Gwen Ifill

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About
is an American journalist, television newscaster and author. She is the managing editor and moderator of Washington Week and a senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, both of which air on PBS.

Hosted AMAs


Highest Rated Comments


GwenIfill52 karma

WAIT, I'm up against Kevin Hart? Can I send him a question too?

GwenIfill43 karma

Hi everybody! #excited. The chief difference between PBS and commercial outlets -- broadcast and cable -- is that we have the luxury of time. Because it's a noncommercial hour long broadcast, we actually get to dig pretty deep. When I worked at NBC, for example, a long story lasted about 2 minutes. At the NewsHour, a short one runs about 5. We also get the chance to indulge in storytelling on line and on air. We cover the Afghanistan war, but also Afghan poets. We track the Israeli elections, but also the plight of Eritrean refugees in Tel Aviv. Oh, and sometimes sports and cicadas. I learn something new every single day.

GwenIfill39 karma

How do you know I didn't?

GwenIfill35 karma

The terror crowds out the anger. You want to ask the right questions, the right way, keep track of the clock and make sure you do not humilate yourself in front of 67 million people. Anger is a luxury you can't afford when you have that many balls to keep in the air.

GwenIfill32 karma

Never.

GwenIfill30 karma

You know, I don't think I actually have a favorite moment...but since this is Reddit and I know no one's listening, I will confess to my LEAST favorite one...that's when I screwed up a live shot and blurted out the words, "Oh crap!" on the night of the New Hampshire primary. Not a shining moment.

GwenIfill28 karma

Frederick Douglass, Ethel Payne, Charlayne Hunter Gult, Tim Russert, Mary McGrory, Ida B. Wells...the list is loooong.

GwenIfill28 karma

This many sound pretty mundane, but it's true. It costs money to do a longer show, and there's not a lot of that in abundance these days. I think it would be pretty great, though. Perhaps I can market CDs of me singing Prince during the next pledge drive? Any takers?

GwenIfill26 karma

You are too, probably.

GwenIfill23 karma

You are very kind, but why would you wish that kind of stress on me??

Every moderator brings different skills to the task, but he or she should always be able to manage that most difficult balance -- asking the question AND listening to the answer. That is so much harder than it looks.