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And That’s The Way It Was

By Loris Taylor, President & CEO, Native Public Media

I stood in line, waiting for my turn to meet Gayle King. King was in Arizona as the 39th Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism recipient. There was a lot I wanted to say to King, and in my mind, I framed a dozen versions of “hello.”

Gayle King, the co-anchor of CBS This Morning, is a prominent journalist who has significantly impacted the voices of women and people of color. Several prestigious awards, including the 2023 Walter Cronkite Award, recognize King's work.

King and I could talk about her prominence as a journalist in our few minutes together. King recognizes the power of media to shape public opinion and influence social change. She uses her platform to uplift the voices of women and people of color by featuring stories often overlooked or ignored by mainstream media. She has interviewed many influential women and people of color, including Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and Ava DuVernay. Through these interviews, King has brought attention to issues affecting women and people of color and highlighted their contributions to society.

Her advocacy for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is another topic we could share. King is a hero of mine because she is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. King has created opportunities for conversations about women and people of color to succeed in the media industry. She paved the road for many, including me, to enter and stay in a male-dominated broadcast industry.

“Gayle King” is synonymous with a more equitable and just society. King is a role model and inspiration for all those who aspire to make a positive difference in the world. Her recognition with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism is a testament to her dedication and impact on the media industry.

I am deep in thought when a woman gently taps me on my shoulder. “You are next,” she says.

“I love you, Gayle King!” And just like that, the words tumbled out of my mouth. The hug said the rest while we beamed into the cameras. There was no need for words, for she was my mentor. We are two warrior women operating in the same but parallel universe, challenged by similar barriers, celebrating our longevity, tenacity, success, and blazing trails for seven generations.

And that’s the way it was.


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