Los Angeles Times Editor Shelby Coffey III was given the Ida B. Wells Award on Friday for exemplary achievement in the hiring and advancement of minorities in the news media.
The Wells Award, based at the University of Kansas, is given annually in honor of Ida B. Wells Barnett, a pioneer black publisher and anti-lynching crusader during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
"Shelby Coffey has had the courage to increase diversity in one of the nation's most dynamic media markets while the L.A. Times was in a period of downsizing," said award curator Samuel L. Adams, of the university's journalism department.
"Usually, minorities are the last hired and the first fired," Adams said. "Under his bold leadership, he amassed the nation's largest number of minority professionals in supervisory positions at a single newspaper."