About Gwen @gwenifill
In Memoriam: Gwen Ifill was the moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor for "The PBS NEWSHOUR w/ Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff."
The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," (Doubleday, 2009), she also moderated the Vice Presidential debates during the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2008.
Gwen covered eight Presidential campaigns, and during the 2008 campaign season, won the George Foster Peabody Award after bringing Washington Week to live audiences around the country as part of a 10-city tour.
Now in its 49th year, Washington Week is the longest-running prime-time news and public affairs program on television. Each week, Gwen brought together some of the best journalists in Washington to discuss the major stories of the week with the reporters who actually cover the news that emanates from the nation's capital and affects the nation and the world.
Gwen joined both Washington Week and PBS NewsHour in 1999, interviewing newsmakers and reporting on issues ranging from foreign affairs to politics. Before coming to PBS, she 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.
"I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, and my first love was newspapers," Ifill said. "But public broadcasting provides the best of both worlds-combining the depth of newspapering with the immediate impact of broadcast television."
A native of New York City and a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Ifill received more than 25 honorary doctorates. In 2015 she was awarded with the National Press Club's highest honor, the Fourth Estate Award. She has also been honored for her work by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center, The National Association of Black Journalists, Ohio University, and was included in Ebony Magazine's list of 150 Most Influential African Americans.
She also served on the board of the News Literacy Project, on the advisory board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Gwen’s Recent Stories
Politics May 08What is political correctness really?
Filters are good. They stop us from saying what we shouldn’t when we are cut off in traffic — especially when there are kids in the car. Ideally, they remind us that we should look up the facts before we…
Politics May 01Gwen’s Take: Ask me anything
I have turned this week’s Take over to you, gentle readers, in a new, irregularly recurring feature I believe I’ll call “Gwen’s Bingo.”…
Politics Apr 24Gwen’s Take: Accepting the Urbino Press Award
Journalists get a bad rap sometimes. Often it is deserved. But that’s because bad news travels well. Less told are the stories of the imprisoned journalists who risk their lives to do their work in Iran and China and Ethiopia…
Politics Apr 17Gwen’s Take: Dames and leadership
Here’s a quiz: when you think of Civil War heroes, can you name a single woman? Unlikely. But in a new book, journalist Coke Roberts proves that women were not invisible during the War Between the States. What these women…
Politics Apr 10Gwen’s Take: Truth, justice and the American way
The best journalists can do is try to scrub our inbred biases (we all have them) by asking more questions. All the time. Every time. This is nearly impossible to do if you have already decided you know the answer.
Politics Mar 27Gwen’s Take: Getting on with it
Robin Toner did whatever was needed to file the story. In the years before Wi-Fi and hot spots, she would stop motorcades, if necessary, to find a landline from which to send her story. This week, a couple hundred people…
Politics Mar 20Gwen’s Take: Making peace and making coffee
There are so many good ways to talk about race and culture in America. Yes, even at Starbucks.
Politics Mar 09Our colliding ideals: What I saw in Selma
We are a nation that was born and bred in conflict. But at least now -- at least this weekend in Selma, we were engaged in a common cause to use conflict as a path toward a community ideal.
Politics Mar 06Gwen’s Take: Hillary, Congress & Ferguson: The perils of seeing more clearly
Let’s have a chat about transparency, and how much we really want to know about the way things work. This week provided several good examples of the discussion along the campaign trail, and in all three branches of government.
Politics Feb 27Gwen’s Take: Demographics as political destiny
The browning of America is about more than an expanding melting pot. It also has immediate implications for education and tax policy; for elective and strategic politics.