With a pathbreaking career in broadcast journalism, Judy Woodruff has earned a reputation for fairness, accuracy and insight. Her thoughtful reports over an impressive career evidence her keen intellect and savvy understanding of politics and power. Hobart and William Smith Colleges recognize her many achievements and honor her commitment to expanding opportunities for women in media.
The path of Judy Woodruff’s three-decade career is a common one for successful broadcast journalists: start at a local station and make your way to the national network. What makes Woodruff’s career at three networks so impressive is the fact that she did so at a time when the opportunities for women were limited. With local television experience gained in Atlanta, in political reporting, Woodruff joined NBC News and reported on her fi rst presidential campaign with then-Governor Jimmy Carter’s successful run for the White House in 1976. Woodruff followed Carter to Washington, D.C., where she became NBC News’ White House correspondent, covering both the Carter and Reagan administrations. Her book, This is Judy Woodruff at the White House, was published in 1982.
Woodruff was the chief Washington correspondent for the MacNeil/ Lehrer “NewsHour” on PBS and anchored “Frontline,” public television’s award-winning weekly documentary series. In 1988, she served as the moderator of the vice presidential debate between Dan Quayle and Lloyd Bentsen.
Joining CNN in 1993, Woodruff served as senior correspondent and anchored “Inside Politics,” a weekly political program. Her presence on CNN was extensive with special political coverage, town halls and election night reporting. With breaking news stories on September 11, 2001 or the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, we relied on Judy Woodruff’s calm, competent and professional reporting.
Since 2006, Woodruff has focused her reporting on America’s young people and their views. Her hour-long documentary, “Generation Next: Speak Up, Be Heard,” has aired on many PBS stations since January and a second documentary is scheduled for late 2007. Woodruff has served as a visiting professor at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and as a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s John Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
Woodruff has received numerous honors for her excellence in journalism including a News and Documentary Emmy, a CableACE Award for Best Newscaster and the Allen H. Neuharth Award. She has been an advocate for enhancing opportunities for women in the media and is the founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation.
As we celebrate the centennial of William Smith College, we proudly honor a woman who has broken barriers for future generations of journalists. The Hobart and William Smith community welcomes her into our fold.