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If you followed the US Presidential election campaigns closely, then you must have heard the name of Maggie Haberman. If you don’t know anything about her fearless journalism, stick throughout the whole article to learn about a journalist who defeated her adversaries with valor.
Through this blog, we have tried to highlight some of her impeccable traits that changed the course of journalism.
As Gloria Steinmann, another veteran and inspiring journalist who vocalizes women’s rights, says,
“The best way for us to cultivate fearlessness in our daughters and other young women is by example. If they see their mothers and other women in their lives going forward despite fear, they’ll know it’s possible.”
Maggie Haberman is a similar example that remains at the forefront, inspiring budding journalists to pursue their passion, irrespective of societal expectations.
Born to Clyde & Nancy Haberman on 30th October 1973 in New York City, she ranks among the few journalists who challenged the Trump administration. Her prolonged quarrel with Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 and his administration majorly brought Maggie Haberman to prominence.
Despite several backlashes, she continues her unbiased journalism as a political analyst for CNN. Besides being a political analyst, Maggie also holds the position of White House correspondents of the New York Times.
Her father, Clyde Haberman, is a veteran journalist at New York Times, and her mother, Nancy Haberman, worked as a media representative at Rubenstein Associates. Although journalism ran in her blood, Maggie Haberman was interested in becoming a fiction writer before choosing journalism as her final goal.
Currently, Maggie Haberman, apart from being an influential journalist, is the mother of three children. She got married to Dareh Ardashes Gregorian in 2003, and currently, they live with their family in Brooklyn.
Maggie Haberman’s husband, Dareh, also works in the same domain as a New York Daily News reporter. As you read the below sections, we would walk through the journey of Maggie Haberman along with the personality traits that changed her life!
Life before stepping into Journalism
As we discussed above, Maggie came from a family of people belonging to the media fraternity, and everyone around expected her to join the same. Maggie Haberman initially didn’t decide to be a journalist because she went through the hardships faced by a journalist’s family.
Owing to which, during her childhood and teenage, Maggie was interested in singing and becoming a fiction writer. Before graduating from Sarah Lawerence College, Maggie went to Trinity College to commence her formal education.
In a guest talk, she expressed that her performance at Trinity College wasn’t good, and she sometimes felt like a failure. Yet, she decided to continue and dodge any number of hurdles that may come in her path of becoming a journalist.
Later, Maggie Haberman moved to Sarah Lawrence, a Liberal Arts College, and ultimately graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree. At several talks, she conveyed an inspiring message while talking about her transition from Trinity College to Sarah Lawrence.
According to Maggie, the tough times at Trinity College made her understand the importance of bouncing back after failures. Furthermore, the transition from one college to another helped her outgrow and become one of the top journalists of New York City.
The journey from New York Post to New York Times
Maggie Haberman started her journalistic journey in 1996 as a clerk in New York Post. Maggie Haberman’s New York Post(1996) experience at the first instance was underwhelming, as she found herself doing only desk jobs.
But her past experiences from college taught tackling uncomfortable situations, which made her firm, and within 48 hours, Maggie started enjoying the work environment at New York Post.
Apart from her routine desk jobs, she got deployed for training, one day a week, which acted instrumental in shaping her up as a media representative.
Even though she grew up in a family full of media personnel, her on-ground training revealed various aspects that she was unaware of.
She made new connections, met interesting people that helped to develop an intellect necessary for an unbiased journalist. Her cover story at the City Hall officially started her journey as a reporter and ignited her interest in becoming a political reporter.
After a few years, Haberman joined the New York Daily News for approximately four years. Though she changed her employer, her interest remained the same, and even in the Daily News, she continued her political reporting in the City Hall.
The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center changed the rhetoric of international media and also affected Maggie Haberman’s career.
Even though it had been only a week since the attacks, the New York mayor campaign continued, and Maggie Haberman was selected to cover it.
She got instructed to interview Mike Bloomberg, who was running the mayoral race for the first time. Michael Bloomberg( Mike) is none other than the co-founder of Bloomberg, who became the mayor of New York City in the mayoral race covered by Haberman.
Haberman was not satisfied with interviewing Mike because she believed that he was bound to lose because of his non-seriousness. Maggie Haberman thought that her senior executives appointed her to interview Mike because they doubted her capabilities.
But as her conscience hit, she later realized that she would have struggled to hone her skills had they not assigned that interview. The reportage of the mayoral race made her understand the dangers of narrow thinking in media personnel.
Also, it instilled an essential concept of acceptance of uncontrollable and undesirable circumstances.
The acceptance of things not in our control helps eradicate a rigid mindset that can be detrimental in a career like journalism.
It is so because, in this field, an individual has to report and write on topics and persons by keeping aside our preconceived notions.
By and By, with leaps and bounds, Maggie Haberman transformed into a political reporter. Her life came full circle with the 2008 Presidential elections, as she got reinstated at New York Post to cover the presidential race.
Later in 2010, Haberman got selected as a senior reporter at Politico, a firm that provides print, digital, and podcasts majorly on US political scenarios.
At times, the company also covers international political topics, which provided Maggie Haberman a platform to excel her skills in political reporting.
CNN & New York Times
Although Haberman had earned respect and recognition before joining CNN as a political analyst in 2014, the platform’s reach brought her to the forefront.
Maggie Haberman’s New York Times journey began in 2015 when she was selected as the political correspondent to cover the 2016 United States Presidential race that included Donald Trump, who later emerged as the President.
The coverage of the 2016 elections played an essential role in upscaling the recognition of Haberman as she, along with Glen Thrush, asked questions to the candidates without any hesitation.
Both of them asked questions in such solid synchronization that people started addressing the duo as ‘tag team journalists.’ After Donald Trump won the elections, Maggie Haberman continued to highlight the problem of the Trump administration in her articles and debates.
As of 2021, Maggie Haberman continues to work in New York Times as the White House Correspondent.Besides that, Maggie Haberman CNN journey continues with her working as a political analyst.
Feud with Trump
Finally, in this section, we would discuss the issue that turned Maggie Haberman’s life upside down after the 2016 elections.
Yes, you guessed it right, we are talking about the Maggie Haberman Trump reportage that made her win the Pulitzer Prize in 2018.
Her association with Donald Trump can be traced back to her mother, Nancy’s working days at Rubenstein Associates, a firm that worked for high-status people such as Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, Maggie Haberman-Trump’s first interaction was when she worked for New York Post.
Little did she know that the man she reported upon in her early career would later play a significant role.
As the media correspondent for the New York Times, Maggie Haberman vehemently asked questions from the President regarding issues with his administration.
That at times led to back and forth heated arguments to such a level that Donald Trump addressed her using defamatory terms like ‘Third-rate reporter’ & ‘ Hillary Flunky.’
During her coverage of the Trump administration, she covered topics such as Donald Trump’s alleged connection with Russia, which made her win the Pulitzer prize in 2018.
She also made her way to the Aldo Beckman Award for Journalistic Excellence to recognize her robust and fearless White House coverage.
The Aldo Beckman Award gets its sponsorship from the White House Correspondents Association, an administrative body to enable hassle-free and actual coverage of the White House.
Maggie Haberman Twitter
As we know, any national news that makes its way to the headlines is debated on Twitter.
Owing to this, individuals involved in the discourse get trolled mercilessly by the followers of the opponents. Maggie Haberman’s case is no different.
With all the praises for her fearless and unbiased attitude, Haberman also received heavy criticism for Donald Trump’s administration coverage.
It was also because, at times, her discourse with Donald Trump panned out on Twitter, where the latter even made personal attacks on the journalist.
Although initially, she used to ignore the trolls on Twitter, the threshold limit got crossed in 2018.
Finally, on 16th July 2018, she decided to quit Twitter for several reasons, where the baseless criticism played a significant role.
In an opinions and editorials page, Maggie Haberman briefly stated stagnated learning process, baseless trolling, fake news, and sexism as the reason for her sudden break from the platform.
Maggie Haberman accepted that even though she made new connections, promoted her ideas, and at times gave tips to budding journalists, the place wasn’t the same for her.
Haberman underscored that given the exponential boom in digitization, her Twitter timeline became more of endless opinions rather than facts.
She confessed that she could find herself getting involved in mindless discussions on Twitter instead of reporting and constructive debates. Therefore, she decided to quit the platform in July 2018.
To everyone’s surprise, she continues on the platform, but with less focus on the trolls.
3 Inspiring Lessons from Maggie Haberman’s Career
- Getting Out of Comfort Zone: All of us, at some point in our lives, undergo a phase where our mind adapts to the habit of procrastination and starts to crave pleasure rather than pain.Such a phase where it becomes difficult to adopt a new task or complete a pre-existing one because of procrastination is called the comfort zone.In the early 2000s, Maggie Haberman was hesitant to interview Mike Bloomberg because of her preconceived notion and her comfort zone of interviewing selective people.But owing to her editor’s orders, she interviewed Mike and ultimately figured out that the interview helped her get out of her comfort zone.Therefore, her story conveys that anyone pursuing a goal should put effort into eradicating the comfort zone.
- Abstaining from Echo Chambers: In a guest talk, Haberman talked about the importance of eradicating the concept of Echo chambers. An Echo chamber is a circumstance when an individual cannot process the viewpoints of the opposite party and reflects ideas that cater to his biases.She emphasized that such conditions can be detrimental as they can lead to false and baseless conclusions without considering opposition points.
That defeats the purpose of constructive debates and VALID criticism and may lead to aggressive behavior.
Although Haberman spoke about this specifically for upcoming journalists, it is surprisingly applicable to everyone.
- Professionalism: Maggie Haberman’s career is a living testimony of professionalism and staying true to the job, despite massive threats that could have caused adversaries.
Even though she knew the number of trolls that she would get, daily threats, and what not for reporting against the Trump administration, she continued to do so.That highlights her fearlessness and professional attitude that dodged every obstacle irrespective of the magnitude of the situation.
At the same time, it needs to get conveyed that this doesn’t mean to be radical & aggressive with your career.
But instead, her story inspires us to perform our tasks irrespective of the pebbles that may come in the way.
Also Read, Oprah Winfrey’s success story from humble beginnings to becoming the wealthiest female entertainer in the world.