The Futrell Award for Outstanding Achievement in Communications and Journalism was established in 1999 by Ashley B. Futrell, Jr., in tribute to his father, Ashley B. Futrell, Sr., for his career contributions to Duke University and to the profession of journalism. The award is presented annually to a Duke University alum for outstanding achievement in the field of communications and journalism and is administered by the DeWitt Wallace Center for Communications and Journalism at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

The Futrells – both are Duke alumni, Ashley B. Futrell, Sr. (’33) and Ashley B. Futrell, Jr., (’78) – exemplify the ideals of the Futrell Award. Not only have they made significant contributions to the field of communications, but their newspaper, the Washington (NC) Daily News, has directly improved the quality of life in the community in which they have lived all their lives. In 1990 The Washington Daily News pursued information revealing that the city’s water supply was contaminated with carcinogens, a problem that the local government had neither disclosed nor corrected over a period of eight years. The newspaper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service.




Nia-Malika Henderson, senior political analyst for CNN


Valerie Bauerlein Jackson, National Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

(Prepared remarks delivered to journalism students, as remembered.)


No award made, due to the COVID-19 pandemic

2019-2020 (award made in 2021, due to the pandemic)

John Carryrou, investigative reporter and author, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup 


Susan Taylor Martin, reporter and editor, Tampa Bay Times


Peter Applebome, deputy national editor, The New York Times


Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter, The Washington Post


Laura C. Gentile, Senior Vice President espnW and Women’s Initiatives, ESPN


Jim Wilson, Photojournalist, The New York Times


John Feinstein, Columnist, The Washington Post


John Drescher, Executive Editor, The News and Observer


Rome J. Hartman III, Executive Producer, NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams


Cornelia Grumman, former Executive Director, The First Five Years Fund, a nonprofit organization advocating for early childhood education; editorialist, the Chicago Tribune.


Mark Mazzetti, national security correspondent, The New York Times


Karen Blumenthal, Author, former Business Editor, Wall Street Journal


Stephen Labaton, Senior Writer, The New York Times, Washington Bureau


Kevin Sack, National Correspondent, Los Angeles Times


John Harwood, Chief Washington Correspondent of CNBC and Senior Contributing Writer, The Wall Street Journal


James F. Goodmon, President and CEO, Capitol Broadcasting Company


David Hartman, Former Host, “Good Morning America”


Susan Tifft, Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy, Duke University; author of The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times


Fred Andrews, former writer and editor, The New York Times


Charlie Rose, host, “The Charlie Rose Show”

Rescinded- December 4, 2017


Jason DeParle, Reporter, The New York Times


Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent, CNN


Clay Felker, Founding Editor of New York Magazine and the editor of The Village Voice and Esquire


  • Two separate awards given in 1998-99