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Thread: Journalist Gwen Ifill (61) died after a battle with cancer

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Journalist Gwen Ifill (61) died after a battle with cancer
    Gwen Ifill, a co-host of the long-running “PBS NewsHour” and a noted debate moderator, has died following a battle with cancer. She was 61.

    “It is with extremely heavy hearts that we must share that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away this afternoon following several months of cancer treatment,” a statement from “PBS NewsHour” read. “She was surrounded by loving family and many friends whom we ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers.”

    Paula Krager, PBS’s president and CEO, celebrated Ifill’s career in her own statement.

    “Gwen was one of America’s leading lights in journalism and a fundamental reason public media is considered a trusted window on the world by audiences across the nation,” Krager said. “Her contributions to thoughtful reporting and civic discourse simply cannot be overstated. She often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society. Gwen did this with grace and a steadfast commitment to excellence.”

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    Sara Just, executive producer for “PBS NewsHour” alerted staff to the news in an email Monday.

    “Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change. She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a journalist’s journalist and set an example for all around her,” Just wrote in her message.

    “So many people in the audience felt that they knew and adored her. She had a tremendous combination of warmth and authority. She was stopped on the street routinely by people who just wanted to give her a hug and considered her a friend after years of seeing her on TV. We will forever miss her terribly.”

    New York native Ifill graduated from Simmons College in 1977 and went on to hold positions at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC before joining PBS’s “Washington Week in Review” in 1999.

    Perhaps best known nationally for her work as a debate moderator, Ifill moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice-presidential debates that pitted Dick Cheney against John Edwards and Joe Biden against Sarah Palin. Ifill also moderated a Democratic primary debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
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    It was aliens raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    This one makes me super sad! What an amazing person!

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    One of the most recognizable faces in TV news, former PBS anchor Gwen Ifill started as a reporter in a predominantly white, male journalism industry. Within years of her start in local news, she was covering presidential campaigns for the biggest media organizations in the country.

    She’s regarded as one of the most respected reporters of all time, and someone who pushed the bar forward for women of color in journalism. Now, she’s on a stamp.

    Yesterday, the trailblazing reporter and anchor, who died in 2016, was honored as the face of the U.S. Postal Service’s 43rd Black Heritage Forever stamp, which was officially issued today. She joins Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, and Jackie Robinson, whose faces have all been recognized with a Forever stamp in previous years. Ifill’s stamp was designed by Derry Noyes and features a photo taken in 2008 of a smiling Ifill on a white background.

    “Gwen Ifill was a remarkable trailblazer who broke through gender and racial barriers,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman in a statement. Stroman officiated the dedication ceremony. “Gwen was truly a national treasure, and so richly deserving of today’s honor.”

    Ifill started as a reporter right out of college in 1977, a time when black women were scarce in journalism. Throughout her career, which spanned three decades and seven presidential campaigns, she became one of the most respected journalists in national politics. She worked for The Boston Herald American, The Baltimore Evening Sun, The Washington Post and The New York Times, and NBC before settling down at PBS in 1999.

    There, she was the host of Washington Week and in 2013 became part of the first all-female daily-news anchor team at NewsHour. She moderated presidential and vice-presidential debates in 2004 and 2008, notably stumping Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards with questions about the state of healthcare for black women.

    Ifill’s co-anchor and current NewsHour host Judy Woodruff joined Stroman for the dedication of the stamp.

    “The Ifill family is thrilled that our sister, cousin and aunt has received this signal tribute to her legacy as a truth-teller, pioneer and exemplar,” Gwen’s brother Bert Ifill said in a statement. “As a mentor, supportive friend and family member, she was determined, not only to open doors for those of us previously locked out of opportunity, but also to provide floor plans to help us find our way through. She is forever in our hearts, and we are forever in her debt.

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