NENPA Changes Press Award Name Apr26

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NENPA Changes Press Award Name

TheNew England Newspaper And Press Association is changing the name of its 1st Amendment Award after revelations that the man whose name it honors lied about his World War II record. The Morley L. Piper First Amendment Award will be renamed, the org announced on April 26, 2018, after Piper admitted to lying about being in Normandy. He did serve, the org noted.

The award, according to the org’s website, honored Piper, the longtime executive director of the New England Newspaper Association and is “presented to a New England newspaper for the exceptional quality of its reporting, editorials, commentary or legal challenges that illuminate or uphold the First Amendment or educate the public about it.”

The full text of the letter to members is below:

Dear NENPA member,

The New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) is modifying the name of its annual First Amendment award after discovering the individual it was named to honor misrepresented his military service record to reporters, and during speaking engagements he accepted over the past decade. 

On April 13, a NENPA board member informed the executive board he was contacted and advised that details being shared by former New England Newspaper Association (NENA) Executive Director Morley Piper regarding his World War II experiences and presence in Normandy, France during the D-Day invasion were fabricated. After being confronted with the allegation, the NENPA executive board was told Mr. Piper responded with both verbal and written admissions that he fabricated stories about serving in the invasion force on and after D-Day — June 6, 1944.

While Mr. Piper, now 93, did serve in the military during WWII and was fighting at the time of the D-Day invasion, he neither participated in that invasion nor was he a member of the 29th Infantry Division as he had stated in multiple news reports and speeches. In published stories in the past few days, he has told reporters that he is apologetic and deeply embarrassed by his actions.

Mr. Piper worked in the newspaper business since his discharge from military service, including 12 years at the Boston Globe and 45 years as executive director of the New England Newspaper Association (NENA). Mr. Piper retired in 2009, the year NENA merged with NEPA to become NENPA. He did not serve with NENPA in any capacity, other than as a honorary member, friend and newspaper colleague.

As NENPA’s board of directors, we are steadfast in our commitment to make corrections to stories and any false information that may have crept into news accounts of our member papers, and believe it is our duty to inform all NENPA members of this information.

The full NENPA board plans to meet in the near future to determine whether any other action is warranted. Until then, NENPA can offer no further comment on the matter.

Respectfully,

NENPA Executive Board