tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN November 23, 2016 9:00pm-9:19pm EST
report all of the stories because we are all building a body of work. it is not ever one story. you are writing multiple stories around this issue. have that context will inform what stories you tell them and what your subsequent stories are. >> thank you.>> thank you. >> thank you for your amazing talk and being so honest with us as well. ms. hannah-jones: i always fear it is going to get me in trouble. >> i love it. my question for you is at a lot , of top universities, is the a -- you see a lot of black students from poor neighborhoods, especially of lower-class. i am just curious, and then you see like students for middle-class homes. have you done research on why this is, and do you believe universities look into family backgrounds when they are looking at black applicants to assess into their schools? ms. hannah-jones: i have lots of thoughts. i worked in college admissions right out of college. i can tell you college
admissions officers know the high schools. they know which high schools are segregated, they know which high schools have a good reputation. you can have a 4.0 from central agh school, or you can have 4.0 from northpoint in tuscaloosa. admissions counselors know the difference between what that means at what school -- one school and at another. there is also a difference -- when i went to notre dame, there was a small black population. but the black population there was very well off. and it was like it was a , struggle to be both black and working-class at an institution like that. i think universities do not want to put in the work to recruit. i think they don't want to put in the work to actually help the students when they get there. when you look at the numbers on this, it is not just that they are not recruiting a lot of low income black students. they are not recruiting a lot of black american students. right? >> very true. ms. hannah-jones so a lot of
those black numbers are black students coming second-generation or first-generation from the caribbean or from africa. so i think anti-black racism and particularly anti-black american racism is a big part of how hard it is for black american students and low income black students to get into institutions like this. >> thank you. ms. hannah-jones: you are welcome. >> hi, thank you for being here today. i have a question about advocacy journalism. you mentioned that you now go into your stories and you have a perspective and that is ok. , your sound reporting backs it up. i am wondering if you ever worry as being seen as an advocate for an issue will negatively affect the way that readers view your work and how you deal with that. have inah-jones so, i , have been very open all of my career that i do not believe in unbiased journalism. it does not exist. all reporters have a perspective
on what they are writing. it is whether they are hiding it or not. i have never pretended to be unbiased. what i do say is my work will be accurate, and my work will be fair. that is what i think readers should expect from any of us. when you think of the nature of investigative reporting, to me, but what it is is advocacy reporting because we are saying the government is doing this and it should not be. right? or we are saying this corporation is taking advantage of, you know these americans, , and it should not be, and we are writing this because we want it to be fixed. so when you look at the very mission of newspapers, when i was at "the oregonian," my mission was to speak for the powerless. that is taking a position, because we could speak for the powerful or not speak for anyone, but that is not the role that we play. to me, i think that when you know where i stand, to an
extent, you can judge my work better because i am not pretending to be unbiased. so you can judge what it is, and my writing something that is fair. i think what i worry about is what all good journalists worry about, will i make a mistake? i am worried about being accurate, and i'm worried about treating people fairly. i don't worry for one second about whether people think i am biased or not. if people think i am biased because i think segregating kids in schools without resources is a problem, i am fine with that. >> thanks so much. [applause] much enjoyedery your recent piece on this american life. i just wonder how changing media from something which is broadcast how you are , approaching people you are working with, whether it makes a difference at all, and how it kind of contributes to the final output. ms. hannah-jones yeah, i
actually found for that particular angle, i found it liberating to do radio, because people are speaking for themselves so much more. when you are writing with a magazine, you can write you can , give people more space to speak. in newspapers, it is like one sentence. he said, one sentence. for radio most of the stories, , people are telling it in their own words, and you're getting to hear them. you are giving them a lot of space to tell their own stories. i found it to be completely liberating. that is why i am not a radio reporter, but i always heard -- i did a print version of the story first, but i always heard it as a radio piece because i just bought the power of one clearly hearing like the mob in the high school gymnasium, there is no way i could have conveyed that in print the way it is to hear it. but also, i just when i
, interviewed maria, when i interviewed nedra, i felt people needed to hear them telling their own stories so i found that to be very powerful. i think what is hard about it is it becomes much more about the storytelling. so i have to you know have lots of fact and data points, and you have to wipe a lot of that in radio. no one is trying to hear all the statistics on segregation or the all the percentages of how many teachers are qualified and all of that. a lot of the investigative part has to get polished out in the story, and that can be a little hard. but overall i think in terms of like giving people agency, radio was actually a really great way to do that. >> hi. do you think there is a place for white people to write about race and segregation, even if we are arguably displacing people of color?
ms. hannah-jones: yeah. [laughter] ms. hannah-jones: [laughter] i mean the story of racist , segregation is not a black story. >> no, of course not. ms. hannah-jones: be quiet. >> but when i listen to the black lives matter people speak, a lot of them have said this is the time for white people to stand aside and be like in the listening place because typically like when you look , back in time, a lot of white people have written have had , dominant positions in the forums for being able to communicate. do you think it is more important for us to step aside and allow people of color to communicate their stories? ms. hannah-jones: no. i mean i think journalists of , color should be writing about race if they want to. i think white people should and certainly be writing about race. i think the problem is white people often think writing about race is writing about white, black, and brown people. white people live in segregated
communities. segregated schools. white people are going tosegregated schools. white people are often the ones in power maintaining the racial inequality so certainly you guys should be writing not just about race like how black people are suffering but how power is working and what that power looks like. and as journalists, we are always writing about -- i do not know how journalists do their jobs without writing about all kinds of different types of people and all kinds of different types of issues. it is not displacing someone. i think it is doing your job. one of the things i say all the time is, there is not really a beat you can cover in this country where you should not be writing about race. race is on every single beat if you are writing about banking, schools, policing, housing. there is nothing that race does not touch in this country, so if you are a journalist doing your job, you should be writing about race no matter what beat you are covering. >> even if we are limited by the
range of our experience. ms. hannah-jones: yeah. when i am working on a story on environmental justice right now, i don't know anything about the epa. i don't know anything about the laws regulating the environment and toxins. i am having, we are all having -- this is the nature of journalism, to have to learn about things we do not know about and then have to synthesize them for mass consumption. i think we need to get out of this mind state that race is somehow different. you study it. i am good about writing about race -- i am not good about writing about race because i am black. i am good about writing about racism because i have studied it. there are some black journalists i think are not good at writing about race. i could name names, but i am not going to do that. i have developed expertise in the subject, and that is why i am good at it. not just because when i wake up in the morning, i am a great race writer.
all of us, if this is something we want to do you get expertise , in it, and you will do good work. >> thank you. >> two more. two more? ms. hannah-jones: ok. >> you talked in the "new york times" piece about the way new york city is kind of dealing with integration as a voluntary measure and kind of making the argument it benefits white families in addition to white -- black and latino families. i am wondering if you think that argument is ever actually going to -- i know in new york right now, it is kind of covering up real action from taking place. i am wondering if you have seen in your research if that argument will hold sway or is -- if it is just a way to keep kicking the can down the road. ms. hannah-jones: what argument? >> that it is in the interest of white families and white students to have integrated schools, too.
ms. hannah-jones: i think that it is two different things. , integration for black and latino students is about equity, and integration for white students is not. fundamentally, you're making two different arguments. but i think that, the argument i would make is when you had a country that was 80% white, it is one thing to stop 20% of your population from getting an education and being able to be , you know citizens who can play , a role in our society. it is another thing to have 50% of your population who is undereducated and unable to pay your social security and work living wage jobs. so in that way, i think fundamentally as our country changes i don't think that makes , us better on race. we could look at any country that has already gone minority white or any city in this country that has gone minority
white and know that does not fundamentally change power. but i think as a country, when you are having half of your public school students black and latino, if you're going to choose not to educate them, it is going to harm you. right? there is actually going to be a harm to white students. i don't think we have realized that yet, but i think that is where we are coming to. so i, i am not an optimistic person. anybody who reads my work knows that. i do not have a lot of optimism about racism. i think if you study history, you don't have a lot of reason to have optimism. i do know we cannot continue to go as we are, that you cannot have half of your population uneducated and unable to take these these important jobs and , do this important work. and we did not have that before, so maybe, but probably not. >> thanks. >> hi, nikole. ms. hannah-jones: hey, girl. >> we know each other, sorry. [laughter]
she came allnes: the way from london just to see me tonight. just kidding no, she didn't. ,>> tally ho. anyway, my question is for the iv society, your organization for journalists of color to encourage them to be more active in investigative journalism. "mother jones" had an article about a month ago about how it is really hard for them to continue to encourage this passion in journalists to do investigative journalism because of funding. is your organization going to work in concert in trying to get organizations to continue to push investigative journalism, especially when pieces like yours are doing so well, but -- not just in education but other people who are doing investigative pieces that really change the conversation in society? ms. hannah-jones: yeah, i mean -- i think the funding argument when it comes to diversity is a red herring.
i think that clearly, newsrooms are struggling in general. investigative reporting is very expensive. to pay someone's salary to produce one thing is very expensive. i don't think that is the reason why we have a diversity problem in investigative reporting. what we are trying to push is that there are people who are qualified, and we need to find a way to hire them. so i don't think funding is the issue. what you find a lot of times is a lot of these organizations will do fellowships and that is , how they are hiring journalists of color. but i think that is just a backdoor way. i think you should find talent and hire them. i think that is what our organization is going to be pushing for. journalism overall is disproportionately white. investigative journalism is even whiter. and we are not giving the opportunity or the guidance or the training or the mentorship to do this type of work. that is one thing we are going to work on.
once we train a cohort of journalists, when a newsroom has an opening, it will be more difficult to say we cannot find a qualified person, because i can tell you that person is qualified because i have trained them. so that is what we are trying to do as a society. >> thank you. ms. hannah-jones: you're welcome. prof. gessen: that is it. thank you all for coming. and thank you, nikole. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ announcer 1: "washington journal," live every day with policy issues that affect you. coming up thursday morning, economic advisor to president electronic stephen moore joins us to talk about his proposal to lower taxes, increase the number of jobs and plans to grow the economy. and robert weissman, president of the nonprofit organization public citizen will talk about
their plans to fight the trump administration on deregulation in a variety of areas. watch "washington journal" live at 7:00. join the discussion. announcer 2: here are some certain programs thursday. after 11:00 a.m. eastern, nebraska senator ben safed on values and the purpose of government. >> there is a huge civic mindedness in american history, but it is not compelled by the government. announcer 2: followed by the former senator john harkin on child obesity in the u.s. >> everything from monster anders with 1420 calories hundred 70 grams of fat to 20 ounce cokes and pepsi's, 12 teaspoons of sugar, feeding an epidemic of child obesity. announcer 2: at 3:30, wikipedia
founder john wales talks about the evolution of the online encyclopedia and the challenge of global access to information. community, a small five to attend really active users, another 20 to 30 they know a little bit. they think of themselves as a community. announcer 2: after 7:00 eastern, years of effort to repair and restore the capital. and justice elena kagan reflects on her life and career. elena kagan: it was a great thing to have done. it taught me an incredible amount, but it also taught me what it was like to be a serious historian and to sit in archives all day, every day. it wasn't for me. announcer 2: followed by justice clarence thomas at 9:00. clarence thomas: genius is not putting a two dollar idea for $20 if putting a $20 idea for
two dollar settlement without any loss of meaning. announcer 2: after 10:00, and exclusive ceremony at the white house. president obama will present the medal of freedom to 21 recipients including nba star michael jordan, bruce springsteen, sicily tyson, and bill and melinda gates. what's on c-span and c-span.org or on the free radio out. just radio app. announcer 1: at the city club of april dinwoodie recently spoke about adoption and the foster system. topics include placing foster children in permanent homes and providing assistance to homes. this is an hour. dan moulthrop: good afternoon