Brenda Flanagan gives her acceptance speech

July 30, 2021 — NJ PBS, New Jersey’s public television network, announced that Senior Correspondent Brenda Flanagan of its news division, NJ Spotlight News, received two major awards from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists (NJ-SPJ) in a ceremony held this week in New Brunswick.  The group honors work from journalists around the Garden State and those covering it.

Flanagan, a veteran journalist who has reported for the NJ PBS news division for the last eight years, received both a Lifetime Achievement Award for her years of Garden State coverage and the organization’s Courage Under Fire award for her ongoing COVID-19 pandemic coverage. Watch her acceptance speech, here (video courtesy StateBroadcastNews.com).

“In 1982, I had a desk next to Brenda in Newark, at New Jersey Nightly News.  When her talent got her top jobs at WWOR and WNYW in New York, we know she faced pressure not to keep pitching Jersey stories.  Nevertheless, she persisted, making New Jersey fascinating to viewers because she knows how to tell a good story,” said NJ-SPJ President Bob Schapiro.  “Last year at NJ Spotlight News, as a senior correspondent, she didn’t have to stay on the COVID beat, especially in the early days when no one knew exactly what was safe and New Jersey became a hotspot.  Nevertheless, she persisted.  That is why she is the first person to receive two special awards from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.  One is a Courage Under Fire award for her COVID-19 coverage; the other is a Lifetime Achievement award for her continuing coverage of New Jersey.”

“We are so proud of Brenda and that her amazing body of work is being acknowledged in such a prestigious way,” said NJ Spotlight News Senior Managing Editor Jamie Kraft. “She gives herself to her craft and to her home state every day, and we are fortunate to have her on our team.”

Flanagan joined NJ Spotlight News in 2013, and focuses on COVID-19, transportation, environmental and immigration issues. She has also worked as an investigative and political correspondent for news departments at WWOR,WNYW and NJN.

The New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists was founded in 1959.  It offers many benefits to journalists, including legal help, NJ Press ID Card access and upcoming workshops on The Press, the Police and the Public, scheduled for Mt. Laurel and Newark.  Recently, NJ-SPJ played a key role in getting the New Voices legislation passed, protecting student journalists and their advisors, and persuaded the NJ Attorney General to issue guidance on “The Right To Record” law enforcement, not just for journalists but for all people. NJ-SPJ’s current legislative efforts focus on strengthening NJ’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA).


NJ Spotlight News Sr. Correspondent Brenda Flanagan accepts two honors from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists