The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced Tuesday that anchor, journalist and author Wolf Blitzer and director/producer Barbara Kopple are the lifetime achievement honorees at the 44th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Blitzer will receive his honor at the News ceremony on Sept. 27, and Kopple’s at the Documentary ceremony on Sept. 28. Both events will take place at the Palladium Times Square in New York City.
“I am truly honored to receive this esteemed award from the Academy,” said Wolf in a statement. “When Ted Turner hired me, he told me, ‘Wolf, at CNN, the news comes first’ and that has been my guiding light these 33 years and continues to be my advice to young journalists today. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that I still get up every morning and look forward to going to work and reporting the news with some of the smartest people I know. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many talented journalists whom I have worked with, been mentored by, and learned from during my career.”
Added Kopple: “I am deeply moved and honored to receive this recognition. What it means to me is that the many people whose lives I was lucky enough to film will not be forgotten. They are a treasure to us all. There will be more to come.”
Blitzer is the host of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, which recently celebrated 18 years on CNN — the network Blitzer has called home for 33 years. In addition to two News & Documentary Emmys (and six additional nominations), Blitzer has received the American News Women’s Club Excellence in Journalism Award, the National Press Foundation’s Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, the Urbino Press Award from the Italian Embassy, the Radio & Television Digital News Foundation’s Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award and the Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s Jefferson-Lincoln Award.
Kopple is a two-time Academy Award winner, the only woman to have won twice for best documentary feature, and has earned three Primetime Emmy nominations and three News & Documentary Emmy nominations. In addition to her Oscar-winning Harlan County U.S.A. and American Dream (the former named to the National Film Registry in 1991), she has directed the documentaries Gumbo Coalition, Desert One, New Homeland, Wild Man Blues and Shut Up and Sing. She has also directed episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street and Oz.