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Television journalist Judy Woodruff gives Billings talk on American media and her long career

Posted at 7:08 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 21:08:17-04

BILLINGS – She’s worked her way up from a cleaning film and answering the phone as a newsroom secretary to become one of the world’s most admired and trusted journalists.

Judy Woodruff has been reporting Washington politics since 1971 and currently is the managing editor and anchor of PBS NewsHour.

On Monday, she took some time to help support the Billings Public Library Foundation.

Woodruff, 71, spoke to a full room at the library this afternoon. She touched on topics from politics to a divided nation and what important element she believes will be key in changing this current climate.

Q2 had a chance to talk with her afterward, and asked her, in all her decades of reporting, if there was one story or topic that made her want to walk away from journalism?

In response, she recounted several difficult moments.

She was in the press pool the day of Ronald Reagan’s attempted assassination. She was in Washington on 9/11. She was also in school when Martin Luther King Junior and Robert Kennedy were killed within months of each other.

But her response was filled with optimism for this country.

"So when I think about what we’ve been through, the difficulties now as a country and clearly we are and have, I think about what I saw as a young person, and I think about how our country has stayed strong. We have gone through a Civil War… and we are stronger as a result of it. So our country has been through a lot, and I have confidence in the American people. My deep belief in the American people, my deep belief in the values that hold us together as a country that we will stay strong. That’s what keeps me going as a reporter," Woodruff said.

Woodruff spoke to a sold out crowd Monday afternoon in the Billings Public Library Community Room and to a sold out crowd in an early evening reception at MSU-Billings.

The public was welcomed to a free Community Conversation at the MSU-Billings Petro Theatre from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday.