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The State of the Fourth Estate: News Media In America with Veteran Journalists Woodruff and Hunt

Wed Aug 25, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
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The last time Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt spoke to the Vail community, Reagan was president, there were two Germanys and cable news did not exist. Between them, Woodruff and Hunt have more than 80 years of experience in print and broadcast news. During their tenure, the media landscape has shifted in profound ways.

Media serves several functions in society. It informs the public, monitors the government, and offers a forum for important issues. Media can also serve as entertainment. “The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by media theorist Marshall McLuhan in 1964. This was decades before the extraordinary proliferation of media outlets available today. In addition to print, radio, and television, today’s media ecosystem includes 24-hour cable news and the diverse and ubiquitous social media platforms. How have the mediums adapted to survive and in the process impacted the message?

These two award-winning veteran journalists have lived and worked through these changes and will share their experiences with the Vail community. Woodruff and Hunt spoke at the Vail Symposium in the 1980s and we are pleased to have them return for our 50th anniversary season.

In the news:

Judy Woodruff honored with Inaugural Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity

Arlington, VA–June 10, 2021 — Peabody today announced that PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff has won the first ever Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity. The award honors the sustained achievement of the highest professional standards of journalism, as well as personal integrity in reporting the news in challenging times.

“Judy Woodruff’s trailblazing career is a testament to many things,” said Jane Fonda, who presented Woodruff with the award this morning via video (linked HERE). “To the fierce strength of a woman in a male-dominated field, to the professional craft of writing and reporting, and to our collective experience of American history and politics, but above all, Judy Woodruff is a testament to the discipline of telling the truth to the public.

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Al Hunt

Al Hunt


2022 Politics WarRoom with James Carville and Al Hunt

Judy Woodruff

Judy Woodruff

Anchor and Managing Editor

PBS NewsHour