Dan Balz Wins the 2017 John Chancellor Award Washington Post Chief Correspondent | Columbia Journalism School
Dan in New Hampshire on November 10, 2015. Photo: Jim Cole

Dan Balz Wins the 2017 John Chancellor Award Washington Post Chief Correspondent

Balz will be honored at Columbia University on Tuesday, Nov. 14


Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced today that Dan Balz, an American political reporter and author, is the recipient of the 2017 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. Balz is the chief correspondent of The Washington Post and one of the country’s most trusted political reporters. He joined the company in 1978 and has been involved in the Post’s political coverage as a reporter or editor throughout his career.

The John Chancellor Award is presented each year to a journalist for his or her cumulative accomplishments. The prize honors the legacy of pioneering television correspondent and longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor. Selected by a ten-member committee, Balz receives the 2017 award with a $50,000 honorarium.

The award will be presented at a luncheon ceremony at Columbia University’s Low Library in New York City on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.

“Dan Balz’s career embodies the best of our profession and the spirit of the John Chancellor Award,” said Dean Steve Coll, a member of the Chancellor jury. “For over four decades, he has covered politics with rigor, accuracy and fairness. Dan truly represents the values of excellence in political journalism.”

“In his stories as in his life, Dan is thoughtful and considerate. He is unflinching in his analysis, but remains respectful toward those he writes about. He has never taken a cheap shot,” said Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post. “It is for these reasons that Dan is universally respected among his colleagues and competitors. He is the pre-eminent political journalist of his time and the moral conscience of The Washington Post. We could not be prouder to work with him, nor could we be prouder that he has won the 2017 John Chancellor Award.”

He has served as deputy national editor, political editor, White House correspondent and Texas-based Southwest correspondent. He also briefly reported from the Post’s London bureau. He is the author or co-author of two New York Times bestsellers: "Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America" and, with co-author Haynes Johnson, "The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election." He also is co-author with Ronald Brownstein of the 1996 book, "Storming The Gates: Protest Politics and the Republican Revival."

Dan Balz’s awards include the Robin Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, the White House Correspondents Association’s Merriman Smith award for deadline writing, the Gerald R. Ford Award for coverage of the presidency (shared), and the American Political Science Association’s Carey McWilliams Award.

He is a regular panelist on PBS’s “Washington Week” and is a frequent guest on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” PBS’s “News Hour,” PBS’s “Charlie Rose” program and CNN’s “Inside Politics.”

Born in Freeport, Illinois, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Illinois and served in the U.S. Army. Before joining The Post, he worked at National Journal magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is married to Nancy Johnson Balz and they have one adult son.

Dan Balz and Executive Editor Martin Baron will speak with students at Columbia Journalism School the day before the ceremony, on Monday, November 13.

About The John Chancellor Award
The award was established in 1995 by Ira A. Lipman, founder of Guardsmark, LLC, one of the world's largest security service firms. The jury is chaired by Lynn Sherr, and in addition to Lipman includes Dean Steve Coll, Dean Emeritus Nicholas Lemann, Jelani Cobb, Hank Klibanoff, Michele Norris, Bill Wheatley and Mark Whitaker, as well as John Chancellor’s daughter Mary Chancellor. 

About Columbia Journalism School
For more than a century, the school has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened its doors in 1912 and offers Masters of Science, Masters of Arts, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, and Doctor of Philosophy in Communications.  It houses The Columbia Journalism Review, The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, and The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, The John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, and the Mike Berger Awards. www.journalism.columbia.edu

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2017 Chancellor Award Ceremony Video