The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will honor two men for their accomplishments in the fields of journalism and philanthropy at the fifth annual Awards for Excellence in Journalism gala on May 14 .
Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism while Leonard Tow, a pioneer in the cable television industry, will be the first recipient of the Distinguished Service to New York Award. The event will also honor three alumni from the recently graduated Class of 2011.
Dean Stephen B. Shepard praised Winkler for bringing “traditional journalism into the digital age,” and he called Tow “one of the great unsung philanthropists in New York history.”
Winkler has built Bloomberg News from scratch into one of the world’s biggest news organizations. He joined Bloomberg L.P., the financial information company founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in 1990. Prior to that, he was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and news services of Dow Jones & Co. in New York and London. Early in his career, he was a New York-based reporter and assistant editor at The Bond Buyer and a reporter for the Ohio-based Mount Vernon News.
Winkler is the author of The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors, published in September 2009 by Bloomberg Press. He is a graduate of Kenyon College with an A.B. in history and an honorary doctorate of laws. He serves on the CUNY J-School’s Board of Advisers.
Tow has spent more than two decades contributing to worthy causes in the fields of education, medicine, the performing arts, and youth and family services in New York and Connecticut through the family foundation he runs with his daughter Emily Tow Jackson.
At the CUNY J-School, he issued a $3 million challenge grant that led to the establishment of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism in the fall of 2010. The Center, which was initially funded by The Tow Foundation’s $3 million and a matching amount from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is dedicated to finding new business models for sustaining quality journalism.
His philanthropy has also helped create the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, the Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center, the Claire Tow Pediatric Pavilion at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Claire Tow Professorship in Motor Neuron Disorders at the Columbia University Medical Center. His foundation has supported medical research, public service internships, and juvenile justice programs in Connecticut.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he is a graduate of CUNY’s Brooklyn College and has a PhD in economics from Columbia University.