CNN’s chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, was in the nation’s capital to receive the National Press Club’s the Fourth Estate Award at its annual gala on Wednesday night.
The Fourth Estate Award recognizes journalists who have made significant contributions to the field and is the top honor bestowed on a journalist by the National Press Club Board of Governors.
Ward becomes the 50th recipient of the organization’s annual honor.
This accomplishment adds to her growing stable of awards which she has collected over a two-decades-long career in TV news, including nine Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, and the 2021 George Polk Award.
At the NPC gala, Ward said, “In addition to curiosity, tenacity, and grit, I believe that humanity and compassion can be among the most important tools that a journalist can have. Even when you are operating in conflict zones and dangerous and difficult places – where your life and the lives of the people you’re talking to are at risk – being able to pause, to be quiet, to listen, to be gracious, to be human and to be compassionate can actually be more powerful than being loud, angry and bombastic.”
CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht, who was present at the event, said: “[Clarissa] is the embodiment of the mission of CNN — whether it’s reporting from the streets of Kabul or Kyiv, her work is courageous, it is smart, it is independent, and it is incredibly impactful. When I consider what makes our network different than other news organizations in the world, my mind immediately jumps to the journalists like Clarissa and her team, senior field producer Brent Swails and longtime CNN photojournalist Scott McWhinnie. Those three are among the best in the business.”
The event also honored Rana Ayyub and Josh Renaud, winners of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Awards, and PBS Frontline, which received the 2022 Neil and Susan Sheehan Award for Investigative Journalism for its Local Journalism Initiative.
Ward added,“I’m so humbled to be here alongside Rana and Josh and the incredible grace and grit and determination that you have shown to continue your work – it’s an inspiration.”
Ward joins a who’s-who list of accomplished journalists who have won the Fourth Estate Award, including Christiane Amanpour, Wolf Blitzer, Lester Holt, Susan Zirinsky, Dean Bacquet, Marty Baron, Gwen Ifill, Andrea Mitchell, Tom Brokaw, and Walter Cronkite.