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PBS’s Gwen Ifill: ‘Jon Stewart Watches Me’

Gwen Ifill of PBS’ “Newshour” was in Los Angeles Tuesday with Political Editor David Chalian to accept the Walter Cronkite Award for Political Coverage from USC’s prestigious Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The station was selected by a panel of judges for “through and balanced” political coverage. Ifill and Judy Woodruff were singled out for “focusing on the issues” and avoiding “the horserace component that is so typical in political coverage.” Four pieces in particular, produced by Mary Jo Brooks, Terence Burlij, and Sarah Clune, received awards.

She began her remarks:

It does us all good to see that – no matter what you read, see and hear out there – serious journalism still matters. It’s all I ever wanted to do, and I think I speak for everyone here in saying that we are drawn to journalism for the nobility that can be found in telling untold stories, or in shedding light rather than heat on the over-told ones.

Ifill also set aside time to brag. “When I visit college campuses, students often tell me, ‘I only watch Jon Stewart.’ And I tell them: ‘Jon Stewart watches me.’” She added that Cronkite told her he watched “Newshour” every night.

“If it sounds like I’m boasting, you’re right,” she said. “We are justifiably proud of what we do.”

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