The CBS television news program "60 Minutes" will receive this year's Athenagoras Human Rights Award presented by the Order of Saint Andrew, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at the organization's annual banquet Saturday, Oct. 19, at the New York Hilton Hotel in New York City.
"60 Minutes" was selected for the award because its news program on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, first broadcast in 2010, continues to bring significant attention and support to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew.
CBS newsman Bob Simon and producer Harry Radliffe, the two key people behind the successful news program, continue to focus attention on religious freedom and human rights for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other religious bodies and communities around the world.
Working in concert with Jeffrey Fager, chairman of CBS News and executive producer of "60 Minutes," and Bill Owens, executive editor of "60 Minutes," the news team has been a clarion voice for many religiously oppressed communities that continue to struggle for religious liberty and freedom of conscience," said Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D., National Commander of the Archons.
Mr. Fager will accept the award for CBS News at the banquet. This will not be the first award presented to Mr. Fager. The Producers Guild of America voted him best producer in non-fiction TV news four times. He also made TV Week's top 10 list of the most powerful television news executives. In 2012 as well as this year, The Hollywood Reporter named him one of the "35 most powerful people in the media."
The program was selected for the honor because it meets the goals of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to uphold and defend the historical status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as to emphasize the historical role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the development of both eastern and western church relations.
Past recipients of the award have included Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel and Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Award is named in memory of Ecumenical Patriarchate Athenagoras, who served in that capacity from 1948 until his death in 1972. Prior to his selection as Ecumenical Patriarch, Athenagoras served as Archbishop of North and South America.
Established in 1986, the Athenagoras Human Rights Award is presented annually at the Order of Saint Andrew's grand banquet to a person or organization, which has consistently exemplified by action, purpose and dedication concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people.