After almost three years in this major, I've learned more about Journalism then I could have ever imagined. But as much as I love the track i've set myself on, sometimes it can get old. It is at times like this that I think about the people in this field that have inspired me. It is hard to be a woman in this field. Female journalists fought an uphill battle for years try to make it in this industry. They are subject to sexism, racism, and mistreatment by network heads and superiors. It's one thing to make it in this field but to be taken seriously and respected is quite another. am hugely inspired by the women featured in this article. When a class or a task becomes too challenging I think about the female trailblazers in this industry, how hard they pushed themselves and how much they had to endure to get where they did.
1. Connie Chung
Connie Chung was born on August 20th 1946 in Washington DC. Her father worked in intelligence for the Chinese Government. She received a degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland. Chung has worked at almost all the major news networks she covered Washington for CBS, 20/20 for ABC, and anchored opposite Dan Rather on the nighty news broadcast for CBS. Connie Chung has had many impressive interviews throughout her career. One of her most famous was her sit down interview with Kathleen Gingrich in 1995, in which Newt Gingrich's mother confessed that her son had used a profane word to describe Hillary Clinton. Chung is also remembered for her pressing and high intensity interview of California Congressman and Chandra Levy murder suspect Gary Condit.
2. Gwen Ifill
Gwen Ifill was born on September 29th 1955 in Queens, New York. She got her Bachelors in Journalism from Simmons College. During her college internship, she found a racist note on her desk. She took it to her editors, who would later offer her a job out of college. Following her graduation, Ifill went to The Baltimore Sun in 81', and The Washington Post in 84', She would leave the previous in 91' after being told that she "couldn't handle covering Capitol Hill." Shortly after, she was hired by The New York Times where she covered the White House from 91-94.' Aside from the numerous political debates she hosted, Ifill is best remembered for her on-air partnership with PBS News Hour co-host Judy Woodruff. The duo were the first and only all-female team to anchor a nightly national news program on broadcast. Ifill also anchored PBS' Washington Week in Review. She was the first black woman to host a national political talk show. She also served on many prestigious boards and committees. Sadly Gwen Ifill passed away in September of last year from cancer at the age of 61. Some of her most iconic interviews include President Obama and the Dalai Lama.
3. Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters was born September 25th 1929, in Boston Massachusetts. Walters' father was in the entertainment industry and had many business ventures, meaning the family's finances were something of a roller coaster. Walters got her Bachelors from Sarah Lawrence in 1953. In 1961, she was hired by NBC as a writer. She became a "Today girl" as well. In 1964 she became a reporter and a sort of unofficial cohost to Frank McGee and Hugh Downs, she wasn't made an official cohost until 1974. Even then Frank McGee insisted on being given the first three questions of every interview he did with Walters. In 1976, she accepted a million dollar offer from ABC and became the first female co-anchor of an evening newscast. This move annoyed and angered many men in her field. Even her ABC co-anchor, Harry Reasoner had to problem vocalizing his agreement. One of Walters most famous ventures was her time at 20/20 (1979) It was here that she did some of her best and biggest work. Interviewing some of the biggest figures of the 80's and 90's including her 1996 sit down with the Menendez Brothers as well as the first TV interview with Monica Lewinsky - which is still the most-watched interview in history. Walters left 20/20 in 2004. Walters next and most successful venture was The View, of which she co-hosted until 2013, upon her retirement, though she remains executive producer. Most recently, she developed a series for Investigation Discovery, American Scandals with Barbara Walters. In which she revisits her biggest interviews. Barbara Walters is now 88 and has slowed though her legacy and work remains. She is also a huge personal inspiration to me, and has inspired me to consider work as an investigative journalist.