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Judy Woodruff to receive Distinguished Journalist Award from DePaul University

Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence also honors CNBC executive producer and alumna Sally Ramirez

​​​​​​​Judy Woodruff sits at anchor desk

PBS NewsHour
Best known for her years anchoring the “PBS NewsHour,” Judy Woodruff will be honored with the Distinguished Journalist Award from DePaul University’s Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence. Sally Ramirez, a 1989 alumna and most recently executive producer of the CNBC show “The News with Shepard Smith,” will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Center co-directors Carol Marin and Don Moseley will present the awards at a luncheon at the Union League Club on April 27.

“Judy Woodruff inspires. She is living proof that journalism is about the story, not the storyteller,” Marin says. “It’s about the facts which can be slippery as mercury. It’s about the fairness.”

In her more than 30-year career, Ramirez has established herself as a newsroom leader. “Sally Ramirez’s impressive career centers on great journalism and solid storytelling,” says Moseley.

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Journalist Award are 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker; Chicago news anchor Ron Magers; Lester Holt of “NBC Nightly News;” Jane Pauley of “CBS Sunday Morning;” and Dean Baquet of The New York Times. Previous recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award are KARE-TV reporter Heidi Wigdahl; Jeremy Gorner of the Chicago Tribune; Ben Welsh of the Los Angeles Times; Ann Pistone of ABC7 Chicago and Lourdes Duarte of WGN-TV.

Care in reporting, respect for audience

Woodruff anchored the “PBS NewsHour” for a decade, alongside Gwen Ifill from 2013 to 2016 and then solo after Ifill’s death. In November, she announced she’d step down from the role to become a correspondent, focusing on a new reporting project – “Judy Woodruff Presents: America at a Crossroads.”

“What makes her work so magnificent to watch is the precision, the preparation and the care that she takes in her reporting,” Marin says. “But maybe even more, it’s the respect she shows her audience in delivering the news.”

Woodruff has been recognized with many prestigious awards throughout her long career, including the Peabody Journalistic Integrity Award and an Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Radcliffe Medal.

She has reported and anchored news broadcasts for NBC, CNN, and NPR, among other national outlets. She served as White House correspondent for NBC and wrote a book about her time covering the Reagan administration, “This is Judy Woodruff at the White House.” In 2007, she produced a documentary on the views of young Americans, “Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard,” which aired on PBS along with reported pieces on “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” NPR, USA Today and Yahoo News.

Woodruff is a co-founder of the International Women’s Media Foundation, which supports women in journalism and communication worldwide. ​

Sally Ramirez smiles at camera
Courtesy of Sally Ramirez

From intern to EP, journalism centers Ramirez

Ramirez was most recently executive producer of The News with Shepard Smith on CNBC. She served as news director at KHOU-TV in Houston during one of that city’s most trying times, Hurricane Harvey. An investigative series on failures of police body cameras earned a coveted 2018 duPont-Columbia award. Judges cited its “remarkable tenacity” and called it “a terrific example of local watchdog reporting.”

As a DePaul student, Ramirez interned in the NBC 5 Chicago newsroom. And years later was named executive producer of the primary newscast at CNBC. In 2017, when Hurricane Harvey struck Houston and forced KHOU-TV from its studio, Ramirez and her news team quickly evacuated their station and eight hours later were back on the air broadcasting essential information to viewers. “That’s what great newsrooms and great leaders do,” Moseley says.

“My 30-plus year career is built on the journalistic foundation I received at DePaul,” Ramirez says. “I am proud to represent the university and humbled to receive this award.”

Ramirez, who grew up in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, served as an executive news producer at WGN-TV from 1994 to 1997 and as assistant news director at KGW-TV in Portland, OR, from 2012 to 2016.

The Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence

A longtime investigative reporting and producing team, Marin and Moseley have mentored DePaul students since 2003, showing them the ropes of investigative journalism. In 2016, DePaul launched the Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence in the College of Communication with Marin and Moseley as co-directors, providing scores of students with more opportunities to gain real-world experience. For more information about the center, visit

Carol Marin

Don Moseley

Media contact:
Mary Hansen