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TV journalist Gwen Ifill to receive William Allen White award

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LAWRENCE – Journalist Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and co-anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour,” will receive the 2016 William Allen White Foundation National Citation. The award comes from a vote of the trustees of the William Allen White Foundation and the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, which is named in honor of White.

Ifill will accept the award on William Allen White Day, which is April 14 at the University of Kansas.

Each week on "Washington Week," Ifill leads a roundtable discussion with award-winning journalists who provide reporting and analysis of the major stories from the nation’s capital. Now in its 47th year, "Washington Week" is the longest-running prime-time news and public affairs program on television.

Ifill interviews national and international newsmakers and reports on issues ranging from foreign affairs to U.S. politics. She has covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates, including the 2004 debate between Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat John Edwards and the 2008 debate between Democratic Sen. Joe Biden and Republican Gov. Sarah Palin.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, "Washington Week" launched a 10-city series of road shows across America with live audiences. The regular broadcasts and whistle-stop series earned "Washington Week" a 2008 Peabody Award. In 2012, Washington Week again hit the road for a series of broadcasts in three U.S. cities with a live audience interacting with Ifill and her weekly panelists on the issues surrounding the election year.

Before coming to PBS in 1999, Ifill was chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News, White House correspondent for The New York Times, and a local and national political reporter for The Washington Post. She also reported for the Baltimore Evening Sun and the Boston Herald American. Her work as a journalist has been honored by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, Ebony Magazine and Boston’s Ford Hall Forum.

Ifill has received more than 20 honorary doctorates and currently serves on the boards of the News Literacy Project, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and she is a fellow with the American Academy of Sciences. A native of New York City, Gwen graduated from Simmons College in Boston.

Ifill also has written a best-selling book, "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

The William Allen White Foundation was founded in 1945, one year after the Kansas Board of Regents established the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at KU. The William Allen White Foundation has been recognizing individuals for outstanding journalistic service since 1950, but the first National Citation medallions were awarded in 1970.

Other notable recipients of the William Allen White Foundation National Citation include Cokie Roberts, Leonard Pitts Jr., Paul Steiger, Gerald F. Seib, Candy Crowley, Seymour Hersh, John Carroll, Walter Cronkite, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Helen Thomas, Charles Kuralt, Bernard Shaw, Bob Woodward, Molly Ivins, Gordon Parks, Bob Dotson and Frank Deford. A complete list of recipients is at www.journalism.ku.edu.

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