What can happen when you have A Voice, A Pen and A Plan, but you are not a man? This!
Today, on International Women’s Day, I am humbled by the power so thick in the air, and the fact that I can siphon off smidgens of it as and when I please, to keep my dreams some company.
I have a Voice, I have a pen, I have a plan. Women were armed with the three in abundance since the beginning of time. But some women dared to conjure the fourth piece to complete the jigsaw: A stage. Meet some women who built that stage and set it afire with their passion and dedication, thus inspiring thousands of starry-eyed aspiring journalists as myself to follow them into this world!
Oprah Winfrey, “Queen of all Media” does not just feature amongst the most powerful women in Media, she is one amongst the most admired and loved people in the world. A childhood ridden with poverty and sexual harassment that would have killed anyone’s soul, only made Oprah stronger. Today, her multi-award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated program of its kind in history, ran successfully for over two decades, through which she has made global audiences laugh, cry, dance, vent, invent and just fall in love with her grand way of serving humanity.
Another force in the Media labyrinth to reckon with, is the woman that gives The Huffington Post its name- founder and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington. Why she is at the heart of the world’s human map, is because she is on top of this game called life- by trying to contribute to everything she has felt strongly for, proved by her Political stint as an advocate of conservatism, her authoring of a book on what irked her about women’s issues, and her successful venture into the media so as to get her opinions some stage. Her impeccable style and personality also landed her some petite and spunky roles in popular television shows- like How I Met Your Mother.
When most of us would still be figuring out whether we want to go back to college or get a move on with our careers, Tina Brown was calling the shots at Tatler Magazine, one of the youngest Editors-in-Chief. And that made for the most fitting sneak-peek of her knack for succeeding. She went on to become Editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair, as well as the New Yorker, before she decided she was ready to become a media entrepreneur. And With the Launch of The Daily Beast, she saw that through. Today, Brown is set to embark upon yet another venture- Tina Brown Media, while she pens ‘Media Beast,’ a first-hand account of her exlpoits. In her career, she has been honoured with four George Polk Awards, five Overseas Press Club awards, and ten National Magazine Awards.
The list cannot go forward, without a mention to the woman who made it to the top of the agency, which made it to the top of the industry. The ex editor-in-chief of The New York Times, has served various leading agencies in her four decade long career, like the Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine before she was hired to lead The NY Times. In 2012, she was ranked number five on the Forbes list of most powerful women, and has also been named as one of the 500 most powerful people in the world by Foreign Policy.
Now this one’s a leader that has turned the most number of world-leaders into followers – on Twitter, we mean, according to a report. The woman that has grown to become as big a brand as the organization she works for, CNN International- by delivering a journalistic act (that is her entire career) almost by the textbook. The epitome of this was her coverage of the Gulf-Bosnian conflict- though she was criticized for taking sides, she reinstated her stance by explaining that she done so, after performing her duty as a journalist and delving deep into both sides. Consequently, she gained the reputation of being fearless, due to how she took on the risky assignment.
The way Television’s most loved-to-be-hated character Heisenberg is the sum of his hair (or the lack of it), Pork pie hat and his sunglasses, Anna Wintour has her own signature- the Pageboy Bob and Chic Black Shades. And in her line of profession, making a style statement as significant as writing them: for she is the British Editor-in-Chief of the Bible of Fashinistas: the Vogue Magazine. Fondly referred to as “Nuclear Wintour” (a pun on Nuclear Winter), she turns whatever she meets into a fan because of her eye for trends and her fervent support for true talent amongst aspiring fashionbugs.
Greta Van Susteren:
Now this journalist has people willing to bet big bucks on what her 9-to-5 is worth, very literally. A former criminal and Defense Lawyer, she turned her expertise into her beat at CNN, and if the fact that she was auctioned like an IPL player by a Fox News that wanted her at any cost is anything to go by- she managed that transition into journalism with some solid flair. Or the fact that she made it to Forbes top 100 most powerful women list.
And now, the women that inspired us closer home:
Dutt’s day of reckoning came when she was entrusted with covering the Kargil War and the 2004 tsunami. Safe to say she was all over the place- and won herself the sparkly Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. Although her career is flanked by controversy, she was among 50 Indians who were 35 or younger and making an impact on society, and was also on the World Economic Forum’s list for the Global Leaders of Tomorrow. Her Sunday talk show has won the Indian Television Academy award for Best Talk Show 5 years in a row, more than any other television show there is. Currently, she is the group editor for NDTV.
She was in the news most recently by quitting her long stint with CNN-IBN as deputy editor and prime time anchor in July 2014, after it was acquired by Reliance. She shot to the journalistic hall of fame when the show “Question Time: Didi”- of which she was the first female anchor- received the NT Award for Best Public Debate Show in 2013. In 2013, Ghose received the Best Anchor Award from the Indian Television Academy. In 2014, The Rhodes Project, named Sagarika as one of the 13 famous women Rhodes Scholars in the world.
Journalists and the phrase Jack of all, master of none are often used in the same breath- but Shobhana Bhartia’s work begs to differ. She joined Hindustan Times in 1986 as the first woman chief executive of a national newspaper amongst the youngest; quite openly, credited for transformation of the Hindustan Times “into a bright, young paper”. World Economic Forum, Forbes Asia, Economic Times Awards are just a few amongst the many respected forums that have bestowed upon her some of the highest honors in entrepreneurship. For her all round exuberance, she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in the 2006 UPA government. She performed her duties with tangible results too- by getting the “The Child Marriage (Abolition) and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, 2006” bill passed.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Parade.com]