The Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism is given annually for outstanding contributions to the field of journalism, and for work that has enriched our political discourse and our society. This year’s winner is Judy Woodruff, whose groundbreaking career in broadcast journalism spans generations. Best known for her measured, fact-first delivery, she has earned the respect and trust of viewers all over the country.
“Judy has been a fixture on American television screens for nearly half a century,” said Shorenstein Center Director Nancy Gibbs. “Always calm, clear-headed and reassuring, she has delivered some of the biggest stories of our lifetimes and has never wavered in her pursuit of the truth.”
Woodruff was the featured speaker at this year’s Goldsmith Awards ceremony, held on March 15, 2023 in Harvard’s Sanders Theater.
Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the Senior Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, after serving for 11 years as its Anchor and Managing Editor. During 2023 and 2024, she is undertaking a reporting project, “America at a Crossroads,” to better understand the country’s political divide. She has covered politics and other news for more than four decades at CNN, NBC, and PBS. The recipient of numerous awards, including the Peabody Journalistic Integrity Award, the Poynter Medal, an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement, and the Radcliffe Medal, she and the late Gwen Ifill were together awarded Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism after Woodruff and Ifill were named co-anchors of the PBS NewsHour in 2013, marking the first time an American national news broadcast would be co-anchored by two women.
For 12 years, Woodruff 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 2011, Woodruff was the principal reporter for the PBS documentary Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. And in 2007, she completed an extensive project for PBS and other news outlets on the views of young Americans called Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard. At NBC News, Woodruff was White House correspondent from 1977 to 1982. For one year after that she served as NBC’s Today show chief Washington correspondent. She wrote the book, This is Judy Woodruff at the White House, published in 1982 by Addison-Wesley.
Woodruff was a 2005 Joan Shorenstein Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. She is a founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in communication industries worldwide. She serves on the boards of trustees of the Freedom Forum and The Duke Endowment.