The IWMF Mourns the Passing of Cokie Roberts

The IWMF is deeply saddened by the loss of reporting pioneer Cokie Roberts. Roberts, whose career spanned across four decades in countless capacities, created a permanent impact on political news coverage and broadcast journalism. Her nuanced and insightful coverage received three Emmy Awards, along with countless other accolades. Chief among these achievements, Roberts was a true trailblazer for women in news media.

Roberts started her career at National Public Radio (NPR) in 1978, and was named one of the ‘Founding Mothers’ of the outlet. Under Roberts’ leadership, NPR broke down barriers for women journalists. Her work brought the news channel to new heights and branded Roberts’ voice as one of the most trusted in political commentary. Thanks to her vision, today, more than 57% of staff reporters at NPR are women.

Roberts strongly championed gender equity during her career. An avid mentor, she enabled countless women to reach leadership positions in male-dominated newsrooms. Roberts also aligned her goals with those of the IWMF, and presented at the 1997 Courage in Journalism Awards alongside other news media trailblazers.

Her passion for the profession was best stated herself: “It is such a privilege — you have a front seat to history,” Roberts said. “You do get used to it, and you shouldn’t, because it is a very special thing to be able to be in the room … when all kinds of special things are happening.”

Cokie’s voice will be sorely missed, though her legacy as one of the greatest women in news media will continue to endure.