Missouri School of Journalism names two recipients of 2023 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service

June 16, 2023

The University of Missouri School of Journalism recently named two recipients of the 2023 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service, which recognizes extraordinary service in journalism and strategic communication. The medalists are the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an international network of investigative reporters, and Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines chief administration and communications officer.

“This year’s medalists work in very different spheres, but their common devotion to service through impactful communication brings them together as titans of journalism and strategic communication,” said David Kurpius, dean of the School of Journalism. “Their work is an inspiration to multiple generations, from their peers in the industry to students preparing to embark on their careers.”

The OCCRP is a collaborative reporting network that utilizes investigative journalists all over the world. It has led or served as a key partner in landmark investigative reporting projects such as the Panama Papers, Suisse Secrets, Pandora Papers, Pegasus Project and OpenLux. Founded in 2007 by Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu, the organization employs 60 investigative editors around the world and produces about 140 stories per year.

Linda Rutherford began her career in the journalism field, earning a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and working as a reporter until 1992, when she joined Southwest Airlines in an entry-level public relations position. More than three decades later, she is the chief administration and communications officer at the airline, where she has been an instrumental part of several important moments in the organization’s history.

Faculty of the School select the winners of the Missouri Honor Medal, which has been awarded annually since 1930. Past winners include Christiane Amanpour, Winston Churchill, Walter Cronkite and Gloria Steinem.

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