Judy Woodruff

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We’ll hear from Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour about her career.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," WE'LL SPEAK WITH JUDY WOODRUFF. SHE AND THE LATE GWEN IFILL ARE THIS YEAR'S RECIPIENTS OF THE WALTER CRONKITE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM. ALSO TONIGHT: WE'LL HEAR FROM THE AUTHOR OF A NEW BOOK ON THE COLORADO RIVER. AND WE'LL CHECK OUT A UNIQUE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT. THAT'S NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

"ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE FRIENDS OF PBS CONTRIBUTIONS. THANK YOU. GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS.

TED SIMONS: THE CRONKITE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM IS PRESENTED EACH YEAR BY ASU'S CRONKITE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION. TODAY IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT THIS YEAR'S RECIPIENTS ARE JUDY WOODRUFF AND THE LATE GWEN IFILL, CO-ANCHORS AND MANAGING EDITORS OF THE PBS NEWSHOUR. EARLIER, WE SPOKE TO JUDY WOODRUFF ABOUT THE AWARD, HER CAREER AND WORKING WITH GWEN IFILL.

TED SIMONS: JUDY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE HONOR.

WOODRUFF: THANK YOU, TED. IT'S GREAT TO BE WITH YOU. I'M INCREDIBLY TOUCHED. WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY THING TO HAVE THIS CONNECTION WITH ARIZONA STATE, WITH PUBLIC BROADCASTING IN ARIZONA, AND TO RECEIVE IT ON BEHALF OF BOTH GWEN AND ME. IT'S -- IT'S JUST IN INCREDIBLY MOVING.

TED SIMONS: AGAIN, THIS IS THE WALTER CRONKITE AWARD. YOUR MEMORIES OF WALTER CRONKITE?

WOODRUFF: WELL, I DIDN'T KNOW HIM WELL. HE CAME ALONG IN BROADCASTING A LITTLE EARLIER THAN I DID. BUT I DID HAVE THE GOOD FORTUNE TO CROSS PATHS WITH HIM OVER THE YEARS. ONCE I ACTUALLY HAD THE EXPERIENCE OF INTERVIEWING HIM. THE THING ABOUT WALTER CRONKITE, HE WAS THE SAME AS HE WAS ON TELEVISION. HE WAS THAT UNCLE WALTER -- SOME CALLED HIM GRANDFATHER WALTER. HE WAS WARM. HE WAS ENGAGING. HE LOVED JOURNALISM. HE LOVED TELEVISION NEWS. THERE WAS NOTHING PHONY. THERE WAS NOTHING FAKE ABOUT THE MAN. WHAT PEOPLE LIKE TO SAY ABOUT WALTER CRONKITE, HE HAD THE VOICE OF AUTHORITY. HE HAD THAT VOICE IN PERSON. WHEN YOU TALKED TO WALTER CRONKITE, AND YOU MET HIM, HE SOUNDED EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. HE WAS SOMEONE YOU WANTED TO BELIEVE. IT'S NO MISTAKE THAT HE IS REVERED AS MUCH TODAY AS HE WAS WHEN HE WAS ON THE CBS EVENING NEWS.

TED SIMONS: I THINK HE DEFINES AVUNCULAR. YOUR THOUGHTS ON SHARING THAT WITH GWEN IFFIL?

WOODRUFF: WE WERE NOT JUST COLLEAGUES, WE WERE GOOD FRIENDS. I HAD KNOWN GWEN FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS WHEN I REJOINED THE NEWSHOUR IN 2007. WE CAME TO WORK CLOSELY TOGETHER. AT SOME POINT ALONG THE WAY WE WERE ASKED TO BE COANCHORS OF THE NEWSHOUR. WE REALIZED WE WERE MAKING HISTORY, WE WERE GOING TO BE THE FIRST TWO WOMEN CO-HOSTING A BROADCAST IN THE COUNTRY. WE THOUGHT THAT WAS PRETTY SPECIAL. THE GREAT THING ABOUT IT, GWEN AND I SAID IT OFTEN, WE ALWAYS KNEW EACH OF US HAD THE OTHER'S BACK. I KNEW WITH GWEN, I WAS WORKING WITH ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, TALENTED, DEEPLY REPORTED, DEEPLY SOURCED JOURNALIST IN THIS CITY OF WASHINGTON WHO WAS RESPECTED BY EVERYBODY. I KNEW IF I WORKED ON A STORY, IF I WAS SITTING THERE WITH GWEN AT A CONVENTION OR ELECTION NIGHT, GWEN WOULD PICK IT UP AND KEEP GOING. SHE KNEW SHE COULD COUNT ON ME AS WELL. LOSING GWEN HAS LEFT A HOLE IN ALL OF OUR HEARTS HERE AT THE NEWSHOUR. SHE LEAVES A LEGACY IMPORTANT TO THE WORK WE DO HERE EVERYDAY. SHE STOOD FOR THE BEST IN JOURNALISM. SHE STOOD FOR FAIRNESS, FOR ACCURACY, FOR GETTING IT RIGHT. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ALL ABOUT EVERYDAY. GWEN WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF THE NEWSHOUR FAMILY.

TED SIMONS: YOU HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION TO PEOPLE AS WELL, ESPECIALLY BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN IT WASN'T COMMON, WHEN THE IDEA OF TWO WOMEN HOSTING THE NATIONAL PBS NEWSHOUR WASN'T EVEN THINKABLE. YOU WERE ONE OF THE BOYS ON THE BUS FOR THE CARTER CAMPAIGN, FOR HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. TALK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED AND WHAT YOU TELL OTHER JOURNALISTS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, ABOUT THE BUSINESS?

WOODRUFF: YOU ARE RIGHT. WE ARE GOING BACK TO ANCIENT HISTORY HERE GOING BACK TO THE JIMMY CARTER CAMPAIGN IN 1976. THAT'S WHERE I CUT MY TEETH IN AMERICAN NATIONAL POLITICS. I COVERED LOCAL POLITICS IN GEORGIA BEFORE THAT, IN ATLANTA. BUT THAT CAMPAIGN IN '76 IS WHERE I CUT MY TEETH. THERE WERE NOT MANY WOMEN AROUND. YOU COULD COUNT ON THE FINGERS OF ONE HAND THE NUMBER OF REPORTERS OUT ON THE BUS OR CAMPAIGN PLAYING. WE BANDED TOGETHER BECAUSE WE KNEW WE NEEDED TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER IN WHAT WE WERE DOING, AND WE KNEW THAT WE WERE PIONEERS. WE ALL WORKED AS HARD IF NOT HARDER THAN EVERYONE ELSE BECAUSE WE ALL FELT, WE CAN'T AFFORD TO FAIL. WE HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT. PEOPLE ARE WATCHING US. THERE MAY HAVE BEEN ONE WOMAN ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL FOR EACH TELEVISION NETWORK. SAME THING FOR THE NEWS PAPERS. ONE OR TWO WOMEN AT MOST. WE KNEW WE WERE KIND OF TOKENS, YOU COULD CALL IT THAT, BUT WE KNEW WE WERE BEING WATCHED. IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT WE DO WELL. WE TOOK OUR WORK SERIOUSLY. FAST FORWARD HOWEVER MANY YEARS LATER, AND THERE ARE SO MANY MORE WOMEN TODAY ON CAMERAS, BEHIND THE CAMERA, NEWS EDITORS, WRITERS, OPERATING CAMERAS, MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT PROGRAMS, STORIES AS EDITORS, PRODUCERS AND ALL OF THOSE POSITIONS THAT COUNT WHEN YOU DECIDE WHAT GOES INTO A NEWSCAST. WOMEN HAVE COME A LONG WAY. I THINK WE NEED TO DO BETTER PUTTING WOMEN INTO MANAGEMENT. WE ARE BLESSED HERE AT THE NEWSHOUR TO HAVE OUR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER SARAH JUST, WHO IS A LEADER FOR ALL OF US HERE, BUT NOT AS MANY NEWS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE WOMEN MAKING DECISIONS AS I THINK THERE SHOULD BE. WE STILL COULD USE PROGRESS. THERE IS NO QUESTION WE HAVE COME A VERY LONG WAY.

TED SIMONS: HAS JOURNALISM COME A VERY LONG WAY? WE ARE INUNDATED WITH FAKE NEWS. WE HAVE A POLITICAL CLIMATE THERE IN D.C. YOU'RE SURRONDED BY IT. EVERY TEN MINUTES THERE IS A BREAKING STORY IN ONE WAY SHAPE OR FORM. WHAT DO YOU SEE REGARDING JOURNALISM NOW? WHAT DO YOU SEE REGARDING THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM?

WOODRUFF: I'M SURE YOU ARE NOT REFERRING TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATION IN WASHINGTON AS WE SIT HERE IN APRIL 2017. IT'S CHANGED ANY WHICH WAY YOU LOOK AT IT. TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED. WE HAVE GONE FROM EVENING NEWS AND MAYBE A MORNING NEWS TO NEWS AROUND THE CLOCK ON TELEVISION. NEWS ONLINE, AVAILABLE ALL THE TIME. NEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE EVERYWHERE TO PARTICIPATE AND TO REPORT AT TIMES, AND TO GIVE THEIR OPINIONS. WE SWIM IN A SEA OF NEWS, IF YOU WILL. IT'S OUR JOB, I THINK MORE THAN EVER, IT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER THAT WE WHO PRACTICE JOURNALISM DO OUR JOB OF FIGURING OUT WHAT MATTERS, WHAT'S RIGHT, AND SEPARATING THE RIGHT FROM THE WRONG, THE CORRECT FROM THE INCORRECT, AND MAYBE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING, TED, FIGURING OUT WHAT MATTERS, WHAT STORIES BELONG AT THE TOP OF THE NEWSCAST. WHAT STORIES CAN WE AFFORD TO LEAVE OUT? EVERYDAY WE ARE BOMBARDED -- I REFER TO IT AS A FIREHOSE OF NEWS EVERYDAY. WE MAKE DECISIONS LITERALLY UNTIL WE GO ON THE AIR. ALL OF THAT EXPERIENCE THAT WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, IT'S NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO BRING THAT TO BEAR. WE KEEP IN MIND OUR SOLEMN OBLIGATION TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE READING AND WATCHING US, THAT WE'LL GIVE IT OUR ALL, GIVE IT OUR BEST, AND WE WON'T LEAN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. WE'LL REPORT THE NEWS, I LIKE TO SAY, WITHOUT FEAR AND WITHOUT FAVOR. WE DO THAT DAY IN, DAY OUT. I GUESS YOU COULD ARGUE IT'S HARDER THAN IT'S EVER BEEN. BUT IT'S MORE CHALLENGING YOU COULD ARGUE THAT IT'S MORE INTERESTING AND MORE IMPORTANT THAT ITS EVER BEEN. JOURNALISTS, YOU CAN THROW ALL THE SLINGS AND ARROWS YOU WANT AT REPORTERS, BUT THEY ARE AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF WHAT HOLDS OUR DEMOCRACY TOGETHER AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE KEEP DOING OUR JOB EVERYDAY.

TED SIMONS: YOU HAVE DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN, THE CRONKITE AWARD, IT'S A GREAT AWARD WITH GWEN IFILL. JUDY WOODRUFF CONGRATULATIONS.

WOODRUFF: THANK YOU, TED. I HAVE ENJOYED IT. IT'S AN INCREDIBLE HONOR. THANK YOU.

Judy Woodruff: Anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour

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