$80

61st Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards Gala

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NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans

317 Baronne Street

New Orleans, LA 70112

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Join us in celebrating 61 years of the excellence in journalism in New Orleans. This year's awards will begin with a champagne welcome at 6 p.m. to kick off our cocktail hour, which will also feature the musical stylings of New Orleans songstress Vegas Cola, followed by dinner and awards at 7 p.m., hosted by New Orleans native and world-renowned musician P.J. Morton, founder of Morton Records. At this year's awards gala, we will honor two of New Orleans' legendary journalists: Frank Donze and Joe Duke.



This event is cocktail attire. $12 valet parking is available on site.

6 p.m. – Cocktail hour (sponsored by PorchJam)

7 p.m. – Dinner and awards ceremony

10 p.m. – After Party on the Rooftop


About the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards Honorees

Frank Donze (Posthumous)

In more than three decades with The Times-Picayune, Frank Donze became regarded as one of the finest political reporters of his generation. Beginning in 1980, Donze led the St. Bernard-Plaquemines Bureau covering the federal corruption trials of St. Bernard Parish sherrif's deputies and also documented the downfall of the Perez dynasty which had controlled Plaquemines Parish for a half century.

In 1984, Donze began covering New Orleans City Hall and five different mayoral administrations. He was a member of The Times-Picayune team that won two Pulitzer Prizes, a George Polk Award, a National Headliner Award and the Medill Award for Courage in Journalism for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. He left the paper in 2012 to join the Audubon Nature Institute where he worked as a communications specialist writing content for its website and social media channels and coordinating media relations. He died in 2018 at the age of 64.

“He was just an encyclopedia of New Orleans politics,” said Susan Finch,

a longtime Times-Picayune colleague and friend. "We all miss him very much."



Joe Duke

Joe Duke is a life-long TV journalist whose career has spanned four decades from the south Louisiana market - including Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans - to national network news. He’s worked as a photographer, reporter, assignment editor, news director, and bureau chief, and then director of recruiting for CBS News in New York. During that time span he covered major news stories, served as news director for WWL-TV for nine years, and recruited some of the most recognizable news professionals in the city and in broadcast news.

Duke retired from CBS News in 2010 and returned to New Orleans. In 2015, he traded the newsroom for the classroom at Loyola University New Orleans, where he teaches communications writing to eager freshmen. Duke prefers attribution to reporter opinion; simple instead of complex sentences, and substantive reporting over the superficial. “Connect the dots of humanity between victim and viewer,” he tells students.

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NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans

317 Baronne Street

New Orleans, LA 70112

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