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Erin Moriarty honored with Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation

Gracie Awards
Susan Zirinsky and Erin Moriarty speak onstage during the 2019 Gracie Awards Luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 26, 2019 in New York City.  Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Gracie Award Luncheon

CBS News correspondent Erin Moriarty was presented Wednesday with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation at the 44th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City. 

Moriarty was honored for her award-winning four-decade news career, which includes more than three decades at CBS News. She was introduced at the event by Susan Zirinsky, president and senior executive producer of CBS News.

"You hear of Lifetime Achievement, and I think a lot of us think it's something you get at retirement and heading out the door," Moriarty told attendees at the event. "Obviously, I see it as something very different. I see it as a reminder that it actually takes a lifetime, or a very long career, to make a real difference as a journalist in this profession."

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors a woman who exemplifies and the essence of the iconic trailblazer Gracie Allen, the late namesake of The Gracie Awards.

"Erin Moriarty has been producing impactful, life changing stories for CBS News for three decades," Zirinsky said in her introduction. "Erin has does this all with grace - pun intended - wit, and with a laser focus on storytelling that matters to all platforms."

Zirinsky praised Moriarty's work on "48 Hours," which has resulted in seven wrongfully convicted people – including Ryan Ferguson and Marty Tankleff - being freed from prison, and her work on "CBS Sunday Morning," where she's covered a variety of non-crime topics.

"Erin is relentless - authentic, a great person, a damn-good reporter – Erin Moriarty represents the very best of CBS News," Zirinsky said.

The event was hosted by NBC News' Sheinelle Jones and singer-songwriter Brynn Elliott performed for the crowd at Cipriani on 42nd Street. Moriarty said in her acceptance speech that Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has been presenting the honors for nearly 50 years.

"Seriously, think about it, before there was even color television, there was an organization for women and by women," Moriarty said. "And to be very honest, if I've achieved anything in my career it has been because of some very special women, in this room."

Moriarty credited the importance several people at CBS News have had in her work, including Zirinsky, "48 Hours" executive producer Judy Tygard, "CBS Sunday Morning" executive producer Rand Morrison and "48 Hours" producers Gail Zimmerman and Lisa Freed, who have worked on some of her biggest stories.

During her career at CBS News, Moriarty has covered some of the biggest stories of this era, including the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut; the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado; the death of Princess Diana; the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City and the Gulf War. She's also done reports for "CBS Sunday Morning" on topics such as the controversial gay conversion therapy, women who decide to "go flat" after breast cancer surgery and challenges facing funding of the National Endowment for the Arts.

When the award was announced, AWM/F chair Christine Travaglini, who is also Katz Radio Group president, said the Gracie Awards "celebrate the bravery of storytellers to share relevant, compelling content while pushing boundaries to create an environment of equality."

Looking at her work, Moriarty said that she and the team of producers and reporters at "48 Hours" were actually making an impact and helping people understand that sometimes there are wrongful convictions." Also, she said, their work was educating future lawyers, prosecutors and jurors about wrongful convictions and that, perhaps, there would be fewer such cases because of that work.

"To me it has been worth a lifetime of work and hard, hard cases to do," Moriarty said. "You might have guessed I'm not done yet, there's no way I'm leaving. There are stories I have to do."

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