The annual Washington Women in Journalism Awards, hosted jointly by Washingtonian and Story Partners, honors the outstanding women journalists here in our nation’s capital.
This year, we are thrilled to honor four of Washington’s top female political reporters.
Day-in and day-out, Martha, Kaitlan, Kathleen and Ayesha have demonstrated reporting at its finest during some of the toughest years we have faced as a nation – from navigating reporting during a global pandemic to covering a new Administration and its legislative goals during a hyper-partisan state. This year’s honorees have proven they can report the news at their best, adapting to the latest reporting challenge while under immense pressure.
At a time when our nation faces new challenges, including the war in Ukraine and rising inflation while COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, journalists continue to bring Americans the facts and information that households and businesses rely on. It’s important today, more than ever, that we do everything we can to support a robust media industry as year after year, we continue to see news organizations, especially on the local level, shrink or close completely. In fact, over a quarter of all U.S. newspapers –2,100 news outlets – have closed their doors over the past 15 years.
One of the reasons that I founded the Washington Women in Journalism Awards was to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women in the media industry in a traditionally male-dominated industry. I believe it’s critically important to empower and support women journalists because diversity in media is key to its success. Women, especially women from different backgrounds, each bring a unique perspective to their reporting, which is invaluable to the success of our nation and democracy. I look forward to joining with my co-host Cathy Merrill and our guests as we celebrate these remarkable women journalists and their contributions to society.
Cathy Merrill, CEO of Washingtonian, added, “As the owner of one of the very few women-owned media companies in the country, I personally like seeing women succeed in a field that was largely dominated by men for so very long. Thus, Washingtonian is proud to once again honor four exceptional women journalists who are making a difference in our community by contributing significantly to our understanding of current events and the life around us. These four women especially bring smarts, talent, depth and heart. Congratulations to all four of them.”
In anticipation of the event this week, Story Partners asked the honorees for their thoughts on the unique perspective that women journalists provide and why it is important to help promote and support women in journalism. Here are their responses:
Kaitlan Collins, CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, said, “I think it is absolutely critical to have women in newsrooms, briefing rooms, press gaggles and in journalism period. In my five years covering the White House, I’ve seen the front row of the White House briefing room go from predominantly male to predominantly female. Changes like that happen when women support and empower other women. And we should all want women in the front row asking the tough questions.”
Kathleen Parker, Columnist for The Washington Post, said, “Saying that women bring a unique perspective to news coverage and commentary is like saying that men can be useful in the kitchen. Many of the best chefs in the world are men — and the rest goes without saying.”
Martha Raddatz, ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, said, “We embrace who we are and the unique perspective we can provide for our readers, viewers and listeners. And we know the importance and joy in supporting those female colleagues who are by our sides and coming up in the next generation.”
Ayesha Rascoe, Host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and Up First, said, “No newsroom can be really reflective of the society at large, if it leaves out half of the population. It makes no sense ignore half your audience. So, promoting women is not just a moral imperative, it’s a business imperative. Newsrooms that reflect a broad swathe of society provide deeper and richer coverage of the world around us, and we are all better for it.”
A Special Thank You to the Sponsors of the Washington Women in Journalism Awards
National Retail Federation, American Beverage Association, ACLI, Alibaba Group, Johnson & Johnson, National Association of Manufacturers, PhRMA, Southern Company, Toyota and U.S. Chamber of Commerce