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Sabrina and Sabrina: Paying Homage to a Woman in Journalism Who Has Inspired Me

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As a young woman studying communications and planning on pursuing a career in the world of journalism, I look up to so many of the amazing women who have paved their way in the industry. It’s inspiring to know their stories and see their projects, and it lets me know that I can do the same thing through hard work and dedication. A journalist that continuously inspires me with her work is Sabrina Tavernise from The New York Times.

The Daily starts its morning news podcast the same way every day: a strum of guitar chords, a slam of piano keys and the hitting of drums. The theme song never fails to jump-start my day. I started listening to the show this past summer when I would commute to my internship. It was my first time working in an office, and I decided it was time to be an adult and start following the news every day. My 20-minute commute allowed me to drink my coffee and listen as Tavernise and Michael Barbaro debrief current events. Tavernise is someone I connected to immediately. Not only is it just the fact that she has a great first name, (I promise I’m kidding), but her hard work and dedication to reporting are inspiring.

After getting more interested in The Daily’s coverage of large events, I started going back and listening to older episodes to educate myself on what has been happening domestically and internationally over the past few years. Often, I would know the stories, but I didn’t know all the details. Tavernise’s reporting technique has garnered a lot of respect, especially her coverage of the conflict of Russia’s war on Ukraine. These episodes of The Daily really stood out in my mind and put Tavernise as one of my journalistic inspirations because of the respect she shows towards the people of Ukraine when reporting on these global events and the extensive details she provides on scene.

Ukrainians’ Choice: Fight or Flee puts Tavernise as one of the journalists in the middle of the action on the streets of Kyiv while co-host Barbaro interviews another colleague about the invasion of Ukraine. She goes from person to person, introducing herself and listening to their plans on how they will navigate the invasion of their country. From my perspective, Tavernise interviews the citizens she meets with integrity and compassion. She relays to listeners at home the information she is hearing from the citizens she is interviewing. Pertinent information like where they are heading, if they are leaving, or if they intend to stay and fight.

Tavernise listens to what they are saying and then translates the emotions of the people of Ukraine to an audience of American listeners back home, allowing us to see the impact of these events. During many of the interviews, she tells them thank you, wishes them good luck and in one interview, stops in a bakery, asking for both sweets and the owner’s opinion on what is going on. This compassionate approach to reporting is inspiring, as it respectfully tells the story of other peoples’ experiences. In my eyes, Sabrina addresses the families she talks to with humanity versus exploiting their tragedy. This is something that I would love to be able to do in my future journalistic work.

Tavernise also gives narrations of what she is doing and seeing on the streets of Kyiv, the details allowing the audience to be immersed in the story she is telling. Often, when reading these stories from the safety of my home, there is always the possibility of being detached, but from Sabrina’s reporting, I felt the severity of the situation happening in Ukraine. Hearing how some people were so proud of their country that they were willing to stay and fight, or how others were worried about their elderly loved ones left me choked up and wishing for the safety of these individuals. Tavernise has the skill to do this and has inspired me to try to learn this skill.

In an age where the integrity of journalism is often disputed by much of the public, Tavernise stands out in my eyes as someone who is changing the game. During her time in the industry, she has told so many people’s stories from all over the globe. She inspires me to continue studying communications and makes me proud to be a woman who wants to go into journalism. While I may not be trying to fill her shoes, I do know that I have a lot to live up to if I want to be another remarkable “Sabrina” in journalism, like Sabrina Tavernise.

This Women’s History Month, I hope you find the women in your life who you look up to and find inspiration from!

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Sabrina is student at Florida State University studying media and communications with a minor in english. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time outdoors.