Will Ripley is an award-winning correspondent for CNN, based at the network's Hong Kong bureau.
Will Ripley is an award-winning correspondent for CNN, based at the network's Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong.
A journalist for two decades, Ripley has travelled to North Korea 19 times since 2014 — more than any American TV correspondent.
A crucial component of the network's coverage of the historic Inter-Korean and the Trump-Kim summits in 2018, Ripley has reported exclusively from Pyongyang after missile launches and nuclear tests. He was also the only American journalist in North Korea when U.S. prisoner Otto Warmbier was released just days before his death in 2017.
Ripley was awarded Best Single News Story/Report at the Asian Academy Creative Awards in 2018 as one of few journalists invited by North Korea to witness the destruction of the remote Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
He has also been recognised for his exclusive CNN documentary Secret State: Inside North Korea, which was the top-rated cable news program (among adults aged 25-54) when it premiered in the United States. Ripley received the award for Best Documentary Programme (one-off/special) at the Asian Academy Creative Awards for the unprecedented access and interviews shown in the programme.
Since moving to CNN's Hong Kong bureau, Ripley has guest-presented News Stream and CNN Newsroom on CNN International and reported on stories across the city, such as the impact of Typhoon Mangkhut and the opening of the Hong Kong--Zhuhai--Macau Bridge. Ripley is a regular host of CNN Vision programming, such as interviewing with former Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata on Talk Asia, whilst continuing to cover breaking news from across the region.
Ripley was previously CNN's Tokyo-based correspondent. He 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.
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 — later visiting the boy at his new home in Missouri.
Prior to CNN, Ripley spent nearly 15 years working in newsrooms across the United States. He got his start as a student news reporter in his home state of Connecticut before heading to Missouri, Texas, and Colorado.
Throughout his career, Ripley has won numerous reporting accolades including four Regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Heartland Regional Emmy award. He was honoured by the Texas Association of Broadcasters with the Steve Pieringer award for outstanding valour in news coverage, which is given to journalists who exhibit bravery by going above and beyond the call of duty.
Ripley graduated from the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, consistently ranked as one of the top journalism schools in the United States.