Kristen Welker celebrates diversity of opinions during awards speech

Advocacy, Awards,

Kristen Welker

Kristen Welker, moderator of Meet the Press, urged journalists to seek diverse opinions in an effort to promote the truth, during her First Amendment Awards acceptance speech.

“There are people who believe the right solution is shutting down different and difficult perspectives,” Welker said at the 33rd annual First Amendment Awards, held earlier this year in Washington, D.C. “But I think the better service to the public is to engage those voices, to challenge them, and to expose the truth, even when it is uncomfortable.”

The RTDNA Foundation selected Welker for her outstanding political reporting during one of the most contentious periods ever in American politics. As the moderator of a journalism institution, she holds the powerful accountable and continually proves why the First Amendment matters.

During her acceptance speech, Welker outlined the principles that guide the Meet the Press team as they plan their show each week. 

“Trust is a word that we hear a lot lately,” Welker said. “That trust, which is central to the responsibility we hold under the First Amendment, goes both ways, I think. Building audience trust means trusting them as well and making our work useful and relevant for a public that feels increasingly confused and misled by a fractured news ecosystem.”

Welker said Meet the Press prioritizes a diversity of opinions to help the audience better understand.

“We see this diversity as critical to bringing fair and accurate information to our audience, so that they can have the best available information when they step into the voting booth,” she said. “That's, ultimately, what it's all about.

“We are also deeply committed to finding unique perspectives on everyday challenges and ultimately demonstrating that the issues driving our politics and the issues affecting our lives are deeply intertwined, if not all, often one in the same. We have to hear these perspectives to listen, to empathize, to learn and to scrutinize the points of view that shape our audience's understanding of the world.”

Watch her full speech below. 

(Photo: BP Miller / Chorus Photography)