PBS NewsHour Launches Jim Lehrer Journalism Fellowship

By A.J. Katz 

PBS NewsHour, with financial support from The Jim Lehrer Memorial Fund, has launched the Jim Lehrer Journalism Fellowship in honor of award-winning, longtime PBS NewsHour anchor and co-founder Jim Lehrer.

The program lasts one year, and is meant for recent college graduates. Each participant will assist in the development and production of the PBS NewsHour.

“There never has been a greater need for bright young journalists. There never has been a better model than Jim Lehrer,” said PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff. “Jim would be thrilled to know a young journalist has a chance to learn about newsgathering from the program created in his name. We all look forward to welcoming the Jim Lehrer fellows to the NewsHour.”


Lehrer was anchor of the PBS NewsHour for 36 years before retiring in 2011. He and Robert MacNeil founded the program in 1975, out of their 1973 coverage of the Senate Watergate Hearings on PBS.

Lehrer passed away in January of this year at the age of 85.

The longtime newsman interviewed the world’s most important leaders over the past 40+ years, moderated a total of 12 U.S. presidential debates, more than any other person in American history, including all of the presidential debates in the 1996 and 2000 elections.

This is the second Fellowship PBS NewsHour has launched in recent years. In partnership with the Washington Press Club Foundation, PBS established the Gwen Ifill/PBS NewsHour Journalism Fellowship, dedicated to the late NewsHour co-anchor, in 2017. 

Unlike the yearlong program meant for recent graduates, the Gwen Ifill Fellowship is a 10-week program open to undergraduate and grad students in financial need who are pursing careers in journalism. Financially supported by the WPCF, the Gwen Ifill/PBS NewsHour Journalism Fellowship began annually in June 2017.

Ifill passed away in November 2016.