Gwen Ifill: Remembered for Her Integrity and Her Example

When Gwen Ifill — managing editor of “PBS NewsHour” and moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” — passed away yesterday, President Obama called her an “extraordinary reporter . . . an especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity, tenacity, and her intellect.”

One half of the first all-female anchor team on PBS NewsHour with Judy Woodruff, Ifill recalled her own childhood in a 2013 The New York Times interview: “When I was a little girl watching programs like this . . .  I would look up and not see anyone who looked like me in any way.. . . No women. No people of color. I’m very keen about the fact that a little girl now, watching the news, when they see me and Judy sitting side by side, it will occur to them that that’s perfectly normal — that it won’t seem like any big breakthrough at all.”

Ifill’s spirit and vision are also evident in the words of PBS NewsHour executive producer Sara Just, who said, “Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change.”  Young and old need to see individuals like Ifill who embody such principles and ennoble their chosen professions.

When searching PBS LearningMedia, you’ll find many hundreds of classroom resources from PBS NewsHour, often with Ifill sitting front and center.  And the MAKERS website, with its largest video collection of women’s stories, shares short videos of Gwen Ifill as she talks about her life and her beliefs.

To hear what friends and colleagues said about her last night on PBS NewsHour, watch What Gwen Ifill meant to us or the entire program, which was dedicated to Gwen Ifill.

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