Judy Woodruff of PBS to Receive Poynter Medal

Judy Woodruff/Photo courtesy of the PBS NewsHour.

By Michael Kelly, AliveTampaBay Correspondent

Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff will be awarded the 2017 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. Woodruff, a pioneer in the industry, has spent more than three decades at NBC, CNN, and PBS where she is anchor and managing editor of the  “PBS NewsHour.” She will be honored at Poynter’s annual gala in St. Petersburg on Nov. 4.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by Poynter, which from the day it opened its doors has been dedicated to nourishing excellent journalism as the foundation of our democracy,” Woodruff said. “Its mission of educating journalists at every stage of their careers has never been more important than it is now.”

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse.

“Judy Woodruff is not just one of the great broadcast journalists of this generation, she’s a pioneer who broke down barriers for women in the industry and stands as a role model — both as a professional and as a person,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “Judy is an award-winning journalist who blazed a trail for other women.  She’s done it all . . . Poynter is thrilled to honor her.”

After joining NBC news in 1975, Woodruff soon became the chief White House correspondent from 1977 to 1982. She was the first on the air in 1981 with news that President Ronald Reagan had been shot. She later was an anchor and correspondent for CNN where responsibilities included anchoring the program “Inside Politics.”

From 1983 to 1993 she was the chief Washington correspondent for “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” on PBS. In addition, from 1984 to 1990 she anchored PBS’ award-winning weekly documentary series, “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.”  Beginning in 2013, Woodruff and Gwen Ifill worked as co-anchors and managing editors of the nightly PBS show “NewsHour”. It was the first time that a network broadcast featured a regular female co-anchor team. The two women would later receive a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Media Center in 2015. Woodruff became sole anchor of the broadcast after Ifill’s death last November.

The Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement recognizes the outstanding career achievements of a journalist whose work has made a lasting impact serving citizens in our democracy.  Woodruff will be the third recipient of the award. Previous recipients were “CBS Evening News” anchor Bob Schieffer (2015) and former “NBC Nightly News” anchor and New York Times best-selling author Tom Brokaw (2016).




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