PBS Annual Meeting, NASHVILLE; May 31, 2019 – PBS has named broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff as the recipient of the organization’s Beacon Award, which recognizes individuals whose leadership, service and work inspire Americans and enrich our nation.
A renowned journalist who exemplifies excellence and integrity, PBS NewsHour’s anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff delivers insightful reporting on the issues that matter to Americans. Night after night, millions of people place their trust in Woodruff and the PBS NewsHour. She has spent more than two decades at PBS, and in 2013, she and the late Gwen Ifill were named the first two women to co-anchor a national news broadcast. PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger presented the award today at the organization’s annual gathering of member stations in Nashville.
“Judy leads with passion, integrity and purpose. She continues to inform and inspire millions of Americans through her exceptional reporting and we are thrilled to honor her with the 2019 Beacon Award,” Kerger said.
Woodruff joined PBS in 1983 and served as the chief Washington correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour for over a decade. From 1984–1990, she also anchored PBS’s award-winning documentary series, “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.” Woodruff rejoined NewsHour in 2007 as a senior correspondent after completing an extensive project on the views of young Americans, titled “Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard.” In 2011, she was named rotating anchor of NewsHour and completed the PBS documentary “Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime.”
Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in journalism and communication industries worldwide. She serves on the boards of trustee of the Freedom Forum, The Duke Endowment and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and is a director of Public Radio International and the National Association to End Homelessness. She is a former member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a former director of the National Museum of American History and a former trustee of the Urban Institute. Woodruff has also served as a visiting professor at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
Along with the PBS Beacon Award, Woodruff is the recipient of the Radcliffe Medal, the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University. She received the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Television from Washington State University, the Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Oklahoma and the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media from the University of South Dakota. She was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and received the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Duke Distinguished Alumni Award, among others. Woodruff is a graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita, and is the recipient of more than 25 honorary degrees.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV— including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.