The PNA Advocate of the Year award recognizes “dedicated leadership and outstanding advocacy for the Pennsylvania news media industry.”

2023: Rep. Robert Freeman

The 2023 recipient of this honor is state Rep. Robert Freeman, who serves as chairman of the Pennsylvania House Local Government Committee.

“We are delighted to recognize Rep. Freeman for his continuing and distinguished service in the House of Representatives on behalf of all Pennsylvanians,’’ PNA President and CEO William M. Cotter said of award recognition in January 2024. “PNA has worked with the representative on matters critical to news media organizations, among them public notice and issues related to the government access, transparency and accountability so essential to a healthy democracy.

“Rep. Freeman’s deep appreciation for the news media industry and his willingness to collaboratively solve critical issues has led to many successful pieces of legislation,” Cotter said.

The Northampton County Democrat who represents the 136th District has served in the Pennsylvania House since 1999, his second tour of legislative service.  Rep. Freeman previously served as a state representative from 1983 to 1994. He is first vice chair of the bicameral, bipartisan Local Government Commission of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

PNA President and CEO William Cotter, from left, state Rep. Robert Freeman, PNA Director of Legislative Affairs Barbara Hough Huesken and former PNA Vice President of Government Affairs Holly Lubart gather for the 2023 Advocate of the Year presentation in Easton.

Previous award recipients


Sen. Pat Stefano


Rep. Kerry Benninghoff


U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr.

*No award was presented in 2022.