The news that Gwen Ifill has died is a terrible shock. As host and moderator of Washington Week and co-anchor of the PBS NewsHour (with Judy Woodruff), Ifill was unbeatable. Here she is in 2013, speaking about the NewsHour to a New York Times interviewer (quoted in the NPR story I’ve linked to):
“When I was a little girl watching programs like this — because that’s the kind of nerdy family we were — I would look up and not see anyone who looked like me in any way. No women. No people of color,” she said. “I’m very keen about the fact that a little girl now, watching the news, when they see me and Judy sitting side by side, it will occur to them that that’s perfectly normal — that it won’t seem like any big breakthrough at all.”I will miss Gwen Ifill’s intelligence and exuberance. Watching her, I always had the feeling that we were all in this (that is, current events, of whatever sort) together.