Jorge Ramos, Jake Tapper, and Katy Tur Will Each Receive 2017 Walter Cronkite Award

By A.J. Katz 

The 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism winners were announced this morning. The honorees include CNN’s Jake Tapper, Univision and Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, and NBC News’s Katy Tur, each of whom will receive the Individual Achievement by a National Journalist honor.

Given every two years since since the legendary CBS Newsman first presented them in 2001, the prizes were announced today by the Norman Lear Center at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, which administers the award.

Announcing the winners, Lear Center Director Marty Kaplan said, “Today, at this seriously dangerous moment for our democracy, these Cronkite Awards honor journalists, stations and networks stepping up to their civic responsibility to tell Americans the truth.”

The judges singled out the three aforementioned TV news journalists for their coverage of the politics, issues and drama of the 2016 presidential election. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Jorge Ramos (Univision News and Fusion) wins for advancing the conversation about what divides us as a country. Jurors highlighted his range and talents as an interviewer, including a chillingly candid encounter with an unmasked member of the Ku Klux Klan, two Muslim women describing a racist beating inside a Minnesota restaurant and a classroom full of young dreamers expressing fears their parents will be deported.

Jake Tapper (CNN) wins for his fearless advocacy for the truth throughout the election cycle. Jurors said his interviewing “relentlessness” held officials to account and equipped voters with valuable information about the candidates. Forceful when necessary, refusing to let candidates slip away from important questions, he was praised for “his tenacious commitment to sorting fact from fiction, a quality essential to journalism.”

Katy Tur (NBC News), who followed the Trump campaign for 17 months, wins for “courage under pressure,” a “complete fluency and mastery” of the subject matter and an ability to convey it “effortlessly” on live television, whether in the field, at a press conference or in the studio. Providing unique insight into Trump voters, she displayed “grit and perseverance demonstrating the honor of her profession.”

Additionally, CNN’s Reliable Sources will receive the National Network News Program award.

Judges called CNN’s Reliable Sources a “one-man media literacy course,” praising host Brian Stelter for his “down-to-earth conversational commentary” at a time when the public needs to understand what the media does and how they do it. The jury highlighted the way Stelter faced criticism of the media head on, offering positive solutions to the question of what the media needs to do to gain, and regain, the public’s trust.

NBC News’ Hallie Jackson gave a shout-out to her fellow TV newsers via Twitter, as did Tapper.

The winners will receive their awards during a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington on Friday, April 28.