The Astor Award was created, by his family, in memory of Lord Astor of Hever who was, for many years, the President of the Commonwealth Press Union and very closely involved with its development. He had a particular commitment to Press Freedom and this award has become closely associated with this field. Since his death, the Award has been presented by, intitally, his widow Irene, Lady Astor and on her death either by their son Lord Astor of Hever or his brother Phillip Astor.
This prestigious award is one of the oldest press freedom awards, first being presented in 1970. Previous winners represent a remarkable cross-section of individuals who have made an enormous contribution to the Commonwealth newspaper industry, particularly in the field of press freedom.
The Astor Award was last presented in 2005 to Gavin Ellis of New Zealand.
After a gap of over ten years, it was once again awarded to the Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda in 2016.