The MacGregor Fiske Award was first bestowed in 2013 and has awarded up to $2,000 annually to a journalist in New England with less than five years of experience who had been recommended by their editor and then selected by a panel of former editors and reporters.
In 2020, a number of smaller awards were also made to journalists who had been laid off or furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mac Fiske, who died in 2009 at 75, had spent his career as a sportswriter, sports editor, news editor, city editor, copy editor, and weekly columnist. Fiske was a much-loved mentor known for his warmth, kindness, and keen editing.
He began his career at the Framingham (Mass.) News, which became the Middlesex News and is now the MetroWest Daily News. He worked for many years at the Providence Journal-Bulletin, up to his retirement when he returned to the MetroWest Daily News as a part-time copy editor and also followed his passion for the sea on his 22-foot Columbia sailboat.
A fourth-generation newspaperman, he earlier enjoyed a period as a merchant mariner with the Boston Harbor Pilots and served in the Army during the Korean War.
The MacGregor Fiske Award was established by Mac’s wife, Mary McCann Fiske, who also grew up in a newspaper family in Framingham. She started the award to recognize talented, hard-working journalists who are relatively new to the field, encouraging them to persevere in the profession. The award also honors the contributions of journalists in sustaining an informed society.
Past awardees have included reporters at the Lowell Sun, Cambridge Chronicle/Tab, and Patriot Ledger, a reporter and a photographer at the Portland Press Herald, a feature layout editor at the Fall River Herald News, and a night editor at the Valley News.
McCann Fiske has decided to transfer the funding to NENPA’s Journalism Education Foundation to ensure its continued impact and reach in the years to come through scholarships to promising journalism students.
“Mac never sought the limelight, but he would have felt good about helping individual journalists and seeing the progress of those the Fiske Award has recognized,” McCann Fiske said. “I’m hopeful that this will continue to help strengthen journalism in New England, especially newspapers, which we know can mean so much to a community.”
Please contact Linda Conway at email@example.com if you would like to make a donation to support the MacGregor Fiske Scholarship, the general Journalism Education Foundation of New England scholarships, or if you are interested in honoring a mentor or a loved one with a Journalism scholarship in their name.