Judy Woodruff, the late Gwen Ifill receive Cronkite award




Ted Simons: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," A SPECIAL ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW WITH THE PBS NEWSHOUR JUDY WOODRIFFE AWARD WINNER OF EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM, AN AWARD SHE SHARES WITH HER COWORKER. THAT'S NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

Ted Simons: GOOD EVENING. WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. TONIGHT, A SPECIAL CONVERSATION WITH JUDY WOODRIFFE ANCHOR AND MANAGING EDITOR OF THE PBS NEWSHOUR. SHE IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE 2017 CRONKITE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION. SHE WILL ACCEPT THAT HONOR ON BEHALF OF HER FORMER COWORKER, GWEN IDENTIFY WILL. GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

Judy Woodruff: GREAT TO BE BACK. I LOVE VISITING HERE.

Ted Simons: I BET YOU DO. GREAT WEATHER, HUH?

Judy Woodruff: NO QUESTION.

Ted Simons: THOUGHTS ON RECEIVING THE CRONKITE AWARD?

Judy Woodruff: IT'S AN HONOR. IT'S BEEN GIVEN WITH MY LATE DEAR FRIEND AND BELOVED COLLEAGUE GWEN WHO PASSED AWAY LAST DECEMBER WHO WAS NOT ONLY AN AMAZING HUMAN BEING, PIONEERING JOURNALIST, SOMEONE WHO DID IT ALL, WAS A TRAIL BLAZER. SHE SET THE PATH, SET THE TONE FOR SO MANY YOUNG JOURNALISTS COMING BEHIND HER. WE MISS HER A LOT AT THE NEWSHOUR, BUT HER LEGACY LIVES ON EVERYDAY.

Ted Simons: HOW FAR BACK DID YOU AND GWEN GO?

Judy Woodruff: WE WERE FRIEND FOR YEARS, BUT WHEN I WORKED FOR THE MCNEIL LARA REPORT, IT BECAME THE NEWSHOUR. I WAS WITH THE PROGRAM THEN BUT I LEFT TO GO TO ONE OF THOSE CABLE NETWORKS AND CAME BACK TO PBS. GWEN WAS THERE. THAT WAS TEN YEARS AGO. WE HAD KNOWN EACH OTHER AS FRIENDS BUT WE WERE SUDDENLY COLLEAGUES. WHEN WE BECAME COANCHORS, CLOSER STILL.

Ted Simons: WORKING TOGETHER AS A TEAM, TALK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES. IT CAN BE INTERESTING TO FIGURE OUT WHO GOES FIRST, WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO ASK IT AND WHO DOESN'T?

Judy Woodruff: YOU ARE RIGHT. I COANCHORED A SHOW CALLED "INSIDE POLITICS" AT CNN FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND I COANCHORED WITH OTHERS. GWEN AND I WENT INTO THIS SAYING PEOPLE WILL LOOK FOR WAYS TO FIGURE OUT ARE THEY REALLY GETTING ALONG WITH EACH OTHER? IS THERE COMPETITION HERE? WE DECIDED TO STAY CLOSE AS TWO PEOPLE CAN BE THAT WORK TOGETHER. IT WORKED. I TELL THE STORY EARLY ON, GUYS DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THIS, BUT WHEN WOMEN ARE COANCHORS WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE COLOR OF OUTFIT WE WERE WEARING. WE DIDN'T WANT TO SHOW UP LIKE THE BOBSY TWINS. WE WERE TEXTING SAYING, I'LL WEAR GREEN OR BLUE OR YELLOW. AFTER A WHILE, IT WAS INTUITIVE AND WE DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THAT.

Ted Simons: WE ARE HERE AT THE JIEWRNLISM MASS COMMUNICATIONS. I ASKED ABOUT WORKING AGO A TEAM. A LOT OF THESE FOLKS ARE WORKING ON TEAMS. IT CAN BE A CHALLENGE.

Judy Woodruff: IT CAN BE A CHALLENGE BUT THAT'S WHAT JOURNALISM IS. IT'S NOT A ONE MAN OR ONE WOMAN SHOW ESPECIALLY IF YOU WORK IN BROADCAST OR IN PRINT OR ONLINE, SOCIAL MEDIA, TELEVISION, RADIO, YOU WORK AS A TEAM. I SAY EVERYDAY THAT I COULDN'T GET ON THE AIR WITHOUT AN AMAZING TEAM OF PEOPLE BACKING ME UP AT THE NEWSHOUR. IT TAKES PEOPLE THERE FROM THE TAKEOFF COMING UP WITH IDEAS, WORKING AS A TEAM TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE'LL COVER, HOW WE'LL COVER IT, THINK ABOUT GETTING GUESTS, MAKING PHONE CALLS. IT REQUIRES TEAM EFFORT. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO WORK WELL WITH OTHERS OR PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS. WHAT DO THEY SAY IN KINDERGARTEN? IT'S NOT A PROFESSION, I THINK, FOR FOLKS THAT LIKE TO GO IT ALONE.

Ted Simons: THE CRONKITE AWARD, YOUR MEMORY OF WALTER CRONKITE. HE WAS BEFORE YOUR TIME TO SOME DEGREE, BUT HE WAS AROUND WHEN YOU WERE STARTING.

Judy Woodruff: MY FIRST REAL VIVID MEMORY OF WALTER CRONKITE IS SITTING CROSS LEGGED IN FRONT OF A BLACK AND WHITE TELEVISION SET IN OUR LIVING ROOM IN AUGUSTA, GEORGIA, WHERE I WAS IN MY SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL. I GREW UP AN ARMY BRAT. AT THAT POINT I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. IT WAS AFTER THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY. I WAS GLUED TO THE TELEVISION SET FOR THREE DAYS. WALTER CRONKITE WAS NOT JUST MY GUIDE THROUGH THAT TERRIBLE MOMENT IN AMERICA'S HISTORY. I KNOW FROM MILLIONS OF AMERICANS, HE HELPED US GET THROUGH IT LITERALLY BY HIS -- BECAUSE HE WAS NOT ONLY A RESPECTED NEWS MAN, BUT BECAUSE HE HAD THE EMPATHY, HE SHOWED HE CARED. THAT ALL CAME THROUGH. HE LITERALLY HELPED BRING US ALL TOGETHER.

Ted Simons: IT'S INTERESTING WITH TELEVISION BROADCASTING ESPECIALLY, IT'S DIFFICULT TO FAKE THAT KIND OF THING, ISN'T IT?

Judy Woodruff: I THINK IT IS. TO ME, WHOEVER YOU ARE, IF YOU ARE WORKING IN TELEVISION -- EVERYTHING IS NOW VIDEO. NEWSPAPERS ARE VIDEO. ONLINE -- SOCIAL -- EVERYTHING IS VIDEO. TO ME, WHO YOU ARE COMES THROUGH. YOU CAN'T FAKE IT. I THINK PEOPLE WILL KNOW. I GUESS SOME PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT FAKING IT. IN THE END, IF YOU ARE A JOURNALIST REPORTING DAY AFTER DAY ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE WORKING ON, PEOPLE CAN SEE THROUGH THAT. I THINK THEY CAN SPOT A PHONY QUICKLY.

Ted Simons: WHEN YOU GOT INTO THE BUSINESS, DID YOU CROSS PATHS WITH WALTER CRONKITE?

Judy Woodruff: I MET HIM ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS. I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF INTERVIEWING HIM. ONCE FOR AN HOUR, WE WERE AT THE HISTORY MAKER PROGRAM THEY HAD. I GOT TO SIT THERE FOR AN HOUR AND ASK HIM QUESTIONS WHICH WAS HEAVENLY FOR ME. I GOT TO ASK HIM ANYTHING. UNCLE WALTER, BUT FUNNY. HAD A TWINKLE IN HIS EYE. YOU COULD SEE IT ON TELEVISION. IN PERSON, IT WAS THERE. WHEN I DID THE PROGRAM WITH HIM, I THINK HE WAS MANY HIS LATE 7 0S, EARLY 80S -- GETTING ALONG IN YEARS. IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, IT WAS ABOUT FIVE YEARS BEFORE HE PASSED AWAY BUT HE WAS SHARP AS COULD BE AND DIDN'T SKIP A BEAT. HE WAS ASKING ABOUT THAT AND CHANGING THE SUBJECT. IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.

Ted Simons: SITTING CROSS LEGGED ON THE FLOOR IN AUGUSTA, GEORGIA WATCHING WALTER CRONKITE, DID YOU KNOW THEN YOU WANTED TO DO WHAT YOU WERE WATCHING ON THE SCREEN?

Judy Woodruff: I HAD NO IDEA. MY MOTHER WAS A STAY AT HOME MOM. SHE DIDN'T FINISH HIGH SCHOOL. HER FATHER DIED WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG ONE OF FIVE CHILDREN AND SHE STAYED HOME TO CARE FOR HER SIBLINGS WHEN HER FATHER DIED AND HER MOTHER TOOK THREE JOBS TO SUPPORT THE FAMILY. WHEN I GREW UP SHE WAS ADAMANT ABOUT GETTING AN EDUCATION. DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, BUT GET AN EDUCATION.

Ted Simons: WHEN DID THE JOURNALISM BUG HIT YOU?

Judy Woodruff: I SIGNED UP FOR MATH BECAUSE I DID WELL IN HIGH SCHOOL. I HAD A PROFESSOR THAT THOUGHT WOMEN SHOULDN'T TAKE MATH SO THAT TURNED ME OFF OF MATH. I HAD A POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, I ENDED UP WORKING FOR A CONGRESSMAN. THAT WAS DIPPING MY TOE IN THE WATER. I THOUGHT I WOULD TRY TO GET AN ENTRY LEVEL JOB IN WASHINGTON. SECOND SUMMER I WAS THERE, THE WOMEN SAID DON'T COME TO WASHINGTON. WOMEN ARE NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY HERE. THEY WERE DISILLUSIONED. THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT WAS UP AND COMING, BUT NOT HAVING AN IMPACT. I WENT BACK TO DUKE MY SENIOR YEAR. I SAID TO ONE OF MY PROFESSORS, A GOOD FRIEND, I SAID WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? HE SAID DID YOU THINK ABOUT COVERING POLITICS? HERE I AM JUST STARTING MY FINAL YEAR IN COLLEGE. I DIDN'T STUDY JOURNALISM. DUKE DIDN'T OFFER JOURNALISM. SPRING BREAK WENT TO ATLANTA, GEORGIA, INTERVIEWED WITH THREE NEWS ROOMS AND WAS HIRED AT ABC AS A SECRETARY.

Ted Simons: YOU WIND UP ON CAMERA. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THIS WAS A, A CAREER OPPORTUNITY AND B, YOU WERE PRETTY GOOD AT THIS?

Judy Woodruff: I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE GOOD AT THIS PART, BUT WHAT I KNEW IMMEDIATELY WAS THAT I LOVED IT. I LOVED BEING A REPORTER. I LOVED BEING ABLE TO ASK QUESTIONS. I LOVED BEING ABLE TO FOLLOW WHATEVER THE STORY WAS. I WAS INTERESTED IN POLITICS. I COVERED THE GEORGIA STATE LEGISLATURE. I COVERED ATLANTA POLITICS. I GOT TO RANGE WIDELY AND THE MORE I DID, THE MORE I LOVED IT. I THOUGHT THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Ted Simons: DID YOU WORRY ABOUT BEING A WOMAN IN THAT INDUSTRY? YOU WERE WARNED AWAY FROM WASHINGTON D.C. ON SOME LEVEL. WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT BEING A WOMAN IN BROADCASTING?

Judy Woodruff: I WASN'T BUT OTHERS WERE. WHEN I TOLD THE NEWS DIRECTOR WHERE I WAS A SECRETARY, I SAID YOU NEED TO LET ME FOLLOW THE FILM CREW AND ASK QUESTIONS. HE SAID YOU DON'T WANT TO BE A REPORTER. WE ALREADY HAVE A WOMAN REPORTER. AND THEY DID. EACH STATION HAD ONE WOMAN REPORTER.

Ted Simons: HAS IT CHANGED?

Judy Woodruff: ABSOLUTELY. HALF OF THE REPORTERS ARE WOMEN. MORE IMPORTANT ON NETWORK NEWS, WOMEN HAVE COME A LONG WAY. THERE ARE STILL OBSTACLES. THERE ARE NOT NEARLY ENOUGH WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT. FORTUNATELY THE PBS NEWSHOUR IS DIFFERENT. WE NOT ONLY HAVE AN ANCHOR, WE HAVE A WOMAN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF OUR PROGRAM. SHE'S SITTING OVER THERE, SARAH JUST. SHE JUST WAVED. WE WORK FOR A PBS STATION IN WASHINGTON D.C. WHOSE PRESIDENT AND CEO IS PRESIDENT. I THINK PBS IS A MODEL FOR THE REST OF JOURNALISM. WE NEED TO MAKE WOMEN NEWSPAPER EDITORS, HEADS OF NETWORKS AND SO ON. UNTIL WE HAVE A WOMAN WITH MEN, AND MORE MINORITIES MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT HIRING AND FIRING AND STORIES, WE ARE NOT GOING TO LOOK LIKE AMERICA.

Ted Simons: IS PBS A MODEL FOR JOURNALISM? I'M TALKING ABOUT THE NONPROFIT ASPECT OF JOURNALISM. LET'S GET TO THE STATE OF JOURNALISM TODAY. FIRST OF ALL, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE STATE OF JOURNALISM IS TODAY AND IS A NONPROFIT MODEL SOMETHING TO BE CONSIDERED.

Judy Woodruff: THE ANSWER IS, INFLUX. WE ARE IN TRANSITION. WE HAVE GONE FROM PRINT TO RADIO TO TELEVISION, EXCUSE ME TO ONLINE TO SOCIAL MEDIA. NOW IT'S EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. WE ARE SURROUNDED BY NEWS. WE ARE SWIMMING IN JOURNALISM. A LOT OF IT IS GOOD AND WELL REPORTED AND WELL DOCUMENTED. SOME OF IT IS NOT. SO MUCH SO THAT WE ARE NOW IN A PLACE THERE ARE ACCUSATIONS FLYING AROUND ABOUT WHAT'S FAKE AND REAL AND BELIEVABLE AND WHAT ISN'T, WHICH TO ME SAYS WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER THAN EVER THOSE OF US THAT CARE ABOUT JOURNALISM, CARE ABOUT A FREE PRESS. WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER THAN EVER TO MAKE SURE THE WORK WE DO IS WELL REPORTED AND ACCURATE, AND THAT IT'S BALANCED. IN OTHER WORDS, WE ARE NOT JUST SETTING OUT FACTS, BUT WE ARE PUTTING THINGS IN CONTEXT SO IT HELPS PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE WORLD AROUND THEM. WE LIVE IN A CHAOTIC MOMENT, TECHNOLOGY, LOOK AT YOUR WRIST WATCH. IF YOU HAVE AN APPLE WATCH OR WHATEVER, YOU ARE BOMBARDED WITH NEWS EVERY SECOND. THE MORE FOLKS PUT THINGS IN CONTEXT AND UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY FIT IN THE UNIVERSE, THE BETTER.

Ted Simons: MANY SEE JOURNALISM UNDER ATTACK RIGHT NOW. WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE PRESIDENT AND WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT JOURNALISM AND JOURNALISTS. DO YOU THINK IT'S UNDER ATTACK MORE THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN?

Judy Woodruff: THE BUSINESS MODEL HAS COMPLETELY -- I DON'T KNOW IF YOU WANT TO SAY IT'S COLLAPSED, BUT IT'S CHANGED. NOW THAT PEOPLE KNOW THEY CAN GET THEIR NEWS FOR FREE, WHO WANTS TO SUBSCRIBE TO A NEWSPAPER? WHO WANTS TO PAY FOR CABLE NEWS WHEN YOU CAN TURN ON YOUR COMPUTER OR SMART PHONE AND YOU HAVE NEWS ON YOUR FACEBOOK FEED OR YOUTUBE OR SOMETHING ELSE. THAT HAS UNDER CUT AND UNDERMINED JOURNALISM ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THOUSANDS OF JOURNALISTS HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS. HUNDREDS HAVE CLOSED AND GONE OUT OF BUSINESS. THE REST HAVE SHRUNK. IT'S DIFFICULT TO MAKE A VIABLE BUSINESS MODEL, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T STOP TRYING.

Ted Simons: IS NONPROFIT THE WAY TO GO?

Judy Woodruff: IT'S ONE OF THE WAYS TO GO. BEING NONPROFIT, WHAT PUBLIC BROADCASTING ALLOWS US TO DO IS WORRY ABOUT THE NEWS WITHOUT COMMERCIAL PRESSURE. IT'S NOT THAT WE DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO WHO'S WATCHING. WE DON'T WANT NOBODY WATCHING OF THE WE WANT IT TO BE RELEVANT AND FEEL IT'S A PROGRAM THAT WILL ENLIGHTEN THEM IN SOME WAY AND BRING THEM UP TO SPEED ON WHAT'S GOING ON, BUT WE ARE NOT PRISONER TO THE KIND OF DAILY, FRANKLY, COMMERCIAL EBB AND FLOW THAT GOES ON. WE DON'T HAVE TO COVER KIM KARDASHIAN AND OTHER CELEBRITY STORIES, THE SILLY -- IN THE END NOT MUCH CONSEQUENCE, WHAT MATTERS TODAY? WHAT DO WE WANT TO SPEND THE HOUR ON TONIGHT, 54 MINUTES? WHAT IS IT THAT'S WORTHY OF OUR TIME THAT THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW? THAT'S WORTH A LOT.

Ted Simons: WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT JOURNALISM A LOT ON THE SHOW. I WONDER SOMETIMES, AND I HAVE ASKED THIS OF PROFESSORS AND THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, DOES THE PUBLIC KNOW WHAT IT WANTS FROM JOURNALISM?

Judy Woodruff: I DON'T KNOW. I THINK THE PUBLIC KNOWS THAT THEY DESERVE TO BE WELL INFORMED, THAT THEY DESERVE TO GET THE BEST INFORMATION POSSIBLE ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN THEIR COMMUNITY, IN THE COUNTRY, AND AROUND THE WORLD. THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT THAT. WE HAVE THE AMAZING LUXURY IN THIS COUNTRY OF HAVING A FREE PRESS. THANK GOD FOR THE FIRST AMENDMENT, HOLD ON TO THAT AS LONG AS WE CAN NO MATTER WHO COMES AFTER US, BUT THE PUBLIC HAS THE RIGHT TO EXPECT US TO DO OUR JOBS WELL. I LIKE TO SAY WE SHOULD HOLD A MIRROR UP TO THE COUNTRY. IT'S OUR JOB TO TELL THE PUBLIC, ARE THE PUBLIC SERVANTS DOING WHAT THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO? ARE YOUR TAX DOLLARS DOING WHAT THEY SHOULD? ARE WE UPHOLDING VALUES THE WAY WE SHOULD? HOW MUCH EQUALITY IS IN OUR SOCIETY? ARE WE TREATING PEOPLE WELL? AROUND THE WORLD, WHERE DO U.S. INTERESTS BEGIN AND END? THERE ARE SO MANY QUESTIONS THAT REALLY COME DOWN TO BEING A CITIZEN OF THIS COUNTRY AND THINKING ABOUT YOUR OWN FAMILY AND WHAT YOUR FAMILY NEEDS. THAT'S FIRST AND FOREMOST FOR ALL OF US. BEYOND THAT IT'S THE COMMUNITY, WORKPLACE, SCHOOL AND NATION AND WORLD.

Ted Simons: WE TALKED ABOUT YOUR CAREER. YOU WORKED AS A WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT WORKED WITH ADMINISTRATIONS.

Judy Woodruff: COVERED THEM.

Ted Simons: WHAT DO YOU SEE NOW COMPARED TO WHAT YOU SAW THEN?

Judy Woodruff: IT'S VERY DIFFERENT. IF YOU ARE ASKING ME ABOUT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, IT'S VERY DIFFERENT. I COVERED SIX PRESIDENTS BEFORE THIS ONE. DEMOCRAT TO REPUBLIC TO LIBERAL TO CONSERVATIVE AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, AND YOU HAVE SEEN THEM HAVE THEIR SUCCESSES AND FAILURES. YOU HAVE SEEN THEM TRY, AND SOMETIMES IT WORKS, AND SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T. I HAVE TO SAY WITH THIS PRESIDENT YOU HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT MODEL, IF YOU WILL. HE DIDN'T COME FROM THE POLITICAL WORLD OR WASHINGTON. HE HASN'T WORKED IN PUBLIC POLICY. HE COMES FROM BUSINESS AND ENTERTAINMENT. THAT'S HIS M.O. THAT'S WHAT HE KNOWS, AND THAT'S WHAT HE'S COMFORTABLE DOING. I WOULD SAY THERE IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF SHAKING OF THE POT IN THIS ADMINISTRATION. I THINK THEY ARE VERY MUCH STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET SOMETHING DONE. THEY HAVE STRUGGLED TO GET LEGISLATION, WORK EVEN WITH THEIR OWN REPUBLICAN PARTY TO GET SOMETHING DONE. A LOT REMAINS TO BE SEEN WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION.

Ted Simons: WHEN YOU HEAR THE PRESIDENT SAY THAT THE PRESS IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, MADE UP OF BAD PEOPLE THAT DON'T LIKE AMERICA, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Judy Woodruff: IT MAKES ME OUTRAGED. IT'S NOT TRUE. THE PRESS -- THERE ARE BAD APPLES IN EVERY PROFESSION, PEOPLE IN IT FOR THE WRONG REASONS, AND HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDA. BY AND LARGE, I HAVE KNOWN A LOT OF JOURNALISTS IN MY CAREER. I HAVE WORKED AT A NUMBER OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS. I KNOW A LOT OF REPORTERS. I'M MARRIED TO A JOURNALIST. MOST JOURNALISTS I KNOW ARE TRYING TO COVER WHAT'S GOING ON BEST AS THEY CAN, TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT. YES, THEY LOVE THE COUNTRY AND THEY ARE PATRIOTIC. THE IDEA THAT WE WOULD BE ACCUSED OF THE ENEMY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IS AN INCOMPREHENSIVE THING TO ME. I WILL SAY THIS, EVERY PRESIDENT I HAVE COVERED HAS BEEN UNHAPPY WITH THE PRESS COVERAGE. NOT ONE OF THEM THOUGHT THEY GOT THE PRESS THEY DESERVED. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM THOUGHT THE PRESS TREATED THEM FAIRLY BUT NONE OF THEM WENT SO FAR TO SAY THE PRESS WAS THE ENEMY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THAT WE HATE THE COUNTRY AND THE REST OF IT. IT STRAINS ME TO THINK THAT. MY CONCERN IS NOT JUST THAT THE PRESIDENT SAID IT, BUT NOW THIS IS TAKING HOLD IN THE MINDS OF MANY AMERICANS. YOU SEE PUBLIC OPINION POLLS, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE SAY, I DON'T BELIEVE THE PRESS. THEY HAVE AN AGENDA.

Ted Simons: I WAS GOING TO ASK THAT. THAT IS THE CONCERN. WHEN THIS MESSAGE IS REPEATED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WHO HAS PEOPLE THAT FOLLOW EVERYTHING HE SAYS, BELIEVE EVERYTHING HE SAYS, FOLLOW HIM WHEREVER HE GOES. IF THEY DON'T TRUST WHAT YOU ARE REPORTING, IT'S A DISCONNECT AND THAT'S IMPORTANT.

Judy Woodruff: IT IS IMPORTANT BUT I DON'T THINK IT SERVES US OR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO GET INTO A CONTEST WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER IS FOR US TO DO OUR JOB, TO DO OUR REPORTING BEST WE CAN, GET IT RIGHT AND WHEN WE MAKE A MISTAKE, ACKNOWLEDGE AND ADMIT WE MAKE A MISTAKE BUT KEEP OUR HEADS DOWN AND NOT ENGAGE IN THE WAR OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT WITH ONE PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL WHO FOREVER WHATEVER REASONS HAS PICKED A FIGHT WITH THE PRESS.

Ted Simons: YOU SAID IN THE PAST THAT REPORTING NEWS WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR IS THE GOAL. AGAIN, IN FRONT OF CRONKITE SCHOOL STUDENTS HERE, AND THE HORIZON AUDIENCE HERE, TALK TO US ABOUT WHY THAT IS A MOTTO FOR A JOURNALIST TO LIVE BY.

Judy Woodruff: GO BACK TO THE FOUNDERS OF THE COUNTRY. WHY DO THEY INCLUDE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS? THAT BILL OF RIGHTS? IT'S BECAUSE IF WE DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO SPEAK FREELY AND REPORT FREELY AND OPENLY WITHOUT FEAR OF BEING PUNISHED IN SOME WAY AS JOURNALISTS ARE EVERYDAY IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, OUR DEMOCRACY DOESN'T SURVIVE. OUR DEMOCRACY DEPENDS ON A FREE PRESS, A FAIR PRESS, AND AS I SAID WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR MEANING WE DON'T TILT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. DOESN'T MEAN THERE AREN'T OPINION COLUMNS. THEY TWEET ON TWITTER AND HAVE AN OPINION. THAT'S FINE. WE ARE DEALING WITH THAT. IT'S A CHANGING MODEL, BUT THOSE OF US THAT ARE REPORTING HAVE TO BE ABLE TO GET IT TO WORK HARD AS WE CAN TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE STORY. IF WE DON'T DO THAT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WE ARE NOT DOING OUR JOB. WE ARE NOT SERVING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THEY ARE NOT GETTING -- WE ARE HERE TO BE THE EYES AND EARS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, TO ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS, TO HOLD THE POWERFUL ACCOUNTABLE, TO FRANKLY POSE UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS TO PEOPLE. IT DOESN'T MEAN SKEPTICAL. BEING CYNICAL MEANS YOU GO IN THINKING SOMETHING IS SUSPECT. WE CAN'T BE CYNICAL, BUT WE HAVE TO BE SKEPTICAL.

Ted Simons: CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ON THE AWARD AND FOR A FANTASTIC CAREER. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE WE APPRECIATE IT.

Judy Woodruff: IT'S A GREAT HONOR.

Ted Simons: THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

PBS NewsHour co-anchors Judy Woodruff and the late Gwen Ifill receive the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, given by Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Woodruff is interviewed by Arizona Horizon’s Ted Simons about the award, the future of journalism and more.

Read more: ASU honors Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill of ‘PBS NewsHour’ with Cronkite Award

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