While it may come as no surprise to you, I still think I need to fess up: I am a news and politics junkie. And in honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to share with you my favorite women pundits, correspondents, news anchors, bloggers and political writers. Women news sources are still in the minority so this is my simple way of supporting every woman out there reporting on what will certainly become history some day.
Now how could I ever sum up the women I support in one concise post? Exactly, it’s utterly impossible. So this will be a three part post – and even then I am quite sure I’ll be skimping on you. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a shot. This week, I will share with you my picks for the best women television news sources that you need to turn on and follow. Sure, do it for the future of women’s journalism, do it for women’s solidarity but really just do it because they are accomplished professionals making an important impact on mainstream media.
Until the early 1960’s, news reporting was strictly a man’s gig. So first things first – let’s give a shout out to some of first women who reported the political goings on in Washington. Nancy Dickerson was in fact the first woman television reporter. She opened the doors for such news greats as Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Ann Compton, Lesley Stahl and more recently, Katie Couric. The stories I’ve read about how difficult it was for these women to break into journalism makes the hairs on my neck stand up. They deserve respect and credit for the ceiling they have all cracked together.
Today, there are a number of television pundits and correspondents who have established themselves as top news contributors. But who tops my list? None other than the amazing and brilliant Rachel Maddow. If you don’t watch her MSNBC show at 9pm every weeknight (or follow her on twitter), you are missing something impressive. Ann Marie Coxis often a guest on her show and I have become a fan of hers also.
Another good perspective comes from Campbell Brown and her show “No Bias, No Bull” is my “go to” when I am not watching Keith Olbermann (and while he’s a “he” and therefore does not fit the bill for this post, I am a loyal viewer of his also). And by the way, Alison Stewart(previously of MTV fame and Emmy award winner) does a fabulous job filling in for Maddow and Olbermann – I hope to see more of this amazing news contributor in the future.
Gwen Ifill is the Moderator and Managing Editor on PBS’ Washington Week. Along with the stiff shirts of the McLaughlin Group, my father watches her regularly. I am a big fan myself and think she handled the vice presidential circus debate with grace and professionalism.
And while I stare at my monitor most afternoons, I usually have MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell quietly on in the background. She’s smart and does a fantastic job asking the right kinds of questions. And then Norah O’Donnellis the MSNBC chief washington correspondent and also hosts the 3pm hour of MSNBC.
While not your traditional political pundits, I have to mention the women on The View. They have made a significant impression on this country with their ideals and fiery political debates. Say what you will about The View being an actual news source, Whoopi Goldeberg and Joy Behar have my utmost respect.
And finally, Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, deserves every bit of recognition she has received including the Peabody Award, two Emmy Awards and has been named the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). She speaks three languages and fearlessly positions herself at the epicenter of war, chaos and international instability on a daily basis. There is no question that she has earned my deepest admiration.
The only way we will see more women reporting and commenting on important news stories is if we support the women currently doing just that. Take note of who sits around the table during Meet the Press or gather in the White House Press conference room. Is our women’s perspective represented? Let’s hope it will be the case more frequently in the future.
Feel free to comment about some of your favorite women journalists below. And stay tuned for next week’s second post in this series about my picks for favorite women political newspaper journalists and writers that deserve their place in history.
Cross posted at Type A Moms.
3 responses to “Top Women Television Journalists We Should Support”
Thank you so much for your wonderful story! So happy you included Nancy Dickerson. As the City of Phoenix’s first prime time news anchorwoman in 1976, I had the privilege of sitting next to Ms. Dickerson in 1982 at the Peabody awards in New York. She was elegant, bright, humble, and left us way too soon in 1997 at the age of 70.
Another woman who had a great influence on me during my pre-teen years, was the late Pauline Frederick, the woman who covered the UN. I included part of her bio that Women In Communications wrote below this message.
Also, during my time with CBS News in NY while working as one of the anchors on NIGHTWATCH, the most supportive and kindest journalist I met was Diane Sawyer. She is the best. I agree with your list of dynamic broadcast journalists. Mary Jo West, Phoenix, Az.
Pauline Frederick Robbins
‘Opening The Doors For Thousands’:For 21 years, Pauline Frederick Robbins, was the “Voice of the United Nations” and correspondent for NBC; earlier she covered the UN. for ABC, later becoming the foreign affairs commentator for National Public Radio. In 1939, she made her first network broadcast; in 1945 she made her first overseas broadcast from China and in 1948, she completed her first network television broadcast from the national Political Conventions in 1948.
Pauline Frederick Robbins has been the first on many occasions: She became the first woman to moderate a Presidential debate; the first woman to be awarded the Paul White Award for her contributions to broadcast journalism and the first woman to receive the Peabody and the DuPont Awards for news broadcasting. She was the first woman to be elected President of the UN. Correspondents Association.
She has been honored as one of the “Ten Most Admired Women”. She has received honorary doctorates from 23 colleges and universities.
Pauline Frederick Robbins opened the doors in many ways for women in journalism. In books dealing with the history of journalism, Pauline Frederick Robbins’s name is always noted as the premiere individual who made it possible for women to be taken seriously as news broadcasters. She has been and continues to be the heroine of women and men who are dedicated to accurate and powerful journalism. She passed away in 1990, but her influence endures.
Wow! What an honor! Thanks so much for your comment. I am so glad my list passes muster – it clearly only scratches the surface. I would love to see your top 10 list. Thanks again for coming by!
Shameless plug for my good friend Amy Walter, who writes for the National Review and many other “inside the Beltway” newsletters. Amo has also been seen on Bill Maher’s show and various other panel-pundit fests.
That, and I have some veeeeeery incriminating photos of her from about 20 years ago. Heheheheh.