Influential Women in Media By Jasmine Milbourne

Ida B Wells is an influential and prominent figure in modern-day journalism. This Mississippi native is best known for reporting on the horrid conditions of African Americans in the South. Born a slave during the Civil War, Ida fought for every opportunity she took. After investigating the lynching of one of her friends, she published her research in a local paper, setting off a chain reaction. With her background as an educator and past experiences, she joined the boycott of the World’s Columbian Exposition, advocated for inclusion in the Women’s Suffrage movement, and co-founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Club. 

Best known as the CNN correspondent, Christiane Amanpour earned a plethora of journalism awards during her career. She was one of the leading reporters for the Persian Gulf War, hosted an ABC news program, and has an interview series on PBS titled, “Amanpour & Company.” She is known for depicting the realistic aspects of the wars and conflicts she covers. Christiane Amanpour is credited with producing multiple programs including documentaries on orphaned Kenyan children during the AIDS pandemic and the aftermath of Bin Laden. She has broken many barriers and is now an ambassador for UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of the Press and the Safety of Journalists. 

Hu Shuli is known for many accomplishments. She is the founder of Caixan Media and a professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Renminbi University of China. She has received numerous awards for her leadership and integrity in journalism. Hu Shuli first concerned herself with Chinese media during her residency as a Pacific Leadership fellow, exploring how media affected the economy, society, and politics. Although her original career plan had nothing to do with journalism, she has paved a path for many Asian women in the media today.  She is a member of United Way Worldwide and even received an honorary doctorate from Yale University.

Based in Mumbai, India, Faye D’Souza brought many things to light through her journalistic efforts. She is known for acknowledging and dissecting the different aspects that affect citizens’ lives. She has reported on economic issues, education, healthcare, and more, primarily resulting in policy change and influencing social movements for the better. She was the editor of Mirror Now but decided to step down right before the pandemic. During the pandemic, she posted verified news updates on social media and the launched Circle of Hope with actress, Alia Bhatt. Although many doubt her efforts, Faye D’Souza is making a name for herself in modern media. 

 A fearless fighter and advocate, Maria Ressa exposed one of the biggest regimes known in the modern world: President Rodrigo Duterte. During her early career, she reported on South East Asia, a region that, at the time, was plagued with terrorism. She spoke about abusive power, growing violence, and freedom of speech during the anti-drug campaign of  the time. She is the co-founder of Rappler, an online news platform. Maria Ressa has also won the Nobel Peace Prize for her fight for freedom of the press. 

A fallen hero of the free press, Anna Politkovskaya is known as one of the bravest journalists in modern media. She was held captive by the Russian military and reported on her time in captivity. She continuously investigated violence in Russia by the military and received much backlash. Despite these setbacks, she has received many awards including nominations for the World Press Freedom Hero Award. Of the many journalists who risk their lives for the truth, Anna Politkovskaya will go down in history. 

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