Ron Nixon is Inaugural Winner of News Leader of the Year Award


The News Leaders Association has named Ida B. Wells Society co-founder Ron Nixon its 2021 News Leader of the Year.

The award was established this year by the News Leaders Association – an organization aimed at empowering journalists by offering training, support and networks – and recognizes “an editor or team of editors who have displayed strong leadership in matching the extraordinary moment of an unprecedented year through great journalism and vital decision making on all fronts.” It is one of seven categories being celebrated by the 2021 News Leader Association Awards to recognize excellence in journalism.

Ron Nixon

Nixon, the global investigations editor for the Associated Press gains the distinction of being the inaugural recipient of the News Leader of the Year award.

Nixon was selected by a panel of judges after being nominated by 24 colleagues on the global investigations team at AP. Their nomination letter offered detailed insight into the immense impact that Nixon has made not only through the stories that he has worked on, but the impression that he has made as a leader during a tumultuous year. The nomination letter covers a wide breadth of Nixon’s work including his push to expand and diversify AP’s investigative team, his establishment of a fellowship for less-experienced journalists, and the money that he has raised for projects. It is clear throughout the letter that it is Nixon’s community-building and care for his team as not only journalists but people that served as a catalyst for this nomination.

Nixon was promoted to his role as global investigations editor in March 2020. In this position, he manages and oversees a team of reporters around the world and helps to infuse the AP’s global news report with accountability reporting and a strong investigative ethos. He joined AP in early 2019 as an international investigations editor and was homeland security correspondent at the New York Times before that. Nixon also previously worked as data editor at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, training director at Investigative Reporters and Editors, and environment and investigative reporter at The Roanoke Times. Additionally, he is a Marine combat veteran. Last year, he was among the team of journalists that won AP’s first National News & Documentary Emmy Award.

You can see a list of all the 2021 News Leader Association Award winners here.

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