Andrea Mitchell accepts lifetime achievement award at news Emmys

"None of us achieves anything on our own in this business," the NBC News correspondent said in her acceptance speech. "Television news is a team sport."

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By Daniel Arkin

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," accepted a lifetime achievement honor at the news and documentary Emmy Awards on Tuesday night.

Mitchell — who covers U.S. foreign policy, international diplomacy, and intelligence and national security issues — was presented with the honor at New York's Lincoln Center, two days after the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.

In her remarks, Mitchell thanked her colleagues across NBC News and MSNBC, paying special tribute to the late "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert, whom she called "the heart and soul of our Washington bureau."

"None of us achieves anything on our own in this business," Mitchell said. "Television news is a team sport."

Mitchell said she owed a "special debt of sisterhood" to other pioneers in broadcast journalism, including CBS News veteran Lesley Stahl and "PBS NewsHour" anchor Judy Woodruff. She also recognized beloved ABC News journalist Cokie Roberts, who died last week.

"Cokie represented the best of New Orleans and Washington, having been nurtured in the South but raised — literally — in the halls of Congress," Mitchell said, going on to praise Roberts for "her enchanting laugh, her keen wit, her fundamental kindness and empathy."

"She was a founding mother not only of NPR, but of all of us women journalists in Washington," Mitchell said.

In a recorded video tribute, political luminaries, including former U.S. secretaries of state Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry, congratulated Mitchell on her career.

Kristen Welker, an NBC News White House correspondent, introduced Mitchell to the stage, applauding her colleague for being "tough as nails" and tireless in the pursuit of the truth.

"She's unstoppable. She's relentless. She's the one to beat, a shining example of journalism at its best," Welker said, adding that Mitchell was both "a dear friend to so many" and "a hands-on mentor."

The previous recipients of the lifetime achievement award include media mogul Ted Turner, television personality Larry King, veteran broadcast journalist Barbara Walters, and former "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel.

Mitchell, who joined NBC News in 1978, has reported on many pivotal domestic and foreign events of the last several decades, such as the run-up to the Iraq War, the evolving U.S.-Cuban relationship, and the last three U.S. presidential elections. She led NBC News' coverage of Hillary Clinton's second presidential bid.

In her role as foreign affairs correspondent, Mitchell has reported exclusive dispatches from North Korea, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Bosnia, Kosovo, Pakistan and Haiti.

Mitchell's past assignments include serving as the network's chief White House correspondent and energy correspondent. She is married to former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan and lives in Washington, D.C.