Gwen Ifill
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism announced that Gwen Ifill has been awarded the 2016 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Ifill is the first African-American recipient in the award's 21-year history. She not only is a political journalist but also serves as the co-anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour, as well as the managing editor and moderator of Washington Week With Gwen Ifill, Columbia notes.

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The award honors the legacy of John Chancellor, who was a pioneering television corespondent and a longtime NBC News anchor. Recipients of the award are journalists who have had successful careers and cumulative accomplishments. Ifill receives the award along with a $50,000 honorarium. According to Columbia, the award winner is selected by a nine-member committee.

"Gwen Ifill's career embodies the best of our profession and the spirit of the John Chancellor Award: her unflinching pursuit of the truth, healthy skepticism of those in power and her commitment to fairness," said Dean Steve Coll, a member of the Chancellor jury.

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Ifill has received over 25 honorary doctorates and sits on the boards of the News Literary Project and the Committee to Protect Journalists, among many other accomplishments.

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Read more at Columbia Journalism School.