Will Ripley is an award-winning correspondent for CNN, based at the network's Tokyo bureau.
Will Ripley is an award-winning correspondent for CNN, based at the network's Tokyo bureau. A journalist with more than 15 years of experience, Ripley is responsible for covering major news stories from around the world.
Ripley has reported extensively across Japan -- including being among the first foreign journalists to interview Tokyo's first female governor and first female leader of the Democratic Party. He has covered major breaking stories including the devastating floods in Joso, the execution of two Japanese ISIS hostages, and the deadly eruption of Mt. Ontake. He has also filed in-depth reports on the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, Japanese innovation, fashion, and technology.
Ripley is one of the few western journalists to make repeat visits to North Korea. He was the only American to report live from Pyongyang after January's nuclear test. He broke the stories of U.S. prisoners Kim Dong Chul and Otto Warmbier. He was among a handful of journalists to be granted unprecedented access to the rare Workers' Party Congress, presided over by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Ripley was also the first foreign journalist granted access to Pyongyang's new satellite control center, months before a February 2016 satellite launch, suspected by the U.S., South Korea, and Japan of being a test for long-range ballistic missile technology.
In China, Ripley was one of the first journalists to report live from the massive chemical explosions in Tianjin. He told the emotional story of a young Beijing orphan named Jia Jia whose adoptive parents in the United States raised more than $50,000 to cover his adoption expenses. He returned to China in January 2016, when Jia Jia met his parents and traveled to the U.S.
Prior to CNN, Ripley spent three years as an investigative journalist and anchor for KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado. He covered major stories including the Aurora theater shooting, catastrophic wildfires and floods, and the historic legalization of recreational marijuana.
Prior to his appointment at KUSA, Ripley spent seven years on the U.S-Mexico border as an anchor and investigative reporter for KRGV-TV in South Texas. He reported on drug cartels, border violence and illegal immigration. Ripley also traveled to South America where he reported on a surge in Mara Salvatrucha gang activity.
Before moving to Texas, Ripley worked for KRCG-TV and KOMU-TV in Missouri.
Throughout his career, Ripley has won numerous reporting accolades including four Regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Heartland Regional Emmy award. He was honored by the Texas Association of Broadcasters with the Steve Pieringer award for outstanding valor in news coverage, which is given to journalists who exhibit bravery by going above and beyond the call of duty.
Ripley studied journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia and is an accomplished cameraman and editor.
Follow him on Twitter: @willripleycnn