CBS News Prez Will Get Free Speech Award Weeks After Confiscating Fired Reporter’s Research/Notes
NEW YORK - AUGUST 1: Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, President of CBS News. (Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images)
Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images

CBS News President Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews will be honored as the recipient of an upcoming industry free-speech award — just weeks after the network booted veteran reporter Catherine Herridge and confiscated her notes and research.

Ciprian-Matthews is set to receive a First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) on March 9, less than one month after the network fired former Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge and seized her files — a move that sent shockwaves through media outlets nationwide — and then returned the files after intense backlash.

“Can’t make this up. CBS News fires @CBS_Herridge, then steals her notes, and in disgrace is forced to return them. A week later, the president of @CBSNews who signed off on that theft receives an industry free speech award,” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell posted via X.

The seizure of Herridge’s files — which by most accounts was unprecedented — prompted backlash and even sparked a probe led by the House Judiciary Committee. CBS insisted in a letter to the committee that the files in question belonged to the network and there was “nothing unusual” about retaining them.

It wasn’t until several days had passed — and Herridge’s union SAG-AFTRA got involved — that CBS reversed position and returned some of the files.

“FILES UPDATE: CBS News returns hundreds of pages of reporting materials after @sagaftra intervened,” Herridge posted.

Herridge’s exit from CBS comes amid a First Amendment case in which she was ordered by U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper to reveal a source and has refused to do so — and the case becomes even more complicated because the files CBS retained could potentially contain information such as confidential source names and contact information.


Ciprian-Matthews was also the subject of an internal probe by CBS parent company Paramount Global in 2021 after accusations of discriminatory hiring practices and claims that she intentionally “sidelined” white reporters. In one such instance, according to a report from the New York Post, Ciprian-Matthews allegedly replaced a white reporter with an African American reporter to handle coverage in the aftermath of the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill.

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