Richmond Times-Dispatch Columnist to Receive 2019 George Mason Award

Bill Lohmann, longtime reporter and columnist of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, has been named recipient of the 2019 George Mason Award for outstanding contributions to Virginia journalism.

The George Mason Award has been presented since 1964 by the Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter. It is named in honor of the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the model for the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.

Lohmann will be presented with the award at a reception Nov. 10, 2-4 p.m., at Bar Solita, 123 W. Broad St., Richmond. The two college students who won 2019 summer newsroom fellowships from the Virginia SPJ,SDX Educational Foundation also will be recognized.

The reception is open to the public. Ticket can be purchased online. Attendees also may make arrangements to pay at the door or by mailing a check. Proceeds will benefit the foundation.

A Richmond native, Lohmann joined the Times-Dispatch in 1988.

“Bill is an outstanding ambassador for Virginia journalism,” said Times-Dispatch publisher Tom Silvestri in nominating Lohmann for the award. “His many travels throughout the state, his connections to Virginians of all walks of life, his coverage of major issues, his diversity of topics, his reliable reporting, and his compassion for readers are the highest of achievements.

“Bill’s longstanding impact also comes in telling the stories of major newsmakers and average citizens by putting them on equal footing, benefitting readers who welcome deeper understanding of what it means to live in Virginia,” he said.

Silvestri, an SPJ member, will be joined by Times-Dispatch editors in presenting the award on behalf of Virginia Pro Chapter.

Previous recipients of the George Mason Award include journalists, educators, attorneys and others who have had lasting impact on Virginia journalism for excellence in reporting, advocating for freedom of information, defending freedom of the press, promoting ethical reporting, support of professional development and other related work.


Welcome to the website for the Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Professional Chapter.

SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

Membership in SPJ is open to all media professionals who uphold the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.

The Virginia Pro Chapter falls into SPJ’s Region 2, which spans Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia and North Carolina.