It is easy to find inspirational figures if you are a wannabe football player or politician. They are on TV and on the front cover of newspapers every single day. But what if you want to know more about the people behind the media?
Are there even any famous journalists to look up to?
If you are an aspiring journalist or starting out, having people to look up to is great for motivation during the tough days. You can look to the trailblazers and let their revolutionary reporting inspire you.
Here are some well-known journalists to inspire and inform your journalistic dreams.
Born in 1987, Ronan Farrow is an American investigative journalist with work in publications such as The Guardian, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.
He is something of an overachiever having earned his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at age 15. Farrow may have some notoriety as filmmaker Woody Allen’s son, but his qualifications, activism, awards, and an extensive list of bylines speak for themselves.
Why is Ronan Farrow an Inspirational Famous Journalist?
Farrow proves that you can be capable of reporting on hard-hitting, important stories at any age. In 2017, The New Yorker published Farrow’s extensive investigation on film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.
For that story, he won a Pulitzer Prize and Time Magazine featured him on their “100 Most Influential People in the World” list. He is one of the most influential journalists working today not only because of his age and accomplishments but because of his integrity.
Steinem did not have the emotional or financial support of some of the other famous journalists on this list. Born in 1934, she grew up in a trailer with divorced parents including a mother who suffered from severe mental illness.
After spending some time in India, she returned to America to become a freelance journalist and worked for many publications including Cosmopolitan and New York Magazine.
Why is Gloria Steinem an Inspirational Famous Journalist?
Steinem was a prominent figure in the 1960s and 1970s feminist movements thanks to the issues she reported on. She is still an ardent feminist and activist who uses her voice to further women’s rights and expose the exploitation of women.
One example of the latter is when she went undercover as a Playboy Bunny to witness the treatment of the other Bunnies firsthand.
Even at age 87, she is still a spokesperson on issues of gender equality and founded the Women’s Media Center when she was in her early 70s.
Steinem is an inspirational journalist because she uses her platform to make social change. She is an authoritative source on a wide range of feminist issues from female genital mutilation to pornography.
Bob Woodward is among the most famous American reporters and top journalists of all time. He is an investigative and political journalist who has written a number of bestsellers on American politics.
He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971. First, as a reporter and now as an associate editor.
Why is Bob Woodward an Inspirational Famous Journalist?
Woodward became a celebrity overnight when, very early in his career, he and colleague Carl Bernstein reported on the Watergate scandal. This infamous scandal led to the resignation of President Nixon. The pair wrote a book on the investigation titled All the Presidents Men.
He is one of the most popular journalists still working today in part because of the notoriety and consequence of his investigation. Woodward wrote several books and follow-up stories from that one report around 50 years ago.
His story proves that you may only need one great investigation to boost your journalism career.
Alice Allison Dunnigan
Alice Allison Dunnigan is a true trailblazing journalist. Born in 1906, as a black woman she overcame racism, sexism, prejudice, and poverty to reach her goals in journalism.
She worked many jobs to support herself and enrolled in night school to earn her degree. Dunnigan worked for The Chicago Defender before getting White House press credentials.
Why is Alice Dunnigan an Inspirational Famous Journalist?
Dunnigan was the first black female journalist in the White House both as a correspondent and in the press galleries. She was also the first black journalist to join a presidential tour.
In an industry that is still very white and male, Dunnigan is an inspiration to budding black female journalists everywhere. And what’s more is, she was great at her job.
Son of travel writer Paul Theroux, Louis Theroux is a British-American documentary filmmaker and journalist. His BBC TV shows, Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends and When Louis Met…, catapulted his reputation making him one of the most famous journalists on both sides of the pond.
He reports on subcultures, outcasts, and underground movements. Theroux attempts to integrate into their lifestyle as much as possible for his TV shows. For example, he has met porn stars, white supremacists, and appeared on a telemarketing program.
Why is Louis Theroux an Inspirational Famous Journalist?
Theroux has a non-confrontational, soft-spoken “nice guy” exterior. This helps persuade his documentary subjects to trust him and invite him into their community. He does not appear to judge but also does not shy away from asking tough questions.
His interviewing techniques, in particular, are very educational for young broadcast journalists.
Dame Anna Wintour is the editor-in-chief of Vogue along with many other prestigious titles and roles. She was born into a wealthy British-American family and has worked in fashion and journalism since the age of 15. Wintour is among the most famous fashion journalists in the history of the medium.
Even at 71-years-old, she shows no signs of slowing down her career and continues to predict and inform the latest fashion trends.
Why is Anna Wintour an Inspirational Famous Journalist?
When Wintour became Vogue magazine’s editor-in-chief in 1988, she did not only save a failing publication. She revolutionized the fashion industry. Her opinion on new designers, models, and “the next big thing” carries immense weight.
Wintour is the expert in her field and has worked for decades to keep proving herself over and over again.
Let These Famous Journalists Inspire You!
Though there are not as many famous journalists as there are actors or musicians, they do exist! Read their stories, watch their broadcasts, and let their skill and expertise inspire you on your own journalistic path.
Check out our blog post on why journalism is important to keep you focused on your dreams.