10 Iconic Journalists Every JStudent Should Study

10 Iconic Journalists Every JStudent Should Study
10 Iconic Journalists Every JStudent Should Study
Journalism is undergoing a drastic reinvention, and Jschool students are being challenged to learn traditional concepts and practices while mastering the new media techniques that will help them redefine the industry as a whole. From photojournalism to broadcasting and web writing, journalism students have a lot to keep up with in their college courses, but dismissing the history of newspapers and broadcasting would be a huge mistake. Here are 10 iconic journalists we think every Jstudent should study, even those committed to a new sphere of reporting.
Bob Woodward: Bob Woodward, formerly of The Washington Post, is one of the most celebrated journalists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Best known for investigating and publicizing the Watergate scandal which resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon, Woodward worked alongside fellow reporter Carl Bernstein and a then-unknown source nicknamed Deep Throat. Woodward and Bernstein wrote a book about their Watergate experience, which was later turned into a popular film, All the President’s Men. Many of Woodward’s stories for The Washingotn Post won Pulitzer Prizes, including pieces which covered Watergate and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Woodward has also written and contributed to 15 books, 12 of which were #1 best-sellers.
Barbara Walters: Journalist Barbara Walters is one of the most recognizable broadcasters and reporters in television history, defining a new age of media coverage and investigation. Walters is best known for interviewing high profile personalities in politics and entertainment, often getting first dibs on the biggest stories at the moment. Walters, who has hosted and co-anchored The Today Show, The View, 20/20 and ABC Evening News, has interviewed Boris Yeltsin, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Jackson, King Hussein of Jordan, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and many others. A popular subject for spoof on Saturday Night Live, Walters is considered a powerful influence on TV news.
Walter Cronkite: Also known as "the most trusted man in America," former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite set the standard for broadcast journalism during a time which saw the emergence of new media and television. Cronkite was the Evening News anchor from 1962-1981, covering major, historical events like the first man on the moon, Watergate, Iran Hostage Crisis, Vietnam War, assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the first American TV broadcast with The Beatles. Cronkite dropped out of the University of Texas during his junior year and instantly picked up newspaper writing gigs and then began a career in radio broadcasting. As the face and voice of many of America’s most historically triumphant and devastating moments, Cronkite earned numerous awards and honors, and is the namesake for the Cronkite School at Arizona State University.
Margaret Fuller: One of the country’s first female journalists, Margaret Fuller also worked as a women’s rights activist and book reviewer. She began her journalism career as editor for The Dial in 1840, a magazine run by American Transcendentalists, and later worked for the New York Tribune as the country’s first full-time book reviewer and later as the Tribune‘s first female editor. Fuller was also the first foreign female allowed access to the Harvard College Library, became the first female correspondent when she was sent abroad, and was once known as the most widely read person in New England. It is also believed that Fuller is the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter for her feisty temperament and commitment to feminism.
Anderson Cooper: Anderson Cooper is one of the most popular journalists in modern times and serves as a powerful example for the changing media industry. Cooper, the son of heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, was a child model that first worked for Channel One, a TV news show that is aired in middle and high schools across the country. As a restless reporter who wanted access to breaking news stories, Cooper traveled to Burma and Vietnam with forged press passes until he was able to sell his videos and receive proper backing from Channel One. Over the next several years, Cooper worked for ABC News, hosted a reality show, and was a fill-in host for Live with Regis and Kelly before getting his own show on CNN, Anderson Cooper 360. Cooper has become a veritable media celebrity in his own right, and has successfully built a career out of multitasking and reinventing himself to fit in with the evolving media industry.
Peter Jennings: Peter Jennings served as the anchor for ABC’s World News Tonight from 1983-2005, though he reported for the program since the 1960s. Jennings originally served as the anchor for Peter Jennings with the News, though he was eventually moved to a position as foreign correspondent after he was deemed too young and too Canadian. Jennings thrived as a foreign correspondent and became known as an incredibly detailed, engaged journalist as he covered the Arab-Israeli conflict and the PLO, as well as the assassination of Israeli Olympians in Munich. Jennings eventually returned to the anchor desk at ABC, where his perfectionism and passion for hard news stories and getting first-hand interviews bolstered his reputation as one of the more popular "Big Three" anchors at the time. In 2005, Jennings was forced to retire after battling lung cancer, which took his life in August of that year. During his career, Jennings was awarded 16 Emmys and two George Foster Peabody Awards, among other honors.
Sarah Josepha Hale: Another revolutionary female journalist from the 19th century was Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale, who was also a novelist and a vocal abolitionist, began working for the Boston-based Ladies’ Magazine and served as editor from 1828-1836. Hale, who preferred to be called "editress," oversaw stories about literature, home life, fashion, and cooking, and was considered a significant influence for middle-class New England women. Hale also played a part in the founding of Vassar College and the Thanksgiving holiday, the preservation of George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home, and wrote the iconic nursery rhyme, "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
Robert Capa: One of the most iconic photojournalists in American media history is Robert Capa, who was born in Budapest in 1913 but who worked in Germany and France before moving to the U.S. Capa covered the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the First Indochina War. During World War II, Capa moved from Nazi-occupied France to New York City, but went back to Europe to cover the war for Collier’s and Life. During World War II, Capa took dramatic photos of Omaha Beach on D-Day, and later traveled to Moscow and Kiev to photograph post-war damage. After traveling abroad, Capa founded Magnum Photos, which is now an international photographic cooperative.
Anna Quindlen: Anna Quindlen is a novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked for the New York Post, Newsweek and the New York Times. The same year she graduated from Barnard College in 1974, Quindlen joined the Post, transferring to the Times just three years later. In 1992, she won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her opinion column. Also a novelist and columnist for Newsweek, Quindlen has made a successful transition to the movies, as three of her five best-selling books have been turned into films.
Ernie Pyle: Another popular war correspondent during World War II was Ernie Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated journalist whose specialty included daily life stories from around the world. After dropping out of Indiana University, Pyle worked at a small newspaper in Indiana. He moved to Washington, D.C. to work for The Washington Daily News, where he became the first aviation columnist and later the managing editor. After filling in for another columnist on vacation, Pyle became a celebrated national columnist for the Scripps-Howard chain until 1942. Pyle also covered World War II, focusing on the stories of individual soldiers. He won a Pulitzer Prize, and four books have been released as collections of his writings from the war.
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