The international writers group PEN has presented its First Amendment award for ethical journalism to former Chron managing editor Jerry Roberts. The award “honors those who have courageously, and often at great personal loss, defended freedom of expression,” according to PEN.

The Santa Barbara Independent reports that Roberts received the award at a star-studded Beverly Hills Hotel dinner on Tuesday night.

Roberts left the Chronicle in 2002 after 25 years and joined the Santa Barbara News-Press in 2002. He quit the News-Press on July 6, 2006 in a dispute with owner Wendy McCaw over her meddling in newsroom decision-making. McCaw slapped him with a $25 million arbitration action, claiming breach of contract. He’s still fighting it, and has counter-claimed for $10 million.

SF Press Club News

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