Award-winning PBS NewsHour Anchor Judy Woodruff to be Honored with Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 13, 2017) – Judy Woodruff, a pioneering broadcast journalist who has spent more than three decades at NBC, CNN and PBS, will be awarded the 2017 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. Woodruff, the anchor and managing editor of the “PBS NewsHour,” will be honored at Poynter’s annual gala in St. Petersburg, Florida, 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,” said Woodruff. “Its mission of educating journalists at every stage of their careers has never been more important than it is now.”

“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, covering national politics and the White House for NBC News in the 1970s and 1980s. She’s done it all, covering huge stories, moderating presidential debates, hosting a daily program on CNN and anchoring the ‘NewsHour’ with distinction. As accomplished as she is journalistically, she’s an even better person. She’s helped raise millions for medical research, and she’s given back to her profession as the founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation. Poynter is thrilled to honor her.”  

Woodruff joined NBC News in 1975 and was the network’s 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. Woodruff later served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, where her duties included anchoring the weekday program, “Inside Politics.” At PBS from 1983 to 1993, she was the chief Washington correspondent for “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” From 1984-1990, she also anchored PBS’ award-winning weekly documentary series, “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.” In 2013, Woodruff and Gwen Ifill were appointed as the co-anchors and managing editors of “NewsHour,” the nightly PBS news show. It was the first time that a network broadcast featured a regular female co-anchor team.  The two anchors received a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Media Center in 2015. Woodruff became sole anchor after Ifill’s death last November.

Woodruff serves on the boards of trustees of the Freedom Forum, the Newseum, the Duke Endowment, The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Urban Institute. She is a former member of The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and a former Poynter National Advisory Board member from 1989-1990.

Woodruff is a graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita. She is the recent recipient of the Cine Lifetime Achievement award, a Duke Distinguished Alumni award, the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Journalism/Television, the University of Southern California Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Al Neuharth/University of South Dakota Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Oklahoma, among others.

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. Previous recipients were “CBS Evening News” anchor Schieffer (2015) and former “NBC Nightly News” anchor and New York Times best-selling author Tom Brokaw (2016). Woodruff will be recognized at Poynter’s third annual Bow Tie Ball on Nov. 4 in St. Petersburg. Sponsorship and ticket information will be announced soon. (Join the mailing list to receive updates.)

About The Poynter Institute
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. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University,, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website,, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

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