Long-time journalist and host of the Today Show Barbara Walters died on Dec. 30 at age 93.
She was one of the first women to pioneer her career in journalism, starting in 1964.
When she left NBC for ABC in 1976 to be a co-anchor of the evening news with Harry Reasoner, she became known as the “million-dollar baby” because of her five-year, $5 million contract.
When this happened, she became one of the most recognizable women on TV and one of the highest-paid news anchors, male or female.
This did not sit well with Reasoner, who refused to coexist with his female co-anchor.
After he left, she was demoted to become a contributor and the ABC crew became all-male.
In 1984, she became the permanent co-host along side Hugh Downs, who also worked on the Today show.
She became widely known for her intimate interviews with presidents, celebrities and kings.
She didn’t become known to me until she was well seasoned on “The View” and sat near Whoopi Goldberg at a table full of women.
I find her to be inspirational because I am able to be in a newsroom comfortably due to her demand for respect in her newsroom.
More women go into journalism now than ever before because of women like her.
I grew up in a time when it was not unnatural to see a woman news-anchor or columnist.
I would watch Gwen Eiffel and Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour; read articles from Dana Priest, an investigative reporter for the Washington Post; and listen to Brene Brown on NPR.
But the reality is that women in journalism all over the world are under persecution because of what they say or write.
To be a woman in journalism here in the U.S. has its rough patches as well.
I am reminded of that every day.