PBS’s Ifill earns high honor

Gwen Ifill had a distinguished career in print journalism before she made the move to television.

First, it was to a commercial network, NBC, after she worked for the Baltimore Evening Sun, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Then Ifill made the leap to public television, joining the PBS NewsHour. She was named moderator of Washington Week in Review in October 1999, is a senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and is a frequent guest on the leading broadcast news talk shows.

She has made the transition from print to broadcast journalism quite nicely.

Well, on Monday, WETA-TV — the Washington, D.C.-based public television station — announced that Ifill is this year’s winner of the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism. The award is named in honor of Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, former owner of Gannett Newspapers and the man behind the creation of the Newseum in Washington, an exhibit dedicated to honoring journalism.

The chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute said in honoring Ifill that “Gwen represents the best in journalism today, working across multiple news outlets, providing credible news, insight and explanation of complex issues to her viewers and readers. She’s also an inspiration to the next generation of journalists in a profession challenged to respond to the news needs of an increasingly diverse and mobile audience.”

Ifill’s show, Washington Week in Review, airs Friday nights at 7 p.m. It’s a news-talk show that features analysis of the week’s big issues; Ifill moderates a panel of leading journalists who cover these events in print and broadcast media.

The best news of all for Texas Panhandle public TV viewers is that the show is broadcast on Panhandle PBS.

Congratulations, Gwen Ifill. You’ve done public TV proud.

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