A Tribute to Cokie Roberts

Kelly Cloonan

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Cokie Roberts, a fellow Sacred Heart sister, was an award-winning journalist who paved the way for future women aspiring to work in the news broadcasting field. 

Roberts was born in 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart. After graduating from Wellesley College, Roberts began her career as a radio correspondent at CBS before eventually working for NPR in 1977. At the time, the field of journalism was entirely male-dominated. Working with fellow pioneering female journalists Linda Wertheimer and Nina Totenburg, Roberts was able to pave the way for future female journalists. She mainly reported on politics, particularly on the activities of Congress, which is no surprise considering her parents were both Congress members.

Over the course of her career, Roberts worked at both NPR and ABC News. Her roles at these prestigious news outlets included writing columns and anchoring programs.

With Cokie Roberts’ passing on September 17th, at the age of 75, it is important for us to reflect on her life and the ways that her career as an award-winning journalist can inspire us. In today’s day and age, it is hard for us to imagine how revolutionary Cokie Roberts was during her time. Currently, it is not unheard of for female journalists to lead the way in reporting on all kinds of news, political or not. But at the start of her career, Roberts was often the only woman in the room, which I can imagine would be incredibly intimidating.

It may seem a bit dramatic, but I think our own school newspaper can owe much of our existence to Cokie Roberts and her efforts in normalizing women in journalism. Now, it is commonplace for women to work for newspapers, and it is perfectly normal for all-girls schools like ourselves to run school newspapers, however, it was not always this way.

To learn more about Roberts and her successful career, see the board outside of the lower library for information provided by the English office.

 

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/17/obituaries/cokie-roberts-dead.html