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Clarissa Ward: Winning Peabody Is ‘The Achievement of a Lifetime’

CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward was in a refugee camp on the Syria-Turkey border today when she found out she won a 2012 Peabody Award.

“I feel absolutely thrilled, humbled, shocked,” she tells TVNewser. “It’s the achievement of a lifetime.”

“CBS Evening News” staffers gathered in the newsroom this afternoon as anchor Scott Pelley (below) offered a toast to Ward, and to the team that put the stories together. The three-part report, “Inside Syria,” was Ward’s first assignment at CBS. She snuck into Syria on a tourist visa and shot her own footage on a small digital camera.

“Most of all I feel an incredible sense of gratitude and awe at the incredible bravery of the activists who risked their lives to take care of me and to take me under their wing,” she said. “They really faced life or death risks, but they’re so committed to their goals and to their cause and all they want is for the world to see and to pay attention.”

Ward said winning the Peabody Award comes “at a very important time” for Syria, noting the country faces an April 10 U.N.-imposed deadline to halt fighting.

“If nothing else, I hope it’s another reminder to people that this story is very current,” she said. “There’s no resolution. The suffering goes on, the brutality goes on.”

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