ST. PETERSBURG — Judge Jack Helinger of the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court said this year's recipient of the Liberty Bell Award protects and ensures that the rights of free speech and freedom of the press are preserved as he bestowed the honor on Paul Tash, chairman and CEO of the Times Publishing Co. and chairman of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
The St. Petersburg Bar Association and the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation have presented the Liberty Bell Award since 1965 to honor a nonlawyer who contributes to the greater good of the community and promotes a better understanding of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the rule of law.
"It's a great honor to accept this award from an organization that works to advance an environment where people in my line of work can do their job," Tash said, at the annual Law Day luncheon. Serving on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists has been one his best experiences, he said.
Tash graduated summa cum laude in 1976 from Indiana University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of laws degree from Edinburgh University in Scotland in 1978. Because he never practiced law, he was eligible for the award.