Vision25’s Belonging in the News returns next week with acclaimed journalist and editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Versha Sharma as our guest. Register for the next Belonging in the News discussion — we promise our guests don’t hold back! In honor of the 2022 return of our popular virtual event series in partnership with OpenNews and the Online News Association we’re sharing a compilation of some of our favorite mic drop moments from the past episodes.
One of the goals for the Vision25: Building Racial Equity in Newsrooms collaboration is to establish ‘institutions of belonging.’ The term describes actively anti-racist news organizations where journalists of color have a sense of agency and belonging in the newsroom. We believe that institutions of belonging are part of the solution to creating a diverse, equitable and trustworthy press.
Mic drops on busting the myth of objectivity
1.“If our standard is to appear to be objective, our standard becomes to lie to our readers.”
These journalism institutions should have their values clearly stated somewhere. If truth-telling is a value then no journalist working for an institution should get in trouble for telling the truth.” -Episode 3, Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and correspondent for CBS News
2.“We’re trusting heterosexual, white men of privilege who have been consuming mainstream narratives about immigrants for years to do ‘objective’ reporting on that issue and hire reporters on that issue… And all of the media we are consuming is through that filter. That is bad journalism.” -Episode 2, Maria Hinojosa, executive producer of Latino USA and creator of Futuro Media Group
3.“We[journalists] have been trained out of our humanity. When you are trained out of your humanity, you can’t see that you are taking a piece of someone’s respect and dignity by ‘objectifying’ them.” -Episode 4, Manolia Charlotin, Co-founder of PressOn
Mic drops on shifting the power structures
4.“Journalists need to hold powerful people accountable–the powerful people within our own journalism institutions.” -Episode 4, Lewis Raven Wallace, Co-founder of PressOn
5.“Newsrooms today don’t reflect our communities, they reflect power.” -Episode 1, Nikole Hannah-Jones, reporter for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the 1619 Project
6.“Radical imagination is something that exists and that is alive and breathing as a practice in marginalized and oppressed communities, and the way they are going about change is to reimagine the systems they are impacted by.” -Episode 4, Manolia Charlotin, Co-founder of PressOn
Mic drops on catering to white audiences
7.“We’re seeking the white audience by not telling the truth about racism, and black people are going, ‘What is this nonsense?’” -Episode 3, Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and correspondent for CBS News
8.“The critic’s job is to help people understand what questions they should be asking; how to use food and restaurants to start a larger social conversation.” -Episode 5, Soleil Ho, Restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle
9.“We [journalists] cannot compromise our values of truth and fairness to seek the validation of bad faith actors.” -Episode 3, Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and correspondent for CBS News
Mic drops on finding belonging in the newsroom
10.“The sense of feeling you belong will make you a better journalist.” -Episode 2, Maria Hinojosa, executive producer of Latino USA and creator of Futuro Media Group
11.“The 1619 Project would not exist if I was not being treated as if I belonged in the newsroom. You have to treat me as an equal who is worth investing in.” -Episode 1, Nikole Hannah-Jones, reporter for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the 1619 Project
12.“Hip hop taught me everything–it led me to writing about the fine arts, it led me to covering President Obama, and it led me to writing about resegregation. Hip hop’s the glasses I wear–I see everything through it.” -Episode 6, Jeff Chang, author, journalist and a senior advisor at Race Forward
Belonging in the News with Versha Sharma
In the April 2022 episode of Belonging in the News, co-executive director of the Maynard Institute Martin Reynolds, discussed belonging with award winning-journalist and the current editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Versha Sharma. Teen Vogue, a web-only Condé Nast publication, pivoted to become a strong voice on social justice issues in recent years. The discussion explored:
- having a sense of agency in the newsroom
- belonging as a journalist of color while reporting for a major US publication
- what feels like to be a “first” and Versha’s experience as first South Asian American woman to helm Teen Vogue
The event is one hour. The last 15 minutes was open for audience questions as part of a moderated, post-event party for members of the audience to flesh out any of the comments or themes from the live discussion. This post-event discussion was hosted by executive members of Vision25 in the chat on our Crowdcast livestream after the event ended. Watch the recording.
The Online News Association, OpenNews and the Maynard Institute have come together to create Vision25: Building Racial Equity in Newsrooms, a catalyst in a social change movement that seeks to build journalistic institutions where newsrooms are actively anti-racist and collaborative, and journalists of color feel like they truly belong. Learn more here.