Personal Award: H. Martin “Marty” Haag
Good journalism, high ethical standards, and strong ratings are compatible. That’s the philosophy of H. Martin (Marty) Haag, and for 27 years he followed it as he played a key role in transforming WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas, from a typical news operation to one of the consistently best local news organizations in the U.S. today. He joined Belo Corporation’s WFAA in 1973 as executive news director. In 1989 he was named vice president/news of Belo’s Broadcast Division with responsibility for the news at all company television stations. In 1996 he became the company’s senior vice president/news. Under Marty’s direction, Belo’s television stations received numerous awards including two George Foster Peabody Awards, one for coverage of the Southern Methodist University football payment scandal in the mid 1980s and the other for its 1995 reports on insurance purchases involving the Dallas school district. Marty has been successfully recognized for his contributions to the field of broadcast journalism, including the First Amendment Service Award from the Radio Television News Directors Foundation. His lasting legacies, however, are the many professionals who worked for him and learned from him. Dozens of reports, producers, network correspondents, and news executives graduated from the Marty Haag “School of Journalism,” and the broadcast journalism profession is better off because of his presence. For establishing high standards and promoting quality in television news reporting, a personal Peabody goes to H. Martin (Marty) Haag.