Wolf Blitzer Accepts ICFJ Founders Award for Excellence in Journalism

By: 11/03/2023

Wolf Blitzer is the anchor of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, which provides viewers with in-depth reports about the political, international and breaking news stories of the day. Blitzer, who is the winner of the ICFJ Founders Award for Excellence in Journalism, delivered the following remarks from Tel Aviv, Israel for the ICFJ Tribute to Journalists 2023 on Nov. 2. 


Hello from Tel Aviv to all my friends at the International Center for Journalists. Thank you so much for this truly wonderful honor. I am grateful.

I would have loved to have been with you tonight, but I'm here in Israel doing the work at the heart of this award, reporting international news with huge consequences for the entire world.

I'm thinking of all of my colleagues here in the Middle East and indeed around the globe, putting their lives at risk to report on the Israel-Hamas war, the war in Ukraine and other conflicts. We have lost so many of them. Too many. Their work, our work is more important than ever in a volatile world where freedom of the press is often under attack.

And that makes your work at the International Center for Journalists even more crucial, more crucial than ever. The programs you offer and the resources you provide are a lifeline for journalists dedicated to reporting international news. I am so proud to support your organization, and I'm humbled. I am humbled to be honored by you tonight.

As I stand here in Tel Aviv tonight, I have so many memories of my journey as a journalist. This is where I actually got my start, here in Tel Aviv, after I finished graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

I was very lucky, very lucky indeed, to get my first job with the Reuters news agency in their Tel Aviv bureau. I was fortunate to work with veteran British journalists who were with me in Tel Aviv. They taught me journalism. Just report the news, Wolf, they said, that's what we want. And I have been doing that ever since, covering the first Gulf War for CNN over at the Pentagon, traveling to Kuwait City to cover the second Gulf War and to Fallujah in Iraq to cover its aftermath.

During my 33 years at CNN, international news has been a prime focus for me, including my reporting from Moscow on the failed Soviet coup and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. And six days in North Korea with the late Bill Richardson. And, of course, there have been so many, so many stories with far reaching global implications that we have covered during my 18 years anchoring The Situation Room.



I am grateful to CNN for committing so much airtime and resources to international news, and I am fortunate to have a platform to report on the kinds of stories that have been such an integral part of my work as a journalist. Over all these years, the events we cover, the facts we share, the truths we reveal, have the ability to inform and influence people during very, very dangerous times.

And so I have come full circle here in Tel Aviv tonight as I receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Journalism. I will do all I can to live up to that very high standard. Thank you again for this truly extraordinary recognition.

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