An Icon to Remember: Barbara Walters


Toby Canham/Getty Images/TNS

Television journalist Barbara Walters participates in Town Hall Los Angeles’ Writers Bloc Q&A at her book signing for “Audition: A Memoir” at the Writers Guild Theater on May 13, 2008, in Beverly Hills, California.

Samantha Gitlin, Managing Editor

How can one woman pioneer journalism for women and create her own talk show? That’s a question for Barbara Walters. The legacy of this icon still shines on after Walters passed away at the age of 93 last week. 

Walters started her career in journalism in 1961 working on the Today show. She rose from a writer, producer, to becoming the face of the “Today Girl.” Later, Walters became the first female anchor of a new program for ABC. According to CNN, “At that network, Walters launched “The Barbara Walters Specials” and “10 Most Fascinating People” before becoming a co-host and correspondent for ABC News’ “20/20” in 1984.” 

As Walters career moved forward, she interviewed countless world leaders, celebrities, and people of interest. In 1997 Walters started the infamous talk show, The View, alongside several other female leaders. Through Walter’s life, she never let the stigmas around her stop her from doing what she dreamed. 

Walter is an icon in journalism and a role model because she shows other journalists that it’s okay to persevere. She did not let any men get in her way or stop her from working her way up the ladder. 

Today 51% of women are editor in chiefs or high up in journalism programs. In the media, there are 525 women journalists. These numbers can be attributed to Walters’ accomplishments in the field. 

Women still face discrimination the field of journalism today, however many women are fighting to overcome this set back. In interviews women feel they are treated differently according to one of four women. They experience inappropriate comments being made towards them and trouble working their way up in the field. 

Walters showed others that gender does not matter and that women can be great journalists. Her legacy will always live on.