The Atlanticâ€™s Women of Washington Series – The 2012 Election: Newswomen Covering National Politics
By Punch Correspondent Antoinette Sykes
On Tuesday, December 13th, I had the honor of being one of many wonderful women present for this event underwritten by ExxonMobil. The Atlantic magazineâ€™s fourth and final series this year focusing on Women of Washington Covering Politics, was indeed timely, insightful and always powerful.
Undoubtedly, the tone of media outlets has changed since these women have blazed the trail in journalism. We are experiencing the conundrum of â€œinstant newsâ€ like never before. These journalists, as pioneers in their fields, express how social media and the new mediaâ€¦aka “bloggers” have impacted the journalism field; especially as it relates to politics. And since we are in Washington, DC, itâ€™s always about the politics in some fashion.
First question for Karen Tumulty, Washington Post (by moderator/interviewer Linda Douglass ofÂ The Atlantic) â€œIs this Gingrich surge real?â€ Tumulty answered,â€œit is indeed real, interesting and surging for sure.â€ What a fascinating opening on this mild sunny DC afternoon in the Newseum.
Like the rest of us, these journalists are gearing up for the 2012 political trail. In fact, Ann Compton, National Correspondent, ABC News, was just leaving an official press briefing being held by President Barack Obama. How exciting! So, what does it mean to be an elite political journalist that happens to be a smart, professional and savvy woman? Times have changed and per Ann, back in the mid to early 80â€™s, she could â€œwork the beatâ€ six, seven or eight days a week if needed. In fact, she thrived off of it. But, then came along marriage and baby and the coveted correspondentâ€™s job role; all to balance. Needless to say, a lot more energy was in the mix.
Today, she notes that her energy level has waned of course, but not her passion for what she does as a journalist. With memories of getting on the presidential campaign bus as the only woman at times, in her early career, now she notes, itâ€™s noticeably different. In fact, a recent Air Force One trip, there was a barrage of women journalists. Now, thatâ€™s the place to be! In the midst of politics and serious talk, what I found heartwarming was the fact that even as a professional smart journalist that happens to be female, others still make comments about looks. Did you color your roots? Is this blouse too â€œgirlieâ€? The number one concern as a female journalist before going on camera? â€œHowâ€™s my hair?â€ So, you seeâ€¦weâ€™re not too different. All in all, we (professional women) want to be the best in our careers and look our best while doing so.
Lastly, in true DC form and politicsâ€¦Mara Liasson of NPR was tardy after getting trapped behind a VIP motorcade. Sound familiar? Iâ€™m glad I left early for this wonderful event to avoid being â€œtardy for the partyâ€.
Antoinette Sykes, MBA â€“ Entrepreneur. Savvy Marketer. Fitness Expert! Sheâ€™s a marketing maven by day and breathes fitness, beauty and business 24/7. A girls-girl and a soulful entrepreneur, you can find Antoinette always leading the way with mega-watt energy, humor, passion and class for all she does. Sheâ€™s learned to truly StandTall in life no matter what waves are tossed her way. For more visit http://StandingTallRevolution.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.