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Gwen Ifill, an award-winning television journalist, author, and trailblazer for African-American women, died Monday after a courageous battle with cancer.

On Tuesday, Roland MartinSarah Glover, the President of the National Association for Black Journalists, and the NewsOne Now panel celebrated the life, career and legacy of Ifill.

Glover pointed out Ifill’s journalism transcended race: “Her executive producer said she was a journalist’s journalist … her reporting commanded respect, so much so that President Obama honored her at his press conference yesterday by kicking off the press conference with a summary of her accomplishments and her impact.”

Glover explained President Obama’s remarks were “telling of the impact that she had across the industry.”

Glover said Ifill was an inspirational role model for Black journalists and her work was touted as the “platinum standard of journalism,” allowing her to rise to the highest level and “her reporting surely demanded that level of respect.”

Lauren Victoria Burke, Political Analyst and writer for NBCBLK, said, “One of the greatest things about Gwen is that she, on these panel shows, often times she’s the only Black female on the show and I loved the way she asserted herself.”

“It’s amazing that this happens at this time when we have all this journalism that is based off of opinion and political activism,” Burke continued. “Because what Gwen was doing was straight objective journalism, which is extremely hard to find these days, to say the least.”

Dr. Jason Johnson, Politics Editor for The Root and Professor at Morgan State University, recalled Ifill moderating a vice presidential debate in 2004 during which she demanded answers to tough questions and challenged Dick Cheney. Johnson added, “There are very few people who had that level of gravitas, who had that level of influence, that’s one of the things that I will always remember – not only just being the other person in the room, but her being able to speak truth to power.”  

Avis Jones-DeWeever, author of How Exceptional Women Lead, said, “It’s beautiful to reflect on her competence, her brilliance, and the way in which she just carried us all in terms of making us see someone we can be proud of each and every day from the integrity that she stood by throughout her entire journalistic career.”

Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel share their reflections on Gwen Ifill in the video clip above.


Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.


The Unapologetic Power Of Gwen Ifill