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Matea Gold and David Gonzalez win NLP's Inaugural John S. Carroll Journalist Fellow Award

When the News Literacy Project launched its classroom program with an event at Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School on Feb. 2, 2009, Matea Gold, then a New York-based reporter for the Los Angeles Times and one of NLP’s first volunteer journalist fellows, was right up front in the packed auditorium.

That afternoon, David Gonzalez of The New York Times became the first NLP journalist fellow to deliver a lesson. He urged enthralled eighth-grade history students at the Brooklyn middle school to tell the story of their neighborhoods because if they didn’t, someone else would — and might not get it right.

Gold and Gonzalez have been with us from the start, and remained deeply involved with NLP. Hence, it is fitting that they are the recipients of  the inaugural John S. Carroll Journalist Fellow Award, presented in honor of the revered former newspaper editor and chairman of NLP. 

The award also recognizes the contributions of more than 300 journalists who have collectively delivered more than 600 lessons in person and virtually since 2009.

“David and Matea epitomize the invaluable contributions of scores of journalist fellows who are at the heart of NLP’s success,” said Alan Miller, NLP’s founder and president. “We are delighted to recognize the expertise, experience, skill and commitment that they have generously shared with our teachers and students, and to honor John’s memory as well."

The two were selected by a committee of NLP board members and staff; each will receive $500 and a glass plaque with an etched photo of Carroll. Maggie Farley, the chair of NLP’s D.C. advisory committee, and her husband, Marcus Brauchli, sponsored the initial awards.

Together, Gold and Gonzalez have delivered numerous lessons, led virtual visits, appeared in videos and participated in events. Gold has written about NLP and leads a lesson in its new checkology™ virtual classroom; Gonzalez introduced NLP to key school partners in New York. Both are favorites of teachers, students and NLP staff.

Gold, now a national correspondent at The Washington Post, received her award in July during an NLP staff retreat dinner in Bethesda, Md., attended by Lee Carroll, John’s widow. The former editor of the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader died in June 2015.

Gonzalez, who has held positions as a reporter, a photojournalist and an editor during 27 award-winning years at the Times, will receive his award at a lunch in New York this fall.

 “We just have to get the next generation to understand that what we do is so valuable,” Gold said about her commitment to NLP upon receiving the award. “This is the answer.”