Journalism is all about bringing truth to the people, with courage and accuracy. For women journalists, the journey is harder, with the stereotypes they have had to fight in the male dominated media sphere. However, there are a few women who are breaking these barriers.
Here are nine women who have played a crucial role in shaping the Indian journalism.
With over 30 years of experience, Ritu Sarin is currently Executive Editor of Investigations at Indian Express. Her investigative reports have covered money laundering, corruption and internal security.
As one of the earliest members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists(ICIJ), Ritu is known for her coverage of the Panama Papers in 2015, exposing the offshore financial industry. Sarin collaborated with Indian Express Chief Editor Raj Kamal on this project that was recognized globally, and even won the Pulitzer Award.
The Panama Papers, which was a set of 11.5 million documents detailing over 214,000 offshore companies, brought to light the degree of the secretive offshore dealings that took place among the many rich and famous across the world. Ritu Sarin was also the recipient of the International Press Institute’s Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2017.
Barkha Dutt, 47, rose to fame with her news reporting from the warzone during the Kargil War in 1999 - which included an interview with Captain Vikram Batra, who led a troop during the Kargil war and was martyred there. This versatile journalist then went on to report conflicts in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Kashmir, as well as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2008. During her journey of 21 years with NDTV, Barkha was also the face of We The People, a program which NDTV was most famous for.
At 37, Faye Dsouza is the executive editor of Mirror Now. As news anchor, she does not mince her words and questions those in power with reason. She went viral two years ago when a panellist on her discussion on sexism passed a lewd comment against her, to which she calmly responded – “I have seen many like you. I’m not afraid of you. I’m not threatened by you. And most of all, I am not rattled by you.”
Anjana Om Kashyap
Now executive editor of Aaj Tak, Kashyap is known for her spirited reporting in Hindi and has earlier worked with Zee and News24. In her show Halla Bol she boldly picks on topics from Pakistan and terrorists, to an MLA threatening his daughter. Kashyap, 44, was applauded for her gutsy encounter with the paediatricians at Sri Krishna Medical college and hospital during the encephalitis outbreak in Bihar in 2019.
Sagarika Ghose, 54, started her career with The Times of India and went on to work with Outlook and Indian Express. Ghose, an alumnus of St. Stephen's College, Delhi, later went on to do her M.Phil in Modern History from Oxford University. Her ticket to success was when she became an anchor on CNN-IBN and even made it onto the list of 13 Famous Women Rhodes Scholars. In 2004, she became the first woman to host BBC’s debate program, Question Time India. She is also the author of Indira Gandhi’s biography, Indira, India's Most Powerful Prime Minister.
Dhanya Rajendran, 37, is the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The News Minute, a digital news platform. She has earlier with Times Now for over seven years and was Bureau Chief for South India. Dhanya was named in the Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list in 2018. With her in-depth knowledge of social and political issues of South India, Rajendran has built TNM into one of India’s leading news websites with an unbiased and courageous voice.
Sharda Ugra is one of the first women journalists to cover sports in India. She is a senior editor with Cricinfo and ESPN. The Indian sports writer of the year award was presented to Sharda during the very first edition of the Indian Sports Journalism Awards in 2005.
Bengaluru-based independent journalist Sandhya has worked as a reporter with The Hindu, The New Indian Express and DNA. She is known for her feisty views on the #Me too movement and vocally supported Tanushree Dutta and many others who spoke up about the harassment they have faced. Sandhya had also spoken up about facing sexual harassment form KR Sreenivas, who was editor at Bangalore Mirror while she worked there in 2007.
Her view is that the momentum of the movement must not be lost. She encourages women to be more vocal about workplace harassment. Sandhya claims to have never hesitated to be upfront with her views even at the risk of losing her job.
A well-known name in the world of business journalism, Shereen has won awards such as the FICCI Woman of the Year award 2005. She was even named one of the Young Global Leaders of 2009 by the world economic forum. She now leads as the Managing Editor of CNBC-TV18.
Shereen, 43, graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Her show Young Turks on CNBC TV18, which tells the stories of tech start-ups, is one of the longest running television shows on young business ventures. Also, her auto-show Overdrive on CNBC-TV18 has been awarded the best auto show for three consecutive years.