Obama, journalists react to death of Gwen Ifill

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The journalism world is reacting to the news of Gwen Ifill’s death. 

{mosads}Ifill, who won multiple awards as a broadcast journalist for PBS and NBC, died Monday at a Washington hospice facility after months of cancer treatments. She was 61. 

In addition to being the moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and co-anchor and co-managing editor with Judy Woodruff of PBS’s “NewsHour,” Ifill was also the author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” The book was released on Inauguration Day in 2009 and was a New York Times bestseller. 

Ifill’s career began in print journalism in 1981 at The Baltimore Evening Sun. She would go on to report for both The Washington Post and the Washington Times, covering beats that included Congress and several presidential campaigns. 

At a Monday press conference, President Obama called Ifill an “especially powerful role model” who “did her country a great service.” He expressed condolences to her family and her colleagues gathered in the White House briefing room.

Journalists far and wide mourned Ifill on social media. 



Throughout her decorated career, Ifill covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated two vice-presidential debates, including the highest-rated in television history between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.  

PBS CEO Paula Kerger announced Ifill’s death on Monday. 

“It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that Gwen Ifill passed away earlier today surrounded by family and friends,” wrote Kerger in a 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.”

Ifill’s received more than 20 honorary doctorates and served on the boards of the News Literacy Project and the Committee to Protect Journalists, according to PBS. 

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