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Last week Moment celebrated 46 years of independent journalism, culture and community at its virtual gala. The evening was filled with powerful speeches, surprise guest appearances and special musical performances. It was also a reminder of the importance of a robust democracy and free press.
“An informed public is necessary for a healthy democracy, but there are people who do not want democracy to be healthy and do not want people to be informed. They want to raise the level of distrust and uncertainty to the point that reality itself becomes malleable,” journalist Adam Serwer, author of The Cruelty Is the Point: The Past, Present and Future of Trump’s America, said upon receiving the Robert S. Greenberger Journalism Award. “And they can exploit that process of revision to rewrite history rather than refine our understanding of it.” Past recipients of the Robert S. Greenberger Journalism Award include Jake Tapper, Jane Mayer, Evan Osnos and Michel Martin.
Serwer added: “Telling the truth as best we can is all we can do. We won’t always be perfect. We will err and fail. People won’t always like or trust us—sometimes for justifiable reasons and sometimes for cynical ones. But even in times like these, the most important thing we can do as journalists is try to tell people what is happening as best we can and as accurately as possible.”
Also discussing the importance of journalism was economist and journalist Paul Krugman, who received the Mitchel and Gloria Levitas Literary Journalism Award. Krugman spoke of “the crucial role of journalism as a mediating force and place where people can get answers.” He added that “while we are at a moment where the bad instincts of journalism are especially damaging, there is vastly more good analytic journalism than there used to be.”
Congressman Jamie Raskin, upon receiving Moment Magazine’s inaugural Ruth Bader Ginsburg Human Rights Award, spoke of the justice’s continued fight for democracy and equality. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg showed us what it meant to have a career dedicated to justice and the common good, the equal rights of everyone,” said Raskin. “Very specifically, she was a great lawyer leading the fight for gender equity and gender justice.”
Other honorees included epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who received Moment’s Creativity Award; film scholar Annette Insdorf, who received Moment’s Creativity Award; and Moment advisory board member and telecommunications engineer Leonard Schuchman, who received Moment’s Community Award. The evening also included appearances from Laurene Powell Jobs, Wolf Blitzer, Liz Cheney, Marc Benioff, Elizabeth Alexander, Rebecca Traister and more!