Individual 2009

Personal Award: Diane Rehm

At a time when political talk shows are growing ever more strident and partisan, inflaming passions instead of informing the public, The Diane Rehm Show stands apart as an exemplar of thoughtful, civil discourse about public affairs. For more than 25 years, Diane Rehm has been the producer and host of the Washington, D.C.-based program. In 1995, National Public Radio began distributing it across the country and, a year later, to Europe, Japan and other sites around the world. Her show is wide-ranging, covering politics, the arts, science, cultural trends, literature, and world affairs. By turns warm and compassionate, tough and uncompromising, Rehm has distinguished herself as someone with enormous respect for her audience, and as that rare talk show host determined to ensure civility and mutual respect across political and ideological divides. In discussions about contentious domestic and international issues, she features experts and politicians with differing points of view so her audience can hear a genuine debate. In her weekly “Friday News Roundup,” she hosts a panel of journalists from various perspectives, first to discuss the week’s top national news stories and, then, the week’s top international news stories, offering listeners two of the most informative and enlightening hours of public affairs broadcasting on the air. As the many callers to her show attest, Rehm’s devoted audience has an enduring admiration for how her show enriches their lives. For her outstanding contributions to public understanding of current affairs, Diane Rehm receives a Personal Peabody Award.