, it’s something that comes with the, it’s a culmination of everything you’ve done,” Visser said.

She offers this advice for young journalists.

“Curiosity is paramount. But I believe you must have passion. You must have passion, if you don’t love it, don’t do it,” Visser said. “Because it’ll come out somewhere- you won’t get along with your coworkers, you’ll complain about the pay, but if you love it, that will fill your days.”

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