By Zenitha Prince
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
“Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts has been named the most trusted woman in television, according to a new Reader’s Digest survey released this week.
Reader’s Digest teamed up with The Wagner Group, a research firm, and polled more than 1,000 Americans to discover which 200 public figures inspire the most confidence. Roberts came in at No. 12 on the list, making her the most trusted television host on the list.
The publication defined a trustworthy person as “somebody possessing integrity and character, exceptional talent and a drive for personal excellence, a strong internal moral compass, a consistent message, honesty, and leadership.” And 56 percent of Americans believed that Roberts exemplified those qualities.
“I wish my mom and dad were here to see this,” Roberts said in an interview with Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest. “It would mean so much to them because all they wanted was for us to grow up to be good people.
“They didn’t care that sister is a social worker and brother is a teacher and that two of us are on TV,” she added. “All they wanted was for us to be trustworthy citizens. And there’s a responsibility that goes with that, and it’s not something I take lightly.”
Roberts started gaining national attention as an on-air personality on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” in 1990, winning over fans and also critics with her signature catch phrase, “Go on with your bad self!”, and capturing three Emmy Awards.
In May 2005, the journalist joined Diane Sawyer as co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Later that year, her professional and personal worlds collided when Hurricane Katrina tore through the Mississippi Gulf Coast, her home, and Roberts traveled to the devastated area and did a series of emotional reports. In 2009 she teamed up with George Stephanopoulos, and the pair catapulted GMA to the No. 1 morning show in April 2012 for the first time in almost two decades.
But it is, perhaps, the resilience, strength and grace Roberts displayed during her public battle with cancer that has endeared so many Americans to the television host.
On the same day in April 2012 when Roberts received the news of her professional accomplishment as part of GMA’s number one ranking, she learned that although she had prevailed against her breast cancer, after being diagnosed in June 2007, the treatment had caused another serious medical problem, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
“I’ve always been a fighter, and with all of your prayers and support, a winner,” Roberts told her viewers at the time, and her determination inspired many others to join the fight against MDS, a disease of the blood and bone marrow.
On the day she went public with the announcement, Be the Match Registry, the national marrow donor program, experienced an 1,800 percent spike in bone marrow donors.
In her interview with Reader’s Digest, Roberts talked about this influence she has on the public—the inner light that shines out on the world.
“Every day before I leave my apartment—after I say my prayer of protection—I ask God, ‘Please let your light shine through me.,’” she said. “And I am lucky to have the resources to shine it—be it love, unity, or resilience—onto others.”
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