(Image Courtesy Writer)
Yamiche Alcindor expands on her journey of being an American Journalist
By Kamryn Sobel
As part of the East Bay Leadership Series, American Journalist Yamiche Alcindor examined the “current political issues facing America, how economic and racial segregation have impacted her life as an immigrant from Haiti, and her decision to pursue journalism in search of truth.” The East Bay Leadership Council hosted Alicindor, an award-winning political journalist, Anchor of Washington Week, and White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour. Saint Mary's is a proud sponsor of the East Bay Leadership Series.
Alcindor began by discussing the pressing issues of the political affairs the pandemic has brought forth in America. She explains that journalism is a “medium through which we push elected officials and people who are in power to tell us the truth to be held accountable.”
Furthering her conversation on the pandemic, Alcindor addressed the reality that “African-Americans are more likely to live in homes where there are a number of people.” She continued that “if someone gets the virus, they cannot easily quarantine in the way we think of quarantining.”
She also addressed the political dynamics that American society is currently seeing in light of Biden’s recent nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, who would be the first African-American woman on the Supreme Court. She wants to, “remind people that the requirement to be on the Supreme Court for hundreds of years, [was] to be a white male,” and “Black women were locked out of the Supreme Court.”
Continuing this line of thought, Alcindor also stressed the importance of journalism being a medium that people can trust. She wants people to trust in journalism and to trust in science because it is “now more than ever that we need to lean into the idea of journalism.” After Alcindor learned about the murder of Emmett Till, she discovered that it was a journalist who carried the image of Till.
She used this to discuss the role of journalism, for learning about the ugly parts of American history and exposes that journalism can be a part of the learning curve because the public can easily access this information. “Journalists during these times are having to reckon with issues that we have not reckoned with in the past.” She continued that journalism should have the responsibility of addressing these issues, “where we want to teach people, about ideals and opinions that people don't hold the same views.”
After finishing her brief discussion on her experience as a journalist, she then answered questions from the audience. Alcindor expands on the idea that journalism should be a place where people can learn about opinions that they personally don’t. She included that journalism needs to have more diversity and needs to be real with the people.
She ended by saying, “I could not have done journalism that didn't support me. There is financial stability in journalism and journalism has to continuously go to the people, where they still continue to watch. People benefit from having peers that want us to keep having information.”
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