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As with so many other industries, reporters and editors of color are underrepresented in the news media field. But if the long-held notion of “objectivity” in reporting requires everyone to leave their identities at the door, where does that leave journalists of color? What does objectivity even mean, and who is served or harmed by the concept? Presented by Grist and Town Hall, Award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones joins us for a livestreamed conversation with fellow journalist Brentin Mock to discuss the realities and struggles of race and justice in journalism.
Hannah-Jones suggests that personal experiences are imperative to ensuring that a wide breadth of stories are told. She indicates the critical need for people of color to be represented in rooms and positions where coverage decisions are made; consider 2020’s backlash toward the The New York Times over its op-eds and the widespread protests of ongoing police violence against the Black community. Hannah-Jones shares her experiences as a Black woman in a newsroom and outlines how they have informed her work, including how she pitched and published major projects covering race like the award-winning 1619 Project. Join Hannah-Jones and Mock in this essential dialogue on equity, representation, and how journalists of color can best be supported.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. In 2017, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant, for her work on educational inequality. She has also won a Peabody Award, a Polk, National Magazine Award, and the 2018 John Chancellor distinguished journalism award from Columbia University. In 2016, Hannah-Jones cofounded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization geared towards increasing the numbers of investigative reporters of color.
Brentin Mock is a staff writer for CityLab, and the former justice editor at Grist. He previously served as lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch, and has also written for PolicyShop, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Root.
Presented by Grist and Town Hall Seattle.