2 Episode results for "Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists"

Occupational Hazards

On The Media

51:50 min | 3 months ago

Occupational Hazards

"Editor thanks like we have to be very careful about your reporting on this. And i would say well. Should we very carefully every story standards for the others for me from wnyc in new york. This is on the media. I'm brooke gladstone on this week show. How journalism selectively judges objectivity and bias in my experience. No one has never said. Let's say to a combat veteran. You're too close to war. You can't be a war correspondent or you can't cover veterans also joel. Simon reflects on twenty five years at the committee to protect journalists. You have a situation. Where living with today in which all the data suggests that. Unfortunately you know. This is one of the most dangerous and deadly times journalists in in history. Awful data of what it means. join me. Helga davis on my podcast. Helga the armory conversations for everyday conversations with extraordinary people. Listen to hunger the armory conversations. Wherever you get podcasts. Ch listener supported w nyc studios from wnyc in new york. This is on the media. i'm brooke gladstone. It's the job of journalists to cover conflict from competitive local elections too literal war zones. You can be fun. It can be very dangerous. There are natural hazards when journalists ply their craft in certain contexts but there also are unnatural ones when they are the intentional targets of violence across the world. Journalists are harassed tortured imprisoned and murdered by authoritarian governments rootless politicians and extremist groups. Who would prefer to work in the dark out of the public eye. The committee to protect journalists or cpj was founded in nineteen eighty one to defend journalists who become prey. It provides guidelines for travel and safety puts a spotlight on jailed journalists and campaigns for their release and fights for justice for those who've been killed on the job after nearly twenty five years of service with the cpj this year joel. Simon is stepping down as executive director. And he says now could be the deadliest time to be a journalist. He's ever seen joel. Welcome back to the show great bre. I'm curious what led you to see. Pj so this was back in one thousand nine hundred ninety seven. I was living in mexico. I was kind of looking for the next thing i always wanted to do. Journalists that had an impact in that was connected to some sort of broader purpose. And i had seen during my time as a journalist in mexico that you i had this incredible privilege even as a freelancer of being much safer than by colleagues you covered the guatemalan civil war and and the zaptatista uprising in southern mexico. And both of those were stories that i could not have done without the support of local journalists. Had a very good friend who was an editor of a newspaper in tijuana calls. The name was hastened blocker nellis. We started trying to work together to organize a press. Freedom group first time mexico and then he was ambushed by the number of the tijuana drug cartel his carbon shot one hundred forty times she survived. You know it kind of reminded me of the cause was so important but it also had a big impact on night my vision of what my role would be at over the last twenty five years. Can you talk about what you saw. What you learned and how. The landscape shifted globally journalists. Let's start with with this attack on my colleague. He's block or nellis which he barely survived. You know that was the onset of this emerging new threat of criminal groups and militant groups that would become a tremendous challenge for journalists and lead to sharp increases in murders violence attacks in so many parts of the world. But then the other thing that was of course you had the nine eleven attacks and the onset of the war on terror in this new framework for repression which emerged from that which was anti-terror prosecutions. And there were a couple of other moments in the course of the time that i've been at cpj where i saw states dig in and double down in their strategies of repression because they were threatened by independent information for the color revolutions in eastern europe and the arab spring when we saw this tremendous global crackdown on journalism and independent information and then more recently under the trump administration we saw so many governments around the world resort to a new framework of prosecuting journalists for publishing fake news. That's the new framework repression. You put all that together and you have a situation where living with today in which all the data suggests that unfortunately this is what the most dangerous and deadly times journalists in in history. Why so much. Worse of course something that you've focused on burqas. You know the complete transformation of the information environment end of the information monopoly journalists once hell collectively right right. There was a reason for people to give journalists free passage. They needed them to tell their side of the story to the world. They don't need journalists to tell their stories anymore they had youtube. Yeah and let's be realistic here whether you're a celebrity with a big instagram following or your isis with your own media networks you have other means of communicating and so the power that journalists bring to the relationship is reduced. What do you see as cpj's biggest accomplishments. It's really hard to think of. Like wholesale successes. I can of instances in which we've you know gotten journalists out of prison or even where there's been a political transition and situations improved by even where that happens for example in india deal via where a dishes and you had a moment of press freedom things regressed terribly or in myanmar where we saw something similar under on suci. Certainly the situation. There was far from ideal. But it's tough compare with what we're seeing today or a place like egypt where we saw a political transition. We saw some improvements in the press of climate. But that's not the case today or even turkey where turkey was a world leading george journalist for a time it no longer is because the government has become more sophisticated in its strategies and repression or russia where we saw waves of intense violence committed against journalists and journalists being murdered. That doesn't happen with the same regularity russia these days but that's probably because the press is more control and less independent. But i think the thing that i am most proud of is the success that we've had in winning the release of journalists from prison around the world. You know of all the things that. Make me the proudest all the things that i find most rewarding. It's meeting with those journals when they are released from prison and seeing them recognize that they're part of a community that when they are in these most dire and difficult circumstances there are organizations and colleagues and journalists that with them. Can you give me a case or a couple that really stick with you with a sense of frustration sadness for some reason. I don't know why it goodness i have looked up. How many journalists have been killed in the nearly twenty years that i've been cj and that number something like twelve hundred. We have a database. And then i said well how many of them have been murdered and that number was around seven hundred and then i thought how many of them came to me and told me that they might be killed and yet went on with their work. Knowing how this might end you know. And i could come up with a couple. That i remembered meaning Before they were killed at sky though russian investigative journalists who was murdered in two thousand seven in moscow. I remember we met in my office. I've this was the year before and g. knew the kind of risks that she was taking yet cheap went back and kept recording. she's towering figure. She was absolutely you know. Another would be heavier vowed as the mexican reporter who cj honored with international press freedom award. He knew that he was under threat from the cartels in sinoloa where he was reporting that he might be could. We actually tried to convince him to leave to go into hiding. He felt so compelled to continue with his work that he really couldn't accept their knowledge that the risk was underneath. He was eventually killed. And i think that in my experience that is the most humbling thing for journalists like museum and maybe like you brooke and maybe others who are listening at a time when our profession is devalued and degraded or called all sorts of names and the public doesn't necessarily trust us or whatever challenges we face where we see the industry crisis you know that there are still journalists around the world who believes so strongly and so passionately in what journalism represents and what it's capable. They are literally willing to give their lives. You know it's painful but it's also deeply humbling way to know that journalism matters and we at cj are standing shoulder to shoulder with those who are willing to give their lives for the truth. Sometimes over the years. I've likened cpj to supervising physicians in an emergency room finding that they're losing way too many of their patients. And i wonder whether it's been really hard all these years. I have to dodge that. It's taking an emotional toll and that far too many callings that we see imprisoned or killed or forced to leave the profession. But here's the phone. I don't feel pessimistic. I do feel quite fervently that we can and we have made a difference and also despite the habitants am optimistic about the long term future of journalism. I feel like we're living through a terrible prolonged prices. But i also believe that At the root is very essential human need which is formed and to have the information we need to make sense of our lives and that those impulses will somehow and someway overcome all the obstacles the violent repression in the challenges to the industry. I do believe that. That's the future. But i don't know quite enough future law arrive. So what bit of wisdom derived from your experience. Would you most want to pass on to the next executive director You know you're you're part of a movement in which the challenges have have only grown. So i think you have to be emotionally prepared and i think you have to have the ability to stay focused on on the horizon. While dealing with the cases at hand yeah while dealing with the case is at hand and you can never lose your personal relationship to the work because ultimately it is it is about people. It's about the journalists who we defend. It's about the people who make up the organization and you have to take satisfaction and pride insured struggle. Only approach the work. What are you doing next. I don't know yet. that's part of the fun. But whatever i do next will be supporting press freedom and doing all i can to ensure that information is somehow distributed equitably more fairly and those who stand in the way use violence censorship and repression to thwart that are challenged than every step. Joel thank you very much. I really mean that back you broke. It's been a pleasure joel. Simon is the executive director of the committee to protect journalists and the author of we want to negotiate the secret world of kidnapping hostages and ransom. Coming up one yields better reporting proximity to the community you cover or dissidence who gets to decide. This is on the media this week on radio lab travel with her all over the world. We'll meet the celebrity psychiatrists who brought us the five stages of grief like going on a rock tour. All these young kids in the street going and we'll ask. How did this lady get it so wrong. Dr literally spit on our you know. It just went from one controversy to the next for her entire life. Listened to this episode of radio lab wherever you get your podcast. This is on the media. I'm brooke gladstone. Now we revisit a topic. We explored earlier this year about who gets to speak. And who doesn't case in point washington post reporter. Felicia mez this week. She sued the post as well as former executive editor. Marty baron and other top editors for discrimination from two thousand eighteen to this past march. She says she was barred on and off from covering stories about sexual assault because her managers said she herself was a sexual assault survivor. The lawsuit says that she suffered quote economic loss humiliation embarrassment mental and emotional distress and the deprivation of her rights to equal employment opportunities due to the coverage bands. The first big story. She missed was brad cavanaugh. A supreme court nominee alleged to have committed a sexual assault in highschool. Then she missed. Many more including the metoo movement tension with our editors mounted again when kobe bryant died in twenty twenty and she tweeted a link to a story about a rape charge. Bryant had settled out of court. She was slammed with a barrage of rape and death threats forcing a brief move to a hotel and she also was suspended for quote poor judgment. After hundreds of her colleagues rallied to her defense. She was reinstated but the ban remained in place until monday march nineteenth when the washington post rescinded it after political ram story the argument over who is and who isn't objective enough or strong enough to report on subjects. They know too. Well like rape or racism still royals newsrooms. And since those power determine who is best fit to report a story the marginalized are most often silence. Women people who are non white. Lgbtq or otherwise vulnerable trauma can also disqualify you but the thing is exposure to trauma. Inducing events is an occupational hazard anyone who covers the hard stories. The ugly ones no matter who they are. We'll be at risk. Journalism is a trauma facing profession. A lot of what counts as news are the worst experiences that happens to people. Bruce shapiro is executive director of the center for journalism and trauma a project of columbia journalism. School we spoke back in march. You know we think pretty obviously about the stuff that reporters may witness on the frontline whether it's the frontlines of conflict or covering disaster or civil unrest The insurrection on january sixth. That's one kind of traumatic event. But the reality is that journal spend a huge amount of time also listening to engaging with absorbing the stories of people describing the most difficult experiences of abuse and lost that. They've had in their lives every study. That's been done. Journalists in the last twenty years says it over the course of their career between eighty five and one hundred percent of all journalists will contend with major trauma exposure in the course of their work meaning a potential for trauma that they see. Bad things. there's the slow drip drip drip the accumulation of crime scene after crime scene murder trial after murder trial which a lot of research now shows can have a profound effect if if people then bring to that biographical experiences of trauma whether it's experiences of family violence as a child of bad things that have happened to them. As adults sexual assault all of those things accumulate. And eventually you're sort of personal levy can be over topped and what's more a water. Research says that when we cover events with which we have a close identity whether that's because of race or gender or sexuality parents of small children covering school shootings those kinds of traumatic events are more likely to have a big impact on us and turn into a risk factor for ptsd or other psychological injury. But obviously the choice of who disqualify from reporting is never neutral because what is impartial is determined by people who also have consciously or not a particular worldview. Look in my experience. No one has ever said. Let's say to a combat veteran. Oh you're too close to war. You can't be a war correspondent or you can't cover veterans ever said to someone who became a reporter after being a law enforcement officer and i know several people in that category. You can't cover cops. This only comes up when it's about people who are part of communities who have been left out of the traditional news equation or whose communities are at the center of national debates over injustice. It comes up with women. It comes up with trans folks and gay and lesbian communities. It comes up know. In recent weeks with asian american journalists it never comes up with the kinds of groups who traditionally have dominated the editorial power structures in newsrooms and for whom the news agenda is so often built shapiro says that discriminatory or merely oblivious workplaces can heighten. The risk of trauma has in the case of sonmez. Who tweeted that the ban and having to explain to editors again and again why she had to turn down. An assignment prompted the same debilitating symptoms. She had when she first came forward about her assault three years ago. She didn't respond to our request for comment. More broadly though screening out for trauma makes little sense given that all journalists are likely to encounter trauma inducing material in their personal lives and at work if not both so how can newsrooms operate with that information. In mind there are still too many managers. I think who believe that trauma is not an issue. The news can deal with or who are so afraid of it that they then begin taking perfectly able reporters and pulling them off beats because they're worried. Oh you're too close to this freak you out. There's no evidence to support that and in fact it's quite destructive. All the research says that the single most important factor associated with journalists resilience is their strength of collegial relationships the strength of their social relationships. I think we need a broader awareness within the profession of journalism. That a little bit of self care our own attention to how were doing getting help when we need it and being good colleagues to others actually strengthens our capacity to report being aware of the occupational mental health. Risk of trauma exposure is as central to the reporters tool kit as how to do an interview. Shapiro says that. It's the responsibility both of managers and reporters to be aware and prepared. I can think back to hurricane katrina. I spent some time in new orleans after the storm. And there was this one reporter at the times picky on who was responsible for covering fema and the agencies now go out for drinks with this friend and he would periodically go on these f bomb laced rants about feman bush in the army corps of engineers and the huge damage to his beautiful city. And at one point i said to him. You know you seem pretty angry. How are you managing to cover these agencies and and he sat up straight. I'll never forget this and said oh you better believe i'm angry but because i know it and can acknowledge it. I know i need to lean over backwards to be clear and rigorous with myself and the story. The problem would be if. I didn't acknowledge this didn't say. What does this require of me. As a journalist bruce shapiro is executive director of the dart center for journalism and trauma a project columbia journalism school where he also teaches ethics on may thirty first last year after days of protests over the police killing of george floyd and some destruction of property the pittsburgh post gazette reporter alexis johnson tweeted out four photos trash and debris with the caption horrifying scenes and aftermath from selfish looters. Who don't care about this city. Oh wait sorry. No these are pictures from a kenny. Chesney concert tailgate. Oops it's always race. Staff ends up revealing the biggest double standards right earnest. Owens is a journalist and the president of the philadelphia association of black journalists think about philadelphia when the eagles won the super bowl. Finally they tore down city hall the ritz carlton. cy was torn down. People were climbing up the polls people were pretty much passive about that but then when the protesters were out during the twenty twenty ratio uprisings. All of a sudden people are being teargassed. So there's always been a double standard and how people have addressed black outrage compared to white people who express similar types of action behavior. It was this double standard that alexis johnson lampooned and one that she confronted herself the next day coverage of the protests following the best george louis because of a tweet that i thought was finding i thought was clever. I thought it was food for thought. Alexis johnson who declined a request for comment spoke to the press on june eighth. I was told that. I violated or social media policy which impact doesn't exist. They're just a set of guidelines that the guilt never agreed to push back. I felt like my voice was being silenced. I asked how that tweet shoot any opinion or bias. And i never really got a clear answer but i think based off where we are asking. We kind of know what that answer is. It doesn't surprise me that a white senior editor of white publisher would go hard on a person of color. Talking about racism. It would not surprise me that assists hetman would be critical of a women and talking about rape or sexual assault. There's a pattern here. How would the paper benefit by sidelining. Alexis johnson you have to think about the other interest that shaped the publication. Even though they won't admit it out loud some of these local publications do struggle with trying to maintain access to political figures to private interests. And so i wonder how people like alexis were doing coverage that would challenge the status quo. That would buck against the institution would not pose a threat. I mean people have to remember. Journalism is a public service. But it's still a business how these publications are being supported. Might bleed into how they cover the news. We read and watch every day so when you see the experience of alexis johnson. It reminds you of other experiences. You've heard so alexis situation was very drastic. We don't really hear of these types of reports where people are complete taking off. Beat like. I haven't been told kid write a story but i will say that in my earlier years when i was covering racism. Lgbtq community philadelphia. You're a black man. you're also a game man. Yes i was remembering editors that i was working with there. Were saying things like you know. We have to be very careful about your reporting on this. And i would say what should we be very careful. What every story. I have had young. Black journalists will come in a business that you know. I've been turned off from covering race. Because i feel like it's going to be uphill battle with my editors to pitch to them or convinced them that i can take on the story without them double down on every single word syntax quote. I use when i'm having these conversations with newsrooms. I'm not just talking about hiring practices and pay equity and all those matters but i'm also talking about how black journal should be given the agency and the respect to be able to cover race without billing surveilled and intimidated. What was the impact on you. When i started doing this work. This was six years ago. Solve like twenty three. I was wondering to myself like. Is this going to be the norm. Every time i do a story that involves a community that i am connected to Let's be clear. Race and identity are the headlines of our time so the fact that we're sidelining journalists of color when it cover race or lgbt journalists and they covered things impact the community who else is left except white people straight people so basically you're reinforcing the same discriminatory policies and practices that we have been claiming to want to eradicate especially given what has happened last year. But things are changing. Aren't they as a black person. I'm saying the progress is glacial. I'm not seeing the structual changes. I'm not seeing enough diverse individuals in positions of power influence. I want to get to the point where i have to stop relying on the same people that have been a part of the problem to be a part of the solution as well. I mean the fact that we're touting. The romney rule of we're going to guarantee at least one person that color we interviewed. So what does that mean. Are you suggesting that black and brown people aren't already qualified these positions and that you're doing a favor by giving them an interview. When will you feel that. There has been progress fragments to me. Looks like women being pay at the same rate as men that black brown people are being paid equitably and being given opportunities and promotions at the same fast rate as their white counterparts that lgbtq journalists do not have to only be the spokespeople for their community but get to cover various issues because those issues impact them beyond the sexual orientation gender identity where we don't treat diversity equity inclusion as a chore but as something that we can fully embrace that will save this industry rather than putting controversy. I should add here. That the paper did ultimately permit alexis johnson to cover black lives matter protests but two months after her initial tweet and one month after she sued her now former employer for discrimination reinstating her to do what she wanted to do was ultimately not enough to keep her at the paper. What's the lessons learned or should have been the lessons. Learned for the post gazette. There was an opportunity for someone. Like alexis sue. Tell the stories that matter. She's now vice news. She's really killing the game right now. Must say they lost talent. they lost credibility. I don't know that many black journalists in the region that are interested in working for them the overall reputation has been soiled. And they're they're highway decision since then has doubled down the notion that this is not a safe place to work. I mean this is an organization has been recognizing in noted by the pulse surprises. And now look where they are today and it's just a shame. Thank you very much thank you. I just really hope that listeners. Understand that there are countless local black journalists associations across the country created to help make newsrooms and the media ecosystems in their communities. Better so lean on them. You know have these conversations and i think that needs to happen. Earnest owens is a journalist and the president of the philadelphia association of black journalists so it seems journalists are people too who face conflict stereotyping and trauma. But unlike most jobs there's sometimes puts them in the strange position of covering themselves and their communities while often being unknown to the audience and also maybe not entirely known themselves. Stephen freeze is an editor for our detroit and contributor to newsweek in two thousand fifteen. He reflected in a piece about his coverage of cases related to gay marriage the previous year. It was a kind of self examination when we spoke a few months ago. I asked him about a story in which he described how in the summer of two thousand fourteen he found himself sitting next to a friend and colleague he hadn't seen and fourteen years. She saw the gold band on his hand and asked married now and lowering his voice. He answered that depends on what happens in this courtroom today. So the case of michigan became a big deal it was an actual trial with witnesses which we had not seen since the property case in california and then it went up to the appeals court and eventually supreme court and it was one of the four cases that ultimately reversed all of the gay marriage bans across the country. So as this was happening. I was also a person a human being gay person with a partner i wanted to legally marry. We have plans for a child between half. But i didn't see any reason why i couldn't cover these cases. Did anybody else suggest that you were too close to the material you would be covering no one irony of it is. I had been trying so hard to stay out of the gay. Politics arena as a journalist that i didn't want to get married until it was just legal in my state. I was in nevada. And then i was in virginia and then i was in michigan. And every time. I've left the state the state before me would would make illegal but i didn't have the right to do that. In the state. I was in and to my mind. It seemed like a political act for me to go to another state to get married when that marriage license wouldn't have any force of law in my state. So i would actually try really hard to take advantage of laws existed and not do explicit political acts. I get that fifteen years. b four. You're sitting in that courtroom with your long lost colleague. You wrote a piece. This is back in nineteen ninety nine for the sun. Sentinel's sunday magazine about your own wedding with your first partner and in it you wrote about how the guests appeared oblivious to just how radical a vent this was. You're writing a piece about yourself personal journalism. The fact that my first wedding was actually so ordinary felt to me like a bit of a revolution. At the time you're right absolutely there have been zigzags in the way that i approach the things i just felt like when i became a point person covering the legal developments of the time i needed to be extra conscious of what that meant. So how did you then approach the reflection you wrote in two thousand fifteen. The year after you're in the courtroom with your friend was personnel or was it strictly journalistic tell me the process. I reported out. I went back and i called up some of the people ed talk to. One of the people is spoke with. Was john eastman. He is a very conservative lawyer. One of the architects of the anti seems like marriage legal framework. I talked to him over and over again. He was an important source for that point of view. And i never talked about myself. I was just another voice on the other line. So i called them up and i said look i was just wondering. Did you know i was gay. He's had no i said. Did you think that. I covered the case therapy and it was very clear that i wanted the truth. I didn't want him to just say what he thought i wanted to hear. And he said you were fair. I i was being quoted in context. I didn't have any problem with your journalism. So what actually was the point of this return to the story of the year before and this return to the sources for that story. I don't think journalists do this enough. I don't think that journalists own the fact that they sometimes run into conflicts. They can work through if they're honest about it. In this case. I had this very crystal clear moment that made it obvious to me that there could be some reason to doubt the quality of my work. I just felt like it was a good example. I don't think that journalists need to disclose all of their personal biopsies in the stories while they're writing them. But i do think that it is useful to the public to know that we're real people. I really do believe that in the effort to sort through it in your own mind. You keep yourself on the right path as a journalist so when you're covering the news how much of yourself do you disclose to build that credibility to make yourself more trustworthy rather than less. What's the line you have to walk. I don't think you disclose it at all in that context. I don't know where you would stop. Issue started if i'm covering a trial. Do i then have to explain that. My brother-in-law is a da or that. Somebody i know is a cop. Or the i've been robbed once you know i've been in this business a long time and i remember the early nineties. That was the first wave of efforts to diversify newsrooms which you know. Twenty thirty years later really didn't go very well but nonetheless. It was the first time we really started to talk about it. Seriously then came the conversation of welcome. They cover the role minority. Well pick one. Do you want people with diverse opinions and diverse experiences that help the coverage because they know things and some people might feel more comfortable talking to them or do you want to play this ethics game that just increases people suspicion and makes people question things that they don't need to question if you're a journalist and you're covering a company that you own stock in yes you have to say that you chosen by dot. I mean you know. I didn't i didn't choose to be a person of color or woman. Nobody chose to be sexually assaulted or victims any other type of crime. So those aren't the kinds of disclosures that are in my mind required every time you cover something steve. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. This has been fun. Steve freeze is an editor for our detroit and a contributor for newsweek. Coming up how to cover reality when there is always more than one. This is on the media. This is on the media. i'm brooke gladstone. Back in the winter of two thousand seventeen donald trump had just been elected and it seemed like all of journalism face to reckoning. Could they call president's lies lies. Could they report clearly and openly on what increasingly seemed to be democracy in peril into that set of questions walked a marketplace reporter named luis raven wallace who penned the post in medium called objectivity is dead and i'm okay with that promptly leading to his firing while is then wrote a book called the view from somewhere deconstructing notions of objectivity i asked him. This was april. What's the prevailing argument for objectivity. Well it obviously it depends on your of what we mean by objectivity but there was this idea that emerged early in the nineteen hundreds and was really codified in the middle of the century that a reporter would be most accurate and fair if they were detached. Journalists were basically news scientists who just investigated news in a very neutral way and of course objectivity in science has also been debunked. But i think the overall concept was we use his methodology. We use it without bringing ourselves in. And that gets us closer to the truth. And that differentiates us from people who propaganda. That's the positive reason for objectivity that more negative reason that i see is this perception thing of. We want people to think that we are neutral that we are unbiased. And so we strive for that appearance no matter what this is what. nyu professor. Jay rosen calls the production of innocence and in my book. I talk about it as a sort of purity ritual that we're going to take these people who might make us seem like we are ideological you know these gay activists or black lives matter advocates. And we're gonna make sure that they are outside of our doors so this notion of objectivity of at least the perception of it is paramount. That's what got linda. Greenhouse the longtime new york times supreme court correspondent in hot water in eighty nine when she attended a march in washington for reproductive rights. He was completely open about it. Told her bosses invited them but her friends over at the washington post. They were prevented from going to the march. They said the times. We're letting their people go the post ram story with howell raines. Who was the editor of the new york. Times who suddenly did an about face and says that greenhouse gas had been out of bounds she was asked to apologize and refrain from future demonstrations and that's slap received international coverage one of the headlines about the greenhouse story was one in the la times nineteen ninety can women reporters right objectively on abortion issues. You could ask the same question about men who clearly have an investment in the outcome of abortions and. I think we see the same sort of double standard around race right. So many black reporters have told me stories about being either taken off a story or sort of inherently viewed as kind of biased around an issue of racial justice where white people like myself aren't being approached in that same way by an editor at and you know white people have a lot of bias around that. That's the conversation that i wanna have. How do we talk about power and oppression in newsrooms not just in terms of kind of personal identity but in terms of all of us having a stake in these big questions of race class gender and oftentimes the privileged perspective. You know the white perspective or the male perspective is the one with the most biased. Because it's allowed to go unchecked. You couldn't raise a question like should women report on abortion anymore in an l. a. times headline but in some ways we're stuck in the same paradigm washington post reporter felicia som- nez was barred from reporting on sexual assault. Because she is herself a sexual assault survivor. That wasn't that she had been sexually assaulted. It was that she had been out about it right and that that led her to be taken off those stories. These publications who talk about you know we value diversity and we respect everybody in whatever. They're more concerned about protecting their own reputation than protecting people who are actually vulnerable women who are being trolled in really violent scary ways who work for them or something. That i've talked about a lot is transgender. People i just. I don't think that you can go around saying you know we wanna be trans inclusive workplace and whatever but we won't allow our reporters to take a stance on the oppression of trans people. I'm not going to accept this paradigm. That i can't be a reporter and also choose to speak out and say that's not okay. It's asking folks to choose between their livelihood and their humanity for all the people in the publications that cry conflict of interest when someone was an identity at stake in issue reports on the issue. There is another loud voice that says hey wait a minute. There's no one better equipped to report on it. And there's a whole tradition that we can look to going all the way back to people. Like ida b wells covered lynchings and the way she got interested in it. Was that a friend of hers was lynched and then she was targeted by white mobs. Her newspaper office burned to the ground for deciding to cover this so she very clearly had a stake in but her stake in. It was also what allowed her to do. Such powerful reporting and what motivated her to do. Such powerful reporting white reporters weren't doing this stories. They couldn't even see how horrible this thing was. Because they weren't close enough to it. And now i think it's easy to look back one hundred years and ceo lynching bad. Everybody knows that's bad but at the time. That wasn't the conversation. There are tremendous advantages but still some risks in covering a story to which you are very close. What are the risks conflicts of interest are real as a trans person. Yeah i might on the one hand have more access to the community and more information about the conversations happening within that community and a more nuanced take than your typical gender reporter on a trans issue on the other. Hand the community small enough that i might sometimes be trying to cover my friends or my idols and that can be a conflict of interest but the same issue comes up in other types of reporting i mean a lot of financial reporters are friends with the guys on wall street. And nobody's bringing that up as a problem that's like. Oh you're working your sources. You're doing a good job being a reporter again. It's the double standard. That i take issue with and the lack of self determination to sort of say you as a trans person might be uniquely qualified to cover this story. You will be allowed to if you want to. How do you manage the reflex to give maybe more space than you would normally to an idol and deny space to a point of view that might be informative for the reader in any story. There's a really good conversation happening between the writer and editor about what viewpoints. Are we centering. And why because somebody's making those judgment calls anyway you know they might be less conscious of why. In some cases we have to have some courage and integrity. I think as reporters when we make those choices about which things we see what we focused on. And how we tell the stories. We're shaping what's possible in the world and what about for you the debate over trans issues. The presence of trans issues in presidential lists of groups to be protected. Does your head sometime spin with how it was nothing. Nothing nothing and then suddenly so much of something. Yeah it's weird. I don't even know what to think of it. I have so much privilege as a trans person being a white person and being somebody who's perceived as masculine. I've experienced a relative lot of safety and privilege as these things go in my community. You know there's so many people who are still just in so much danger for being out and visible as trans. So i know part of me wants to rest on some laurels of like well. We've arrived and now we can be in the military whatever when it's literally physically nwsafe especially for trans feminine people and people of color and working class people and people who are working on the streets matt said the cultural conversation is so different than it was twenty years ago when i was coming out it does kind of make my head spin and i think that's entirely credit to trans people who were just so fierce and courageous and said. I don't care that people are going to come for me and call me crazy and be violent toward me for being open about who i am. This is what i need to do today. The associated press says we can use them pronounce or whatever and it seems like a small thing. But it's the tip of the iceberg of a mall this struggle and pain and loss that led to these changes. We see now so now that we've established that neutrality and objectivity can't be the principles at the heart of our journalism for one thing. They're mythical what should we place there instead. Curiosity for me is at the core. That's like the center. The beating heart of what a journalist does ask questions and stays open. And this is where i see. The gift that activism can give journalism is the commitment to justice and accountability. And the gift that journalism can give activism as the commitment to curiosity. And that's why it's such a beautiful thing to bring the two together louis. Thank you so much. Thank you louis. Wallace is the author of the view from somewhere and host of the podcast of the same name. Show on the media is produced by mykhailo insured. Laya fetter l. louise blondie. Oh rebecca clarke calendar molly schwartz and anthony bands the with help from ellen league zander ellen rights our newsletter our technical directors jennifer munson catcher. Rogers is our executive producer on the media is a production of wnyc studios. I'm brooke latte stone. I'm helga davis. And i'm thrilled to be partnering with park avenue. Anri on a special series of conversations called helga the armory conversations. These are everyday conversations with extraordinary people like visual artists. Nick cave actress and disability advocate merrily. Talking torkington and author jason reynolds. Listen to helga the armory conversations wherever you get podcasts.

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The Philly Blunt: The Podcast That Celebrates Philly

1:02:50 hr | 1 year ago


"Hey what's up blunt heads in a this week's blunt cast that we did live on our facebook page on Friday night. We sat down with fabulous cineas. She's a former senior editor at Philly MAG, currently working as a race reporter for VOX DOT COM. She did a special article for Vox on June teeth about June teeth, so we talked to her about the history of June teeth what she learned doing the research for the article if she could have written that same piece for Philly, may we touch on the lack of diversity of Philly Mag both on the editorial board and their content, which she was pretty vocal about on twitter and February, let us know what it was like to spend time one on one with Candice Owens, and the follow her around the speaking engagements for research for an article and interview she did. Federal is a fresh voice and journalism insightful, and currently a West philly resident, and we hope you enjoy. Hello Ladies and gentlemen and welcome to philly blunt my name's Johnny Good Times. I'll read. This is Greg and we are extremely psych tonight to me hanging out with of vox writer former Philly MAG senior editor a fabio. Fabio lascivious Fabio. Welcome to the show. Thank you yeah, absolutely so gotta ask. I don't know. Exactly where you are, are you guys getting fireworks going off constantly old night every. Yes! Are you're a reporter? You gotTa tell me what's going on here because we gotta, we gotta work together to stop this. Yes, so you know what's crazy is I want to say three weeks ago when the protests started three or four weeks ago? People were there. was that whole report about like ATM's being blown not. So just across the city like corner stores, and all these random spots and I don't know that the I think. Some police departments did confirm it, but they're still like so much misery around a lot of that noise was, but I think lately. It's definitely been people just firing off firecrackers, Ullah Block. That last night. Like why don't their black people were yeah, habent firecrackers! What about what about the conspiracy, theory? The theory that it's the cops. I've heard that, too yeah. I have to say it's not I. I was on Zoom Today for work and the other three people were in different areas of either Manhattan. The boroughs and they're having happened. There was a whole discussion I don't know if it's nationwide as for us. I've seen people in Boston talking about Chicago it's. It's going down worldwide nationwide. I mean you know I guess. It's kind of a confluence of events right like it's almost fourth of July everybody was kind of stocking up anyway and then didn't. They just make fireworks legal Pennsylvania like a month ago like the worst timing for any her. Right. Okay, let's legalize fireworks. Right? People Start Setting off dynamite. Like just so, everybody's a little bit on edge already and then just start throwing them out. There was okay like when we had curfew at eight. o'clock you would hear fireworks at eight, Twenty, eight thirty and I thought that was cool being your. We're out here curfews on, but we're still out here. Shoot fireworks domes. Okay with that, but now it's just like M. Eighties at like midnight twelve thirty one am de, so my first question is how you doing how you processing how you holding up with everything going on. Okay I mean. I. Think everyone would agree that. This time right now is unprecedented like as a reporter I've been in. Situations where covering just what's happening across the country has been nonstop, but I don't think that any of it. Any compares to this moment so when I first became journalist in not when I first went proper like a year into being a journalist in Philly covered the Democratic National Convention and that was just nonstop right 'cause we had people from all around the country in Philly, and that was just a pivotal election. Election Right I. Remember Hillary Clinton coming to Philly all the time the OBAMAS back and forth, and so that was just like a very exciting thing, and yes, around those times there were protests, but just nothing like what we're seeing right now, and so I think the hardest part has been just the scramble newsrooms of just like we need everybody on deck, so if you're a wedding editor if you're like covering science. Like everybody is now covering race. Everyone is covering racial justice. Everyone is covering the police so I think that that's been like super fascinating to just watch how people just have to quickly learn as you need to get the story right because if you're not be right in your, that's that's not good right now. Picture in the wedding person like it was A. Protest today they used. Different Hues and lightning. In philly I'm sure you guys saw the the wedding of couple that got married. Owner that was awesome. Yeah Yeah that was beautiful, so but yeah, generally I think it's a moment of just like learning people just starting on these like anti-racism journeys but just also healing right just remembering self care, and and trying to take time to heal. is black people just very important. Is it weird? I mean this for U. N Revisit Weird to see like a way people do. We seem crazy at this point? or buying all these books New York Times list. You've seen crazy at all. Right I mean this crazy, but you have. Let her finish, but I'll say that for me. It's been you know it feels like a genuine effort to try to. Figure this out like in it's it's the first time I. Think George Fluids was just so. Gruesome in just casual that like people are like okay. Maybe maybe they're not making this up, I don't know like. So for me, it's been like yet. Do the work rock out, but be genuine about my what you said. Yeah I think for me, it's. Just kind of seeing certain white people who I may be knowing their personal lives. Try to be like Oh. Let me put the square up on instagram. That's kind of weird because I know just like what you're like in your regular life so I, just kind of want people to be more aligned with just like and yes, right I'm not mad if you're coming to this late, not a problem, but at the same time like I want the public persona that they're putting out there to kind of match the action that they're actually taking in their personal lives, and so I feel like once those things are closer I'll feel more comfortable about like people really being dedicated to to what this is for the long run. Yeah I mean I think that's you know it's. We're in such a weird space because I feel like normally, all of these types of movements get co opted by celebrities, sports leagues by whatever's happening. That's you know glossy and well produced in all that and we don't really have those things right now. You know so I kind of feel like the movement feels much more organic than maybe it's felt like in the asked because we're not getting. Co opted by Hollywood or or whatever do you feel that way like, do you? Do you think that's part of the reason? The movements been so big is that it's been so real. Yeah I definitely feel that grassroots part of it like even watching day shipped. Dave Chapelle, special in him kind of like responding to what Don Lemon was saying because right. Don Lemon was went on a rant like where the celebrities weren't they saying anything, but then Dave Chapelle came back and was like. The streets are speaking for themselves right now right like people don't want to hear from you know at the top from the celebrity level, and so even for example like Kanye West no one he did say anything, but we then heard he set up right like a fawn for George. Floyd's dark daughter. He set up all the stuff and they're not. They're not being as vocal, but I think they're. They're doing moves that I think are more impactful so I do think people are looking to activists on the street to kind of lead and take action and just kind of follow and I. do think that that's that's definitely like. Has something to do with what is this sustaining the way that it is? Do. You feel positive. This is you know we're seeing changes already, but do feel like. I said this before like it feels like we'll get here in the kind of fades away, How do we sustain it in? Do you like that? Something will happen? Yet I think yesterday actually interviewed this political scientist Meghan Francis and she was kind of talking about what it's GonNa take for this to be sustained and choose like it's definitely the education part. It's definitely the action part once. You unlearn a lot of things, but then it's like you're in the streets because your whole goal was being in the streets. Is Public awareness right so when you look at all these polls that are saying. Sixty percent of people believe that like police violence is an issue now like that kind of those kinds of numbers are unheard of, but then on top of changing public opinion. Then that's when you're right like taking political action right so I think we have the benefit of it being an election year right November, that's coming up so fast and I think that just the timing of everything from Corona virus to the protest, and now right the summer moving into the election like that to me. is a really good thing for for momentum to be lasting into like clear political action. And Right, we see a lot of politicians in the past right one We saw things that were happening in Ferguson. A lot of politicians are even Democrats were able to be like you know what I'm not GonNa even make this report on my platform. I'm not gonNA address this, but now you see like today. I was checking my email I'm like signed up for like Elizabeth Warren Cory Booker. Just all these people everyone sending June eighteenth Just is the I've never seen this before. So yeah, the fact that politicians have to respond or the fact that someone like Joe Biden has to say this is how I feel about defunding the police that says a lot about how this change of public opinion is going to affect what happens politically. What do you? What do you think when you hear produce? Say That responsible for the June teeth awareness more than anyone else right now. Assess. It's it's it's scary. It's just like. How could someone be so delusional? He said it like I was reading that interview and was just like. No one knew about it like I asked around no one knew about it. And when they asked the woman in his office, she was like actually. We commemorate it for the past three years. By, nobody knew about it. You didn't know about it anytime like a private party. Without him exactly yeah, people. Today were like happy. June teams to everybody except for Donald Trump so that makes sense. Was Donald and candice and CON Yays. Own Little private party every year for the last two years. Come on. To say, it's been due to me. My weirdness of June teeth came on black ish, three or four years ago, I had never heard of. It was never on my radar. Episode. You wrote an excellent piece about it like Tell us a little bit about the research that went into that it might. Did you learn things that you went along with it or definitely? Just like everyone else I think I was fortunate as I was born and raised in Brooklyn Brooklyn. Fortunately in Brooklyn I had like woke teachers right so I had like I can shot them out like Miss Coleman in middle, school, Dr Powell in High School, and these were just like right out of an WANNA sign that were radical to them, but for what they did. It was radical, so we're I was aware of what June eighteenth was not that it was something that was celebrated in our community in. In Brooklyn, but right there was an awareness of like what it was, but even with that right, there wasn't like a hope. Here's a lesson plan around like what this thing is. Here is like how this connects. The civil. Rights Act of nineteen sixty four. There was no kind of like clear time on just connecting of just how this event of June eighteenth even matters or means anything for us today so. I again had an awareness, but in terms of like celebration I still feel like that probably didn't happen until like college for me, until much later, so in terms of reporting on that piece I definitely learned a lot just like pulling up the original language of like the orders that were given. is fascinating, just trying to understand the reason for like Abraham Lincoln's emancipation proclamation, so that came down right in nineteen, sixty three, and then it was nice to eighteen sixty three. So eighteen, sixty three that came down, and it wasn't until right two and a half years later in eighteen, sixty five that the folks galveston Texas found out about the emancipation proclamation, and that's just scary to think about just looking at the language and trying to understand like why Abraham Lincoln. Even wrote the emancipation proclamation to begin with why it you know freed slaves and others like that was like a lot of new things that I was learning about. The role of Freed black people, so you know black people just freeing themselves and running to union army lines in order to seek emancipation, like that was a big deal in just the new spreading across the south, and so just the story about like why it took so long for the news of the proclamation to reach people in Galveston Texas. They're like a bunch of different folktales around that right like there's one story that says. There was some dude riding on a horse. With the news, but then he was murdered. So that's why like the news never got to that part of Texas. There's another story which I think is probably the most accepted just the idea that white enslavers right in the south basically kept right. They didn't wanNA share the news because they were tab incentives to say you know what I need. This harvest I need to keep slavery going so we're not gonNA say anything right? And they were the deepest reaches of the confederacy, so they were able to do that kind of thing, and even when. The general arrived in Galveston that day it still took a while for this new normal to be a thanks, so there's a quote Dr including the article. That's like a beautiful quote. I'll read it right now at the end. Basically just talking about. Freedom Coming, so this guy recalling he said in nineteen, thirty seven Pierce Harper. He said when peace come, they read the man's a patient. Lots of the colored people. The free people spent that night, singing and shouting. They wasn't slaves no more and so that's like a beautiful thing to think about. But even though they were celebrating, there were still people right in some extreme cases apparently for months we're still enslaved and being beaten by. The people enslave them. Even though the proclamation had come down, even though this order was in place, yeah, definitely learned a lot I. think another thing that stuck out to me in doing research for this piece was how the celebration of June teams really ebbed and flowed so throughout different periods, so yes, eighteen sixty six was the first time it celebrated, but right throughout different periods right throughout. We think about through We construction if you think about roller one hour of the World War Two era like just what black identity, Matt and how much pride you took in your blackness. I think had a lot to do with how June eighteenth was celebrated, so there was a point where it was shameful. Right to talk about June team that it was actually considered unpatriotic. If you were like hey I'm celebrating June. Teens because thinking and looking back to slavery was something that was shameful. Right if you were connected to slavery. People kind of Dean that to be shameful thing so that was like that's that was really sad for me to learn about that. There was a period, but then of course right when we move forward, so the civil rights era. It's like reclaiming that ride reclaim that identity and so it's like. Let's bring this back again so i. feel like even right now. Twenty twenty were looking for things to kind of understand. Confront that history, and so that's why I think this year were like pudding June team, front and center. Nice, you, do you get you know? Do you get a Furby UN reef like? Knowing history and especially that history right so you had that hope that went out with June teens. Here, we go. We're going to start with a better America and then you add reconstruction. We went backwards right so then in the nineteen teens. You find one like hey, we were soldiers were part of this. You come back to twenty s Klux. Klan comes back. Civil Rights era followed by the war on drugs, which is obviously a very racist. Thing like. Is there a certain like okay? We're starting to make these steps forward, but we can't trust. What's GonNa? Come afterwards or do you just keep fighting and say okay? We're GONNA. Try this again. I think that. Again knows this conversation I had yesterday with Meghan Francis. She helped me realize that. The fight because I was asking her like. was there another period of time that was like more effective at protests in like bringing about change in she was like. No. We can't like just sell separate. These time periods is being like moments in themselves, but look at them as like. We're in this for the long haul like this is just going to be this long time line of just like continue change. That's why it's important to just continue to keep the pressure on, but yeah. I think in my mind. Mind or standing is just like it's not necessarily what you're going back. Because I feel like every step forward is is a win, but I think this. This moment is maybe kind of clouding our vision in terms of lake. Oh things are worse now, but I don't think things are worse now right? I think it's just like things are coming to the forefront, right? We have cell phone video. We have body cams that are showing this things we have social media, and that's making these things go viral, and so there's greater awareness right and I take greater awareness and non black people as well so I think every step forward I. Think we're moving forward as we continue so just going to constantly be a fight until yet true liberation and people also disagreed. You know there different ideas of what that looks like, but. I think it's just a never ending fight. I've said this before I've I've said it on the show to me. You know being being black in America's like you're in a tank that is filling with water that stops. You know just at Your Chin. In. You're constantly treading in fighting for air and just trying to like just it it. It's ridiculous to me that this point in my life. I'm I'm probably. Way older than you thirty, eight, thirty nine. and My mother can tell stories about this and her mother got Russell tell stories about this and her mother and it's just like. You know my kids. Today was very emotional for me. Because as you know, there's five six, maybe seven at this point by the morning, a black babies that have been hung on trees and you know. It just feels like. When does this stop in? I don't know if it ever will I feel like this is constantly going to be celebrating. Celebrating the fact that people that were slaves here got their freedom so when you look at it in that context, we will never supposed to be anything, but that and that energy and those ideals were taught in still in people. People so it doesn't matter how far we get away from that that that energy still around so for me, it's very frustrating, but again as she said, it's a fight and I'm down to fight. I'm from a line of fighters I. Know People around me like I just don't want to be around. People that are not willing to fight, so that's why I met with. or Whatever you are if you're not trying to fight. You need to stay away from have y'all seen video from Bethel Ohio. Now that there was a protest, it's a town of twenty five hundred people and I think it was a high school teacher decided to have a black lives matter protest. You put out a a facebook group meeting and I think twenty five to thirty people should for that seven hundred counter protesters armed. Guns Baseball bats spewing the most racial slurs proudly on camera. It's. Amin is one of the most horrifying things I've seen and early suggest you just check out Bethel Ohio. Yeah, it just happened to I. Think like three or four days ago. and which I haven't. Shipman is just like you know like for me like. I'm not like I can't. I would end up in jail or something I. Like I'm not I'm not one of these people that are just leading. This like can't do that around me. You know what I mean like so I. Try to stay far from that type of energy because I know me and I know my way out, react to it and I just feel like this. A lot of that weren't like that. That are starting to get like that whether like we're not gonNA. Take that shit anymore. You can do that shit in Bethel Ohio but like. Come to my city do that. Know Right? Yeah I wonder if there's a difference now. From speaking about the times we've been we've had this. You know these advances in America than the going back, but you know to some degree, I mean never before have black people had this much control of the culture. You know I mean you guys I mean. People are like people look for for style. That's look for music. That's what look for for entertainment. It looks for Do for Sports, does that? Do you think that makes any difference in terms of what we're going through now versus what we went through then or do you think that that? was seeing things kind of rolling backwards maybe not. Yeah. I kind of feel like right. Black people have. Set the tone with culture breath flick historically right? It's just like it's been stolen right, so you think about and rock and roll, and just like all these things everyone says like when you look at so many things there are just roots in their rooted in oppression, the rooted and you know black people who created these things were stolen and I feel like even now today. It's kind of like the same story. Even though again is just more awareness towards it, so for example all these books that people are going to buy were in by black people right. Right, there trending, they're number. One on the bestseller lists. A lot of those authors still were not paid like even though they're number one on these vessels, these authors were not paid the way they should have been paid for a lot of those books and I think that's a sad thing, so yes, those books are kind of setting poultry right now and setting the tone, but still when you, when it comes down to the details, these black authors and artists are not on par with their counterparts, and I think that's that's at the heart of the problem. For me I, always go back to. There's a scene in. Do the right thing. Where Spike Lee is talking to one of south sons in the in the pizza shop. In He's asking me. It's like you'll man. Your favorite artists prints your favorite comedians Eddie Murphy in, he says, will they inwards? Inwards they're different and I. still like what you what you just alluded to was like you know with the culture with music in in movies in athletics, those guys are put to a higher standard, but like if you don't respect the mailman or the lady that lives next door to you like it can't just be that you respect certain aspects of black people with you. Don't respect us. US As a whole. If we're not singing and dancing or dunking a basketball, then you fucking racist and I don't want anything it was so that's that's the stuff that has to change and I feel like I've seen strides towards that recently than have in my whole existence so I'm hopeful, but again as I said earlier like I hope that that's something that continues so you now? Well? Let's talk a little bit more in terms of You know your sort of your personal history and I know you had a big. You you've started. I guess fulltime Vox. Now you went from Philly. Mag and you just went full time with vox. So that's a pretty exciting. You know we talk about how things have been crazy for all of us in the last three months. That's another thing that for us probably been pretty exciting and at the same time, a little bit crazy. I guess right right. Yeah! It's definitely been crazy I've been at. At Vox full time now for two weeks, so I just see this week was just an second week. I started freelancing with in April so just 'cause corona virus, right? That's the period where that's. The moment will realize that corona virus was disproportionately impacting black people, and so there was room to kind of do a lot of that reporting, just looking at cities, I think Milwaukee was one of the first places. Where numbers will release, what like the initial conversation was just like? These cities are not releasing the racial breakdown and that was like scary 'cause. CDC Doctor Faucher all of them. They were just not even talking about race, so that was like the initial push, and I was like really fortunate to be able to tell those kinds of stories through vox, same thing feedback I was able to look at philly numbers like. Why there testing sites you know in north, really in the way that they're in center city and stuff like that, so that was really cool to be able to tell that story, but yet the transition I think has been generally free food because there's so much surprised about right now also. It's just overwhelming, but then at the same time leave in Philly Mag after being there for almost five years was definitely. A big move for me also I wanted to ask you about that because I've always called him, you know. Mainline MAG. Magazines! I saw what you wrote about. You know you're you started working with people? You really respected in all of sudden. They were gone and don't do stories about the downtrodden. Can you tell us a little bit about what you experienced as a journalist and as a black woman trying to write for this magazine, it absolutely so yes, just everything you said about this idea of like Philly Mag being mainline mag I started working. Working there in two thousand sixteen in the spring and I said in at twitter thread I was hired by like editor who's kind of brought in to kind of bring change to the magazine. It was because the previous editor was pushed out into a different role in the company, because of the controversial schools cover so schools cover, or it was a look at Philadelphia City schools, but then on the cover it was just like. Been One. Yeah, she kit of color and it was just like. This is not philly and that right came after the being white in Philly covering twenty thirteen, so it was just like. Just mess up after mess up and so coming in. It was clear that was coming in at a time where. I was under an editor who had made like just very specific. Just like what am I saying calculated hires around like what the newsroom could be on, and so at that time I felt like we're doing some really important stuff. We're covering stories that I think are more representative of what the city of Philadelphia looks like, but then sadly right. In that editor was, let go, and so what we heard at the time. was that the now like deceased founder Magazine Basically said like Oh the editor care too much about the downtrodden and so once we heard that we were like Whoa we're still like you know. In one thousand nine hundred sixties, Philly MAG, type, stuff, and so or defense I was like ninety five years old so. He was old, he was old. And so again, I feel like a lot of us are Ron to Philadelphia magazine because of the space that it occupies in the city, right? It's still it's. It's it is the first city magazine right? So a lot of people don't know this, but it came before like New York magazine, and so Philly Mag really did establish a lot of like the quintessential like elements of city magazine whether it's like the best. Best of issue whether it's guides to you know doctors across the cities of Philly Mag really is in that space and so i. think that's why a lot of our track to it, because it is a platform that a lot of people read, but at the same time, right, the average subscriber has an income of like something, one hundred and ninety four thousand dollars, and so when you think of that, it's like. Is that people in Philadelphia if that's people in Philadelphia. What do like yeah? Right so and while I. was there I never felt like. You know I was silenced or anything like that right like I folk free to speak up, but there's only so much you can do without institutional weight behind you only so much you can do so we for example lives there established like a diversity committee. We established a fellowship program with the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists Again. Those moves were small things. I guess they were steps in the right direction, but I still didn't feel like. The higher ups were fully behind that. Because when we were in the diversity meetings, they weren't present at those meetings on some. My my issue with that was that. When I saw these protests happening when I was kind of moving onto this new position with Fox I kind of felt weird right? I'm like Oh. Jerry about announced that I'm moving onto vox. I, just I felt like I just wouldn't feel right. If I didn't make a statement, right? We saw what was happening at the New York Times we saw what was happening at bone apetit refinery, twenty nine men Republicans all these national places, unlike I hope that people aren't thinking just because they don't see news or anything around certain places that it's not happening at these places to, but I'm dislike. It's happening at these places but there. Are, no people to kind of stand up and organize, and so that was the issue that I thought. It was just like I'm leaving. There was another young black woman who was also leaving, so that would basically left like one fulltime black writer. Right so writer who was like actually managing vertical right in this? Magazine Philly like come on man. And it's a tough thing. Because again, I can say yeah. The editors They mean well. I do believe that they care about diversity, but I think something needed to happen to really like. Just make this. Go faster because again, right? There were diversity plans before there were you know diversity meetings before our CEO yeah, I care about diversity, but again there just weren't any clear I I just didn't feel a clear like momentum, clear vision behind it and so yeah, that's what drove me to kind of say you know what I have to say this stuff before I move on because I just felt a morally because I care about just the stories that are being told. That it just needs to be said and I feel like especially in this moment of protests, the fact that only white reporters you don't majority what reporters are reporting and are on the streets during the protests like and that's why we saw like the buildings matter to headline from the Philadelphia Inquirer right and people. What's funny with the buildings matter to headline is. I WANNA say two days before that I want twitter to talk about another story that came out that I. don't even know if y'all are aware of this, but they did. A pianos matter like they did a piano to. So they wrote a story about their one of their arts, writer writers wrote a story about how looters broke into a sore and pulled out a white piano and he was, he wrote an entire story granite. It was like three hundred fifty words, but he wrote a story talking. It's so sad that this piano was dragged into the street and I can't believe they've analyzed his piano like that was a story that came out. Like amid stories of police, brutality, and teargassing people and I was just like they roll the whole story about a piano. Can I can I answer June? Teeth piece was great on Vox. Could you have done that piece at Philly Mag? Or what would the reaction be if you would have proposed a? That's a great question, so I think again it also has to do with resources right. That was something else so oftentimes right priority would go to to food coverage, or we need to do this kind of coverage because that's. Where advertising dollars are coming in and so I, think a lot of has to do with resources, and so the juicy piece that I wrote from Oxford. That's at time that took me right going aside and say hey. I'm going to focus on this thing, but when I was feeling that it's just we need things to move a bit quicker to kind of keep up with. With, the flow of things, and so again I. Think there was a time when the editor like some months ago like back in January in a meeting where it was like. Yeah, we need to talk. We need to tell more stories about people who don't look like near, so you're saying I want more stories about people color. And he said it and right I definitely commend. Commend him for saying that, but again. WHAT IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM? Right I feel like we were out of place. There was just like I said it, but then it's like there's no measure of accountability to really track. was there was an outcome after you said? We need more stories about people of Color, and so I think that's right. I would like pitch off and then things. Things just fell by the wayside, and it became up to you to kind of keep that a story up. I have had opportunities so like I wrote so April twenty nine th. We did like the meek mill cover, and that was great and in that issue. We're able to do a list about like new philly power, so actually I felt like that list was very diverse. Younger people on the lists right in the idea behind that was kind of. Let's forget 'cause every couple of years philly. MAG does like a hundred most influential people Philadelphia an awful right. That list is like the seal comcast seal. It's often like those people at the top, so it was like. Fifteen or the Rog family? Meal the Limb Fest. And so it was like really fun and inspiring when our editors were like. We don't want anybody on the lists like really take it run with it, and so that was like another great moment another thing I got to do a profile of candidates owens because she was living in Philadelphia for some time and I pitched that. Are, editor was like let's go with it, and so that was really cool to be able to take a moment to write about that so yeah. It was it was an experience, so I was able to. Sit Down with her for dinner. And then it was dictated over dinner. We went, so we originally have one place in mind. But then that day they quickly changed it, so we went to a restaurant near thirty street, so there's a restaurant in. One of the Seer Center buildings, and so it was like right across the street from Thirtieth Street because she was getting off a train. It was simple. You know we have burgers and fries and salad, and that stuff we dinner. And then she was going to give a talk at Penn, so then I followed her to basically watch those protests on campus because she was going to be there so I was. thinking. Of on a protests on campus, then she gave her talk at Penn, and so that's what she's kind of known for like owning liberals like I own lives and so. All the list. Given everything because everything now is professional wrestling. Match. Exactly until it was like this weird thing where she talked maybe for like twenty five minutes, and there was like all right time for questions, so like poor little students like got up. Lined up to ask her questions, and it was just like her just railing, just railing against what they were saying just back and to me like as an observer I was just like. This is not a productive right here. You have a woman, right? Yeah if someone who, like every into like shutdown, whatever kind of argument and in the time that you have? It just didn't make sense and the people who invited her to campus, the College Republicans, and what are so. She had support in the audience, but it was very tense in. There are a lot of booing and cheering and. Yeah 'cause even before like before she started her talk, there were people on physically on the campus a lot of the morning students. It was just people from like Philadelphia came to campus. Be, like, yes, he hated yeah yeah. She was just it was just like this event should not be happening, so yeah, when the question answer happened. It was just like this is, but you know what's funny. I remember talking to this one student in audience who sat in front of me this black kid from Kelley you was I was like. Why are you here like? Why did you come to this event on your campus? And he was like this is entertainment for me like. I don't agree with the single thing. She says, but he was like. It's an entertaining shit like he was like he was like had his popcorn and everything. This is what this is for this kid now so yet been after that I was able to then I flew out to tech to Texas to Dallas to see her in action at one of her blacks. It rallies, and so that was like you know I had been to like innocent trump stuff before, but this was like right because the goal was to bring black people together black white. Did you just say blacks Lexus on Jesus Lord? So I went to a black At of course right away, I would say. For what it was right there just weren't enough. Black people in the room. If you're saying, this is an event for black people. Right, there were so many white people who were like blacks for trump's like words. Just like. That's what it was the. You a lot of leg. Young black people who are trying to find themselves he trying to you know they were like something's not right with the Democrats. Let me. See what this is about. And then they had their Tanya life is good shirts, right? Yes. Those. Shirts from the nineties, it was probably the worst I've ever seen that was. Let's funny about that. When I showed up to the rally, basically to enter, they would give you the ones that they had that. They were neon colored and there like in order to come in. You have to wear it and I was like guys are. Not. Yeah. Well I WANNA. Ask You about that because you're you know you're younger I. Mean You know I'm? I'm an old head over here and and and I'm still from the age of everybody talks. Everybody gets a shot at the podium. You say what you want. If you get angry at you, get angry, Adam and now we're you know what everybody refers to. His count can't cancel culture. So. Do you. Are you okay? You know you're saying. People were mad that candace was speaking Are you okay with Kansas speaking at Penn? Is that something that you think is important that we hear that perspective or use, or do you think that there are certain people that just shouldn't speak right I? Think I think it comes to the point where it's like if if certain people if what they're saying. Directly. Attacks my humanity, right? My existence is a black person if your argument is. Black people. Are Inferior if that's what's at the root of what your argument or your talk is like, that's problematic to me and so at that time with candace, right? I think people don't realize how dangerous rhetoric can be so think about the shooter New Zealand like she was named in that guy's manifesto. And so that was like around the same time and people are like. Why are you bringing this person who right is associated with Nazis associated with people people of those groups people of that ilk kind of. Look up to her and so that I think there's something to be said about like. If what you're saying, incites violence, right against Moore. People incites violence period. We need to look at right whether it makes sense for you to be coming to to to a campus to speak on and again even when right when Kansas was like. Oh, I want like Alexandria causing a core tested the bait me. They do that kind of thing. Same Thing Ben Shapiro like these people do this kind of thing. Just A it's. It's a sport like you were saying. It's just this new sport. Where to me, it's just not fruitful. I just don't see the benefit of all cutting wrestling promos I mean that's I. Mean I'm a wrestling fan from way back and it's the exact same thing. Redeeming about how great you are, and what idiots? All the other wrestlers are exactly and like. She said that I'm sorry, go automatic on. Assigned and that's why I appreciated being able to get to sit down with candace owens over dinner. Right without like this spectacle with off is big audience. It's like let's just talk. Let's talk about facts and there are certain things that like I was like. Her belief in certain things are based upon things that aren't facts right? You said stuff about like trump end like the black unemployment rate. Not I was just like okay. That's actually not factual. About the Central Park Five. It's like okay. That's not true, and so that's why I'm like okay. We differ a lot because we're not even starting from the same foundation of facts. How do you? How do you do that as a journalist? Separate your personal. Feelings and beliefs when you have to sit across from someone that you know is just common Dome Bullshit Right? Yeah, and that's the question because I feel like we're in an era of journalism where people. Try to create this false idea of like. Oh, journalism should be objective journalism your. You need to get rid of you, but it's like no. That's the beauty of like being a journalist. I think now is that you shouldn't be right right? My identity should be a part of the story and I think that that's what was full about. The source is like everything I'd seen about. Candice owns before I WANNA. Say like the two big stories that had seen like NBC one in The Washington, Post magazine had. Had done one and they were both written by white women, and they'll stories did not bring any kind of like racial context in terms of like the fact that she is a black woman who has this kind of platform, and so I feel like for me when I was writing the story about Candice Owens like absolutely I was bringing identity as a black woman. The fact that we were part of the same age group you know raised in similar ways like those are things that I cannot separate from. What I'm doing as a journalist and so I feel like now even more than ever. It's important right so when I was like starting this job at vox had compensation by editor and she's just like right. We can no longer pretend that right. This is what we support. You know where we you know. We're not gonNA lie where like we? You know it's clear that we're not trump supporters from the kind of report amount. and so I think that that's like a new space that were in in journalism because I feel like. There's always this thing for black writers especially, if like Oh. You're going to be biased because you're black, so you can't really tell the story, but it's just like wait. White men are constantly reported. Won't things what about their bias? Right and they're just constantly seen as like objective reporters, but it's it's not the case. Yes. The baseline was used to the north. I remember going up. It was like Ted Koppel Tom Brokaw. you know wherever the other guy was? I. Mean You look at the newsroom's? Rooms Philly and we're you know. I think Philly's a great a great example of where places should be versus where they are right because the city is almost broken an ass. You know racially so it's like here's here's. Where here's the numbers? where the numbers should be? And then you look at the inquiry? Look at silly magnets, eighty five percent white, and you're like that's not reporting Philadelphia that's reporting white people. Now. Do you feel it? That has something to do with black kids, not being into journalism and writing that just not they're not hiring is just. It's just not true yet. It's constantly this idea of like. Oh, we can't find any. We can't find any journalist, but it's just like it has something to do with the network. Right in has to do with nepotism. The fact that this person son is going to get hired It's the fact that right. Right there aren't clear like hiring guidelines right, so a lot of people will tell you like I didn't get my job through. You know hiring through jobs board I got it because I knew someone who knew somebody or as long as like. A lot of hiring is taking place that way. It's a problem I know. A lot of places are changing the way they're doing hiring, but I just do not buy the argument because we have huge organizations like. J. A. B.. J. That are like here. Look at all. These journalists that are here and it's a really just sad thing that it's just constantly. We can't find any and I. Honestly think it's we're not putting enough effort to create an environment that makes these kinds of journalists want to stay. That makes them want to stay in the industry. It was the same thing when I was. Was Teacher bright. It's the same thing where we don't have enough teachers of color. Especially, we don't have enough. Black men were teachers, but again right when you get to a certain place in your career. It's like you WANNA be. You want to feel valued in your profession, right? You WanNa feel like you're making a difference in sometimes in the classroom. You don't feel that way and so. Same thing the education system journalism just did not foster environment and networks that made Yep. These people with be skills kind of want to stay, and so for me with the fellowship program that we had right. We had a number of just really talented. Young people come through the program. It was just like really great to work with them, and sadly like looking at some of the fellowship programs like some stories that I've heard about other places in fully. That just these fellow sadly did not right. Get the mentorship that they needed. They didn't get the kind of like room to explore because again. People just come with those biases of like. This black reported us in. Have the training, so we're just GONNA have them. You know work on the homepage doing like production stuff, but not actually right. Oh, this person doesn't have enough experience to be on the investigations team, but yet right someone of the same age, but just because white like you automatically kind of in your head think they'd probably be better at doing this job And yet again don't think that's going to change until. New Leadership. Changes happened. We have like accountability systems to kind of measure the kind of change that that we wanna see. What did you? What was your class in Non Camden? What did you teach? So I taught English so basically language arts for three years. It was like. Being, a Camden was just an incredible experience, because I, think right, it's a city that people know it was like you know having one of the highest murder rates in the city, and then when you get there and I'm with my students, it's just like of course the violence is it's it's crazy. It's unbelievable, but at the same time right there. Students who care so much about the city who learn who want to be great in life, so it was really a really great experience, but at the same time I think. One of my biggest the biggest thing that I learned there is just how to kind of work with and support a nurture people who have experienced some serious trauma. 'cause I kid you not. I can say probably ever seen where my students had someone right knew someone in their family. Someone close to them who was shot? Someone who is our ED students who were just? The victims of some really serious like violence, sexual violence, physical violence, police, violence, gun violence, and it was that was a huge huge part of the experience of teaching it cabin for sure, but at the same time right just the joy of the city invincible like that kind of energy. Was Great. Yarmouth. They're kind of part of the model that some other cities letting it now in terms of policing, and what happens when you, when you kind of go to a community version of policing versus a you know, put the riot gear and on, and just start cracking heads, which is. Unfortunately what we saw in this what we saw in Philadelphia up literally cracking. Guess. What what's your? What's your? That's no baloney that happened. All Right? What's your hope coming out of this? You know I mean both with. The last three months and who knows how much into the future. In this sort of transformative time that's going to swing one way or the other probably bunch. What's your hope? What's the hopeful side of you? Say will come out of what we've just gone through. I think it's definitely the language that people now have right stuff like saying anti-racists just the language of Def-, on the police just even braces on lake just so many of just getting people to say slavery was. Like maybe even a couple of years ago, people would say. Why are we even talking about slavery like that and so long ago? Like L. Obsessed with slavery? You're obsessed with your race, but it's like no this up is forced upon us like we need to recognize distinct the the language that's being shared right now. People learning how to talk about these things. Things is just really really powerful because I feel like there's a time especially right as a black reporter where you feel like you're the only one in the room who understands what you know. What defined the police means or abolish the system or systemic racism to stuff like that just not basic knowledge of language is important and then keep committing to. Being on this journey to actively fight right because again, people looked at it like Oh, that's a black thing. That's something that black people have to figure out, but now white people accepting this as like. Wow, this is my problem to fix that to me is like really what's GonNa? Keep this going hopefully right and moving past the election. I love the you have groups of white people who say slavery is a hundred fifty years ago, and some of those people are defending a statue from a guy from five hundred years ago. Cow. Even better, those people are saying. Why don't you get over slavery underwriting? And then they put their confederate hat on and they. Pick up truck. That's got a confederate flag on the back. Believable. South and then you have people that are. Nine eleven terrible, but I never forget nine eleven. You never forget what the never forget. Pearl Harbor like like. The idea that. That should was so. Atrocious and so fucking. Vile in horrible debt like. We're supposed to take that and not remember it, but you can remember every horrible thing that has happened in this country besides that now. Yeah I mean it's. It's fascinating. 'cause my sister lives in Richmond. Richmond is a city that's gotten much more progressive in the in the past couple of decades, but it's known for its main strip is known for having all of these confederate statues, Right Monument Avenue. It's the it's like the nice part of town and they tried to put up on Arthur ash that you. Maybe twenty years ago, and it was a huge controversy, and at the end they had to make the Arthur. Ashe statue face a different direction than the confederate. Yeah? So look at him as a statue So the fact that now that looks like they're actually going to remove those statues. You know for me. You know I'm originally from Virginia February, but like for me. It's like thank God like how how awesome is this? That might lifetime I get to see this Abbas 'cause like. Anybody that's any you know. That's not doesn't hold onto that confederate thing. and I don't know why you would I mean. Why do you know like your fucking racist? We lost the fight. Guys like you know. Let's. Let's move on here, but like you know it's. It's just been clung to for so long and just the hope that those things come down and in my son's lifetime. If we go visit my sister, that's not something we drive fast, and it's not something he thinks about. He's not like who those guys fuck. Those guys Fuck Property Lee. You know like I. You know. He was Nassau like you know. It's it's you know I. Hope that you know statue or statues, and and and you don't WanNa get too caught up in that whole thing but by. You know hopefully coming out of this. We can finally move past. What happened one hundred sixty years ago? When it comes to the confederacy, because otherwise we're headed for civil war to hit Oh this time. It's personal it like. At some point, it's like we got to. We've gotta move past this or just got. We gotTA finish. We gotta go back to the fight. Like what are we doing? We're just like passively aggressively handing this whole thing down generation to generation I don't know it's just like it's just frustrating. That keeps rearing its ugly ad and I'm hopeful that the fact that now I feel like there. Is this domino effect or like? You know even like the SEC was like we're not gonNA have. We're not gonNA Championships if Mississippi. Doesn't change its flag. You know like that's. You Know I. Don't get too caught up in corporate activism, but. Know, but like at that level I'm like okay good. Like, it's time it's. It's free I'm let's let's come to. Cut It here. You know what else is time for the block. Blunt all right, let's do it, we're GONNA go rapid fire, classy note the bluntness I don't unlike. Good listen to one of our broadcasts. and. Hey it hurt offense. You only knew she was going to appear here like six hours. Philly magazine. Even since the right fucking. You would think professionals like ourselves reached out two weeks ago. On. On behalf, I apologize. For Where are you most excited to give her the rules? Rapid fire answers were just GONNA go quickly. Where are you most excited to go back out to eat once? Things are better norm. I am obsessed with point in Philly. Enjoy in center city. Pork belly and. Hot Dogs and stuff. You said that you will come from A. Family Haitian background. They stared stereotypically super over What sort of looking for? Over. I'm not, saying anything have no. On like You know overprotective. Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, absolutely grown up to super sheltered. Haitian friends. They see their parents were like. PSYCHOS! Couldn't go to sleep overs, but it hang out, but now like on an adult. They can't touch me. I will not call your parents, psychos and issue with is what does Philly do better the Brooklyn Oh? What does Philly do? But I think Philly is better at being real being greedy like there's just something about philly where I feel like people just don't try too hard and sadly when I think about Brooklyn. I think about just the new folks that are in there, just the gentrification, and so for me in Brooklyn I'm like Oh, where can I go right now but I still feel like in Philly there are places where I'm like I. Feel comfortable right in their places in Philly that remind me of that old Brooklyn that I really miss. What Song makes you WanNa Dance Woo. Tough, one! Because there are so many. Trying to think of something recent. Or you know what I'm really into Berta boy right now, so anything off of just just. Afro Beats Anything I'm just like super into right now. Who someone that is you would love to interview. I looked interview Britney. I'm so. She's a feminist. She recently wrote a book called elegant rage, and so she just talks about the role of black women. In the movement, and just yeah, just how like the movement Mary not be continuing to kind of erased the stories of black women who are victims of police brutality, no this. so I think you went to Murray, BERTRAM HOW HIGH SCHOOL ERECT! Q tip and fife dog winter, so are you. Are you team tribe or team routes? Oh, that's hard I mean because I was obsessed with it because he wants Bertram side. Say Team Dr Vanowen Person. least favorite subject in school. Oh so burcham was a school that had like it was focused on business careers, so we dislike the most random stuff like keyboarding classes and life. So I I was I took a lot of accounting classes, so I was not a fan, but I had to take those. I'm noticing the rain. Yes. They are. into drinks on these fingers. He removed. What one word would Ms Coleman? Use to describe you. Oh! Maybe Feisty. Feisty thinking about the relationship that we had. Eager to learn but feisty. What what have you been binge watching? ooh! I mean finish insecure with the season that happened so had enough. That's vange. Bein binge killing eve recently. Huge Fan about on BBC. Always everyone on the show. Give us a short quick bursts on your take. Best advice long relationships not just loved ones, but like relationships in general holiday work. Yeah I they work by communications and IT's something that I've struggled with right so. I'm sorry I'll text EVAC. Key just say what you made an talk it out as best as you can. Did you know you have a full-time gig advice before you start at the thread on twitter Buffalo Imac yeah I was already working. Nice. Yes, that was like that. What one word would describe your sense of Humor Oh? I'd say it's. It's good good timing so timing timely timely. What Book Are you reading right now that you recommend for all of us or have read. The I'm reading a book called Wayward lives and beautiful experiments by CD of Hartman. Who's a professor at Columbia and civically looking at? Black Women in the early twentieth century, so just kind of like their lives. You know trying to get established in major cities, so she specifically looks like Philadelphia new. York, and she talks about their sex lives their romantic lives. Just like what they do party and I just feel like it's such a fun like part of this not fun part, but like just a part that's like neglected right just the kind of things that these women were doing to fight against the conditions that they lived in. I notice and I appreciate that quaker gear. Yeah, give us a One redeeming thing about Penn.. A. Property! They have a lot of our now I think. This is tough, because obviously as I went to Penn for Grad, school I got my master's there in education, and so I just think the scholarship kind of community that has been able to foster so I've gone back for a lot of alumni events, so it's like John Legend. was there one time to like? Do a concert since he's alarm and that was great I think their presence in Philadelphia with a lot of like development has been helpful, but at the same time. Just there's right the negative sides, the development and expansion that they've done in West philly and just this Dalgleish went of university city. but at the state right there are pros and cons What's? What's are what's what's our social worship? People find? What should they? Should they love yes? Oh I on Instagram, not on twitter at Fabio Citius. Instagram it's. The same thing, but I'm an instant lurker, so I don't really use it like shock, and like see what people, but it's something. I need to work on my eye. Shop on Instagram Oh yeah. That's where I shop. So many. Yeah, just click a button type stuff. All right well. Thank you so much Fabio. We appreciate it. Thank you. Keep up the good work. Yeah, absolutely appreciate that. SAFE keeping. On brainwork. Having! Joe Welcome to the home of brotherly love from. Blood, the mayor's office in bugs creams cut short Switzerland.

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