Journalist Group Delays Decision to Ax "Helen Thomas Achievement" Award

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DEARBORN, Mich.—The executive committee of the Society of Professional Journalists voted on Saturday to recommend removing its Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award, reports the Arab American News. According to the report, the recommendation requires a review by the SPJ's full board prior to approval, and a final decision is expected in 10 days.

In a news release, SPJ President Hagit Limor said the issue is complex and letters and comments from both sides were considered. “Because of the importance of this decision, it is appropriate to put this before the full board,” he said.

Thomas, the 90-year-old veteran White House correspondent of Lebanese descent, resigned last June amid controversy over remarks she made on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which some interpreted as anti-Semitic. Thomas apologized shortly thereafter, but defended previous statements in a recent speech supporting First Amendment rights.

Wayne State University, Thomas’ alma mater, recently discontinued their “Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media” award.