The power of the press is phenomenal. It can make and break nations. Case in point: Our very own Indian Independence, in which the homegrown newspapers played a pivotal role. So, when you look at the present times, it’s actually empowering to know that so many women are at the helm of change that is being brought about through the media. The latest turning point in this scenario happens to be Radhika Jones, an Indian woman; no, the first Indian woman to be taking over as the Editor-In-Chief, at Vanity Fair. This is the face of change. Radhika Jones. True she’s a woman of colour. Truer still, that she has come under quite a bit of convenient ‘criticism’ due to the same. But, she is one of the few Indian women who are breaking the conventional rules and leading by example when it comes to media today.
Image: Radhika Jones on Twitter
Let’s start with Jones for she has been the trigger for this article. Jones did not just become the first woman of colour to take over the position of editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair but also started a new feminist trend - wearing fox tights! Yes, you read that right. After an article in Women’s Wear Daily reported that her staff was aghast over her choice of clothes - a shift dress with zippers and fox tights. The internet, of course, blew up as women took to Twitter declaring that women need to stop being judged for their fashion choices and that fox tights were the new feminist symbol!
Just in case you missed out on who Jones is, here’s an overview.
She was the editorial director of the books department at New York Times. Jones was also the Deputy managing editor at Time. She is the second woman to lead Vanity Fair after Tina Brown in 1992. Jones finished her graduation from the prestigious Harvard University and holds a doctorate in English and comparative literature from Columbia.
Image: Deepa Fernandes on Twitter
Diversity has been the talk of the town for a while now. And while I, along with many others find ourselves sharing Facebook posts or tweeting our views, here is a journalist that's getting down to witnessing and documenting the change from ground zero. Deepa moved from Mumbai to Sydney to start her career in Journalism, after completing her MA from Columbia Journalism School and being a Knight Fellow at Stanford. Other than being the former host of the WBAI radio program Wakeup Call, travelling extensively to Latin America and Cuba, and writing a book - Targeted: National Security and the Business of Immigration, Fernandes went on to be the founder of a non-profit organisation that aimed at training new reporters from communities of colour. Inclusivity and freedom of speech, are no doubt, one of her priorities in life.
Image: Niharika Acharya on Twitter
I realized very early on in my journey as a journalist that political matters would always leave me in a fix. But that's not the case with Niharika Acharya who produced the show Political Capital with Al Hunt at Bloomberg TV and went on to become a freelance producer for FOX TV. Acharya started her career as a reporter at the NDTV office in India before she moved to Voice of America and now serves as the Editorial Director at National Journal. Over the years, she has covered presidential elections, 9/11 anniversaries and India-America relations extensively, leaving no stone unturned in bringing to light the entire picture.
Image: Kavita Daswani on Twitter
You might have heard of Kavita Daswani or seen her name in bookshops. Daswani has written quite a few books in her lifetime and though right now she is a full-time writer, part-time journalist, she started her career as a journalist in Hong Kong. Daswani worked for the South China Morning Post before she became an asian correspondent for Women’s Wear Daily. She has covered the realms of fashion, beauty, travel and design with grace and wits and has been associated as a freelance contributor with Los Angeles Time, Vogue, Conde Nast Traveller and Grazia Italia.
Image: Rega Jha on Instagram
This famous lady came to me in the form of hilarious Buzzfeed articles and since then there was no going back. As the editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed India, at the young age of 26, Jha knows how to live up to her fun image. That is, if her Twitter and Instagram profiles are any proof. Currently based in Mumbai, Jha completed her journalism from Columbia School of Journalism and worked with The Rolling Stone and The New Yorker before starting her life at Buzzfeed.
Image: Angela Saini on Instagram
A British journalist and author of Indian origin, Saini has broken into the field of Science journalism and how! She used to work as a reporter with BBC London News but with the changing landscape of Journalism, she decided to quit her job. Since then she has written two books - Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World in 2011 and Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting The Story in 2017. Geek Nation was not only a bestseller but was also named book of the year by The Independent in UK. In other awe-worthy accomplishments, Saini was also awarded the Knight Science Journalism fellowship at MIT and the Prix Circom Award for regional television journalism in Europe.