David Muir, the award-winning anchor and managing editor of “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” accepted the 40th Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism on Thursday, Feb. 8, during a luncheon at Sheraton Downtown Phoenix.
The award event, presented by Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, attracted more than 1,000 attendees, ranging from leaders in the worlds of media, politics and business, to local on-air personalities and national media representatives. In attendance were Kim Godwin, president of ABC News, and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
The luncheon raised nearly $270,000 to support the Cronkite School and its students.
Muir spoke directly to the Cronkite students in attendance, whom he had met the previous day during a special event.
“I have such hope now, I really do, for the future. They are so inspiring – the students here at the Cronkite School, so thank you for giving me that time for the Q&A,” Muir said.
He emphasized the importance of journalism and encouraged Cronkite students to remain determined to seek the truth through reporting.
“I’m here to tell you there is no more important path than the one you have chosen in this moment. Journalism. A hunger for the truth, the pursuit of storytelling in a time of so much noise out there,” he said. “What you’re setting out to do has never been more important and more needed than it is today.”
Muir reflected on Walter Cronkite’s legacy, highlighting the legendary news anchor’s commitment to truth and objective reporting.
“I would argue that it was Walter Cronkite’s deep humanity that was the real thing that resonated with the millions of Americans who watched him,” Muir said. “It was his humanity that connected him to viewers the most.”
Previous Cronkite Award recipients include award-winning anchor and co-host Gayle King; weatherman and anchor Al Roker; TV news anchors Lester Holt, Robin Roberts, Anderson Cooper, Scott Pelley, Christiane Amanpour, Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill; sportscasters Al Michaels and Bob Costas; newspaper journalists Dean Baquet, Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and Bob Woodward; and media executives Katharine Graham, Al Neuharth and William Paley.