Brave, bold, fearless and fair is how I would describe the four national TV news anchors and correspondents I have chosen as my best for 2016. As journalists we should all want to model after the work done by Jake Tapper, Gretchen Carlson, Tom Llamas and Jim Acosta. In a business that is challenged by fake news and “wannabe news celebrities” these four journalists are the real “truth seekers.”
JAKE TAPPER: THE BEST TV NEWS INTERVIEWER, SPIN NOT ALLOWED
If you want to learn how to be a great interviewer, all you have to do is watch Jake Tapper every day on CNN.
He uses solid facts to push for the truth and doesn’t allow anyone to add spin to an answer. Whether he is talking to a politician or someone who happens to be where news is breaking, Jake digs deep and peels off the layers.
Thanks Jake for teaching journalists how to do an interview with determination and class.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: THE WOMAN WHO EXPOSED SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN TV NEWS
Gretchen Carlson changed life for women in TV news.
In 2016, she exposed sexual harassment in the newsroom and on the way took down one of the most powerful men in the business AKA Roger Ailes. He had all the power to do what he wanted when he ran Fox News and he did just that. Under his rule, women had to be beautiful, wear body hugging dresses, shorten the hems and show lots of leg when on-air.
But when Ailes’ power turned to sexual harassment, Gretchen skillfully planned how to expose him. She filed a lawsuit. Her former co-workers at Fox News, including several women turned on her. Shame on them! Not even current Fox princess, Meygan Kelly had the courage to speak up until she had to especially when it was time to promote her book.
Eventually Ailes was shown the door with a 40 million dollar paycheck, and Gretchen settled too. Thank you Gretchen for giving women in news the courage to stand up, speak up in our newsrooms even if it means losing a job. We do matter more!
TAKING CHARGE ON THE DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN TRAIL: JIM ACOSTA AND TOM LLAMAS
Jim Acosta of CNN and Tom Llamas of ABC News lived out of suitcases during the 2016 presidential campaign covering Donald Trump’s every move. They were unstoppable as they pursued the facts even when Trump and his supporters aimed their angry, ugly words and actions at them.
To become a good reporter you have to be fearless when seeking the truth. Well Jim and Tom proved they don’t get angry or even, they just get the job done.
Jim and Tom are also two of the few Latinos covering the political beat on a national level. They are role models to many Latino/Latina journalists coming up the ranks.
Tom and Jim thank you for showing us journalists to push forward when a wall of angry words hit you right in the face from all angles.
Who will be the best in 2017? Stay tuned.
Big changes at ABC News.
The network announced today that two Latinos, Cecilia Vega and Tom Llamas have been promoted to anchor ABC’s “World News Tonight” Saturday and Sunday editions. Both are accomplished award-winning journalists with a resume of experience.
Also announced today: Vega, Llamas and Senior National Correspondent, Jim Avila have been named to ABC’s 2016 Presidential Election Team.
In my opinion this is HUGE!
Two Latinos named to anchor weekend news at the same time has to be a first in media history, and definitely at ABC News. Yes, Elizabeth Vargas filled the seat on her own a few years ago.
Naming three Latinos to the prestigious presidential election team has to be a first too. In 2012 you hardly saw any Latino journalists assigned to election coverage on any of the network or cable channels. Jim Avila will be a great addition because he can cover any story and he knows politics. He’s also currently Fusion’s White House correspondent.
The promotion of Vega, Llamas, and Avila is a big deal to the Latino community, because finally we’re seeing people that look like us on network news and on big assignments. I’ve been watching network news for decades and finally I’m seeing good change.
ABC News has done a great job of hiring more qualified Latino journalists and now the promotions of these three correspondents is a sign that we are being included in all areas of network news. Congrats to Cecilia, Jim and Tom! I know they’ll continue to do outstanding work.
ABC News announcement of promotions
Jim Avila biography
Tom Llamas biography
Cecilia Vega biography