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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  November 27, 2016 3:05pm-6:01pm EST

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that people stand with and around. but i think the doctor is right. we have to come up with a system -- system wide approach and a formula to confront police violence in every single community. and to advocate for community control and oversight of police. that has to be across the board, as opposed to one city one way. that is what they are doing. we are divided in terms of resources because of that. everybody is trying to be in one city. it will be somebody else tomorrow, then we have to run there. we have to wrap up, i apologize. i will turn it back over to dr. daniels. it has been a pleasure being with you.
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there are many activities. please participate. thank you for the opportunity to be here. i would ask all of the panelist and the mayor to remain. we want to take a group photograph. once again, please welcome dr. ron daniels. [applause] dr. ron: it's give mark thompson a big round of applause. [applause] dr. ron: one of the realities is that we have people that are not staying at this hotel and they have to get the last shuttle acted the doubletree. if we don't do that, that will be a problem. that is a constraint we are facing. i want to say that, tomorrow, for those of you that are registered, we had a series of sessions that will be taking place. it is about the criminal justice system. we have a session that george frazier will be a part of in terms of economic development. then we have a session on the black family. in all of these sessions, it is not just about expressing grievances. when you look at george fraser, you are talking about somebody who has built a serious network. we have other economic agendas that we will be exposed to. the issues about police accountability, talking about how to take control of the beliefs. also talking about innovative programs that are taking place around the country. like the law enforcement development program from seattle. many of these things are happening because of the movement and struggle in the streets that are forcing those changes. we can seek concretely what is being done. we want to to be aware of that in terms of the participation
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that you bring today. give all of yourselves a big round of applause for coming and being patient. [applause] dr. ron: as we leave, we want to get a chance with the folks. we have vendors who have come. one of the most beautiful african marketplaces you can see. also, get yourself a red, black and green flag. we want to continue to bring that flag. also get you a t-shirt. i see those red, black and green shirts. that is what we are talking about. [applause] dr. ron: i am going to ask you all to stand. i want us to be together. seven harambe's means, let's all pulled together. the last one we want to hold it real long and strong. the other thing that i think larry was right about, we can debate all of these issues. there should be more people in the streets. we should not have to be baking people to be in the streets. what happens is, we are in the streets when it affects me. what -- when i hurt, you heard. we are all together. when one is hurting, we all hurt your it we have to rumble together.
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we should not be baking and pleading with people. that is where we are now, because we are going to have to become ungovernable. we will have to do with martin luther king said. we will have to use our $1.2 trillion in our hands as a way of using it as a tool in the black liberation struggle. seven harambe. seven times we do it and hold it as long as you can. harambe harambe harambe! harambe harambe harambe harambe!
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] are some featured programs. tonight, a former congressman discusses opioid addiction and treatment. collect to change their mind, they have to have some willpower, but also, they have to change their brains back. this is a biological thing.
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once theseis in -- doctors hand you these pills and say hey, we took the molar out of your mouth, take these pills, for a lot of people, the pills damaged. >> listen on the c-span radio at. >> james madison is the architect of the constitution, he might be, and george washington is the general contractor. if you ever built a house, you know it looks a lot more like with the general contractor looks in my then with the architect loosen my -- has in mind. >> author edwin martian talks about in the final and ratifying the first federal document. his book, george washington, nationalist. russia wanted to include -- hamilton had already talked about this democracy stuff.
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was someone who believed in republican government. >> now, it discussion on school segregation in the u.s. and how it is maintained through official action and policy. the columbia journalism school hosted this. it is one hour and 15 minutes. ms. hannah-jones: good evening, everyone. welcome students, faculty, and guests. to those of you who don't know me yet -- i am the academic dean of the journalism school. tonight we have a very special delacorte lecturer. special in many respects.
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one reason his own -- not only because there are a wonderful guest, but it is the first public performance of our new delacorte professor. the delacorte lectures are a tradition here at the journalism school. aimed to let students into what's happening in the magazine industry and in magazine journalism. they are run by the delacorte center for magazine journalism established here at the journalism school in 1984 by the magazine publisher george delacorte and was supported by his wife valerie. and with her, the new york community trust. george delacorte founded the dell publishing empire and was a beloved and rather eccentric philanthropist.
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he contributed to some of the architectural wonders you see on campus and has also famously donated the alice in wonderland statue in central park. we are grateful to the delacortes and in your community trust for their support of journalism education in our robust magazine program. and now, i would like to introduce one star of our evening, keith gessen, before joining us here, keith was the founding editor of m plus one, an influential new york magazine of culture and politics. if you have not read this, you should. go to the web right now and check it out. keith is also a contributor to the new yorker. and, the london review of books. he is editor of three nonfiction
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books and the translator or co-translator from russian for a collection of short stories, a book of poems, and the words of -- and they work of oral history. he is an author of a novel and he is also writing a new one. i hand this over to keith and i will have him introduce our guest for tonight, nikole hannah-jones. [applause] prof. gessen: thank you, sheila, for that wonderful introduction. thank you all for coming. i'm really excited and honored to have nikole hannah-jones of "the new york times" magazine here as our first delacorte speaker of the year. nikole began her career in newspapers and works at the news and observer in raleigh-durham. working on the education beat. she moved to portland all the way across the country to work at the oregonian. there she focused on housing discrimination. ms. hannah-jones: for part of
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the time. prof. gessen: then she moved to new york to start at pro-public where she published a series of incredibly important and moving and highly recommended pieces about the resegregation of america's cities and schools. not just segregation, that anyone who is not blind is aware of, but the actual active, continuing process of resegregation of our cities and educational system. a year ago, she was hired away by the new york times magazine, where she is continuing her work. there are two reasons i'm happy we are having this conversation. one is that i think because this is supposed to be a magazine focused lecture series, the work the work that nikole has been doing is incredibly complex. i do think the fact that she has been working at republica and
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the new york times magazine, those places have given her the space to do this kind of work. it was harder to do in newspapers. ms. hannah-jones: very hard. prof. gessen: the other reason is unfortunately, this is an incredibly relevant story right now. one of the most difficult, interesting, and significant pieces that nikole has done was
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about ferguson in the wake of michael brown shooting. where she went and looked at the school that michael brown -- nikole, i thought we would start just by telling us a little about how you got started and why you decided to become a journalist. whether you found journalism school you attended useful, and how did you get your first job? ms. hannah-jones: thank you for coming out tonight, i'm happy to be here, i come to campus for various events. i appreciate you coming out to listen to me talk. i became a journalist -- i grew up in iowa, let's get that out there. there are black people in iowa. we are mostly related, we know almost everyone. there were enough of us that we still had a grade of segregation. we'll all lived on one side of
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town and i started my education in segregated schools. from an early age, i was very curious about why the black neighborhood i lived in was one way and across the river, white people seems to be living a very different life. i was always a skeptical person, even as a child, which also got me into trouble as a child, but has proven to be a good life skill. i was always very curious. i started reading a lot and i was always very enchanted with history, because history helps explain the world to me and when when i was in probably fifth
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grade or six grade, i wrote my first letter to the editor, when i was in middle school. i was a bit of a nerd, i'm ok with that now. once i got to high school, i took this black studies class. i was bussed as part of a voluntary desegregation program, and i went to a high school that was about 20% black. our high school offered a one semester black studies course and i took the class and was complaining to the teacher, my only black male teacher that i think i ever had, that our high school paper never wrote about
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kids like us. he told me that if i didn't like it, i should join the paper or be quiet. i took it as a challenge and joined the paper. i had a column called from the african perspective. i wrote about black kids and my classmates and what our experiences were like. i won my first journalism award from the iowa high school press association and was kind of hooked after that. i only applied to one college, university of notre dame, which did not offer journalism. they offered history, which i loved.
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i majored in history and african-american studies. i wasn't sure if i was going to be an historian or a journalist. ultimately decided that journalists write history as it's happening and journalists write for the masses. historians write for college students and other historians. i really want to write about people like me, but write about it in real time. so i went to journalism school, the real carolina blue, not like this columbia blue. i was at the university of north carolina in chapel hill and i went to grad school. it was a two-year program and i loved it. it was great. they had a program for people who wanted to be academics and my first job was as a public schools reporter in the city of durham, which was half black, half white, pretty liberal college town, that's where duke is and since i went to carolina, i hate duke. [laughter] prof. gessen: i started covering public education in a high poverty school district right at the height of no child left behind. we saw the rise of high-stakes
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testing. and, the belief that if we test and hold segregated high poverty schools to a high level of accountability that suddenly we would get results like white schools. this is where i started my journalism career. very early on i was looking at the results come of the devastating result of school reform that was leaving kids in segregated high poverty schools, which is what really got me interested in the subject. prof. gessen: where the stories you were writing about about segregation and testing? were you able to get that into the newspaper? what were the kind of hooks you had to use? ms. hannah-jones: at that time, i had a great editor. durham was a town where every story was about race. it was equally divided, black and white. it was a great deal of power sharing. the city council is half black, half white, the school board was half white, half black and had a black mayor. race was kind of at the
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forefront of all the politics in that town. the whole premise of no child left behind was we're going to count every student and look at the race of every student and we are not going to leave black and brown kids behind. no child left behind was based on race. it was very easy to pitch stories looking at what were the ramifications of this high-stakes testing and for those of you -- there's a lot of young folks, i don't know how much you know about a child left -- no child left behind, but these high poverty segregated schools would not be able to meet the same standards as white schools and then schools would be taken over and they would implement all of these reforms that would never work. it was very easy for me to pitch
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stories about race because the entire federal educational bureaucracy was looking at race at that time. prof. gessen: were the stories like, this is not working? it is june and the test scores are bad? what were the daily stories you could write? ms. hannah-jones: i was spending a lot of time in those schools that were failing, and talking to principals and really spending time in heavily white schools, even though was a majority black district, it had very little poverty. and just fundamentally spending time in those classrooms and understanding there was no way you were going to get the same result out of those two schools. it wasn't a matter of parents not wanting education for their children or kids not trying, or teachers and principals not trying, but when you have a school where 20% of kids are poor. and a school where 99% of kids
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are poor, to expect those kids are going to do the same, with the same resources -- it's not as if poor schools were getting inordinately more resources. i started really looking at all of the things that reformers were saying would work, and then asking, why aren't they working? this was the era of constant experimentation with black schools. we're going to replace all the staff, replace the principles -- principals, divide them into small schools. we're going to turn them in the special ed schools, we will try to do a magnet. every few years, these kids were being experimented on, but the test results were always the same. that's when we begin to question -- can you accomplish educational equity within segregated schools? you just cannot find a school that was able to do it. you can find elementary schools
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that might turn around for your two and then the scores would slide down. never found a middle school was able to turn around and you never found a high school. every educator when they were not on the record, when they were being honest, would say what we're being asked to do was impossible. when nine of 10 kids are coming in here hungry, they are already behind when they are coming into the classroom. a teacher, if you can imagine, as a teacher when you have four kids who are behind in a class of 25, that's one thing. when you have 21 kids who are behind in a class of 25, and you are being asked to do the same thing with those same resources, you will not get the same results. the system was set up to fail, but set up to make it fail like politically, it was ok to say we are going to hold poor schools accountable because white parents in these liberal towns, just like white parents in all towns, didn't really want integration or to do the thing that was necessary to give these kids the same education. prof. gessen: you said at this point you realized the one thing that would work, integration, is the one thing that people refused to do. ms. hannah-jones: it was a process. i was a brand-new reporter. i was an older reporter. i was probably the oldest intern at the observer, i was 27 years old and in turning. i was new to journalism and education, just learning about education coverage. it wasn't necessarily what i sought out to cover as a journalist.
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i didn't know what i wanted to cover, i just knew i wanted to write about race. so i was learning a lot, but because i did not already have preconceived notions about what would work and what should work in education, i could just look at all the things they were doing and test them out and say, where are the results? where's the school that is segregated and poor that consistently performing on par is with these other schools? you could not find the results. i also love research. i read a lot. i read a lot of history and sociology. every study that comes out in this area, i was reading. it is really starting to formulate in my mind this picture where if we could do it, someone would have done it. if you can't ever show a place that did it, maybe we should stop pretending this thing is working. everyone knew it wasn't going to work, but it was the most politically expedient thing.
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prof. gessen: i feel like the great story you have arrived at is the story of resegregation. when did you start feeling like that was what you were seeing? ms. hannah-jones: i mean, there are two stories. i grew up in the north and it is not really resegregation in the north. it's just continuous segregation. it really wasn't until i move down south that i experienced living in -- the south has been the most integrated part of the country in terms of housing and schools for the last 45 years. so the story of resegregation is really a southern story. the northern story is the story of a willful blindness to the continuous ongoing segregation that has always been here. at much higher levels than we see in the south the last 50 years. i think when i really started -- i find annoying people who write about race but always write about it as if these inequalities just flow down from the sky, as if they are all a legacy of the past and the only important work that we value is who is the racist of the week and who can we show who said something verifiably racist? or we write about studies that say black people are doing badly here, they're living in these conditions. which isn't news to anyone.
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we know that. i want to understand why, like, what is causing this? wire neighborhoods still segregated 50 years after we passed to the fair housing act? when you look across every measure, black and latino students are getting the least qualified teachers, less likely to get access to academic courses that would get you into an institution like columbia, systemically across the country. i want to understand why that was. so that is really when my work began to focus on looking at the particular actions that we had particular actions that we had taken in the past, but also, that people are taking right now that maintain segregation and racial inequality.
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with schools, resegregation was a way to do that, because if the place had been segregated and then it was integrated, you could go back to that point where it starts resegregating and show that somebody had to do something. i started looking at school districts that have been ordered by a federal court to integrate. they laid out certain things that you as a school district must do. you have to have racial balance or pair a white school and a black school. once a school district is released from that court order, they can do whatever they want. they can create all-black school that they want to, as long as they never say we are doing this because we want to discriminate against black kids, they can do whatever they want. it was easy then to go to this point where a school district or school have been integrated and now it was going backwards and you could find who did what. who made this decision that
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re-segregated the school, and then asked them about it. when i wrote about tuscaloosa, i could literally go to the record and look at the public meetings where they are voting to create an all-black feeder system of schools. i could show the map where someone sat down and drew an attendance zone that would create an all segregated school, and you could show them the intent in a way that we don't write about racial discrimination and inequality, were we ever show intent in conscious action. i think that is what my work has been trying to do, is showing this history. we also know americans don't really care about history. and they certainly want to ignore the history of race in this country. so really setting up how we got here, but also saying this is not our legacy, the people right now are making decisions that maintain this and i'm going to show you how that works. was it the red pill or the blue
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pill on the matrix? whatever pellet was where you could see all the code, that is what i think of my work is doing. we live in this computer program, where we can cut a -- we can kind of pretend that all of this is accidental and we go about our lives and people all kind of have the same choice because we all on paper have the same rights. my work is like showing that code behind, where all of these inequalities happen and how they happen. prof. gessen: the tuscaloosa story, what were the sort of stories you could do for the newspaper and then, what stories could you not do for the newspaper? ms. hannah-jones: segregation was like 10,000 words, so you could never write anything that long. what that allowed me to do was tell the story from -- i would say my story started in 1619, which is the year that the first africans were brought to this country as slaves. or to be slaves. i say that because i think you just cannot understand anything
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about racial inequality today without going back and looking at a lot of things that happened in the past. with a newspaper, you just can't take the time to build a history into the story. but i think that fundamentally helps you understand. everyone always wants to know why is it still like that? and i said because we have been working on this for 400 years and we've only been working to undo it for maybe 50, and then, halfheartedly. understanding how systems over 400 years were created helps us understand how much work it will take to undo it. there isfor that in a newspaper, you can get may be two paragraphs. in a segregation now piece, two thirds of the story's history. only one third of that story takes place in the present. if you look at the piece adjusted in the new york times magazine, i would say about half of that story is in the past and half of it is in the present. i think that is what is so important is building this case
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that one then cannot deny of how this inequality is structural and systemic and nonaccidental, and that it was socially engineered, and therefore, we are going to have to socially engineer our way out of it. prof. gessen: you said when you won the best black journalist of the year, you said you were considering quitting journalism towards the end of your time at the oregonian. can you say why? ms. hannah-jones: of course, the speech is on the record. what i have found, and a lot of journalists of color find, is that newsrooms want phenotype diversity. they want diverse people, people who look diverse. they do not want people who think diverse or think about stories of race in a different way. when i went to the oregonian, i made it very clear -- i only ever became a journalist because i wanted to write about racial inequality. i like writing about other things sometimes, but when --
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what called me to be a journalist was to tell those stories. when i got to the oregonian, it wasn't what they wanted me to do. over and over i would find myself pitching stories and being marginalized for those stories, being told i couldn't write the stories. at that point, i went to the oregonian in 2006 and that was right when the industry, the newspaper industry was really in a freefall. there was nowhere for me to go. i had to stick it out there. after five years of struggling to tell the stories that i got into journalism to do, i was considering leaving. i was at the point where i felt i wasn't doing what i got in to do anyways, so why was i doing this? maybe i should think of something else. the problem was, i couldn't think of anything else i would
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rather be doing. i do feel like this is my calling. i was close, but i could never kind of make the leap into doing something else, because i couldn't imagine what else i would do with my life. prof. gessen: how did you end of the pro-publica? ms. hannah-jones: i was rescued. the founder was the managing editor at the oregonian when i was there. i worked with him and he brought me on. really right at the point when i probably would have left journalism in the next six months. i said this at my speech, the national association of black journalists that he saved my life in that way, because this is my calling. if you would not have taken me out of that situation, when he brought me to pro-publica, i said, i can't write the stories, don't hire me. he gave me free reign, now i'm here. prof. gessen: you said you see a lot of journalists in a similar position who didn't get rescued. is that right?
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ms. hannah-jones: yes. i mean, i could go down the list of black and brown journalists who have left news because they became very disillusioned with not being up to write the stories they got into journalism to write. i think newsrooms can be very unfriendly to people who don't just look diverse, but actually want to tell those stories in a very particular way. one of the things i heard was you want to write about black people too much. i remember having this conversation with the editor at the oregonian, saying have you ever had that conversation with a white journalist? have you ever told a white journalist that they are writing about white people too much? you can't even imagine that conversation happening, though it should. when i was told that, i went back to our old story system and printed out every story i had ever written since i had been there. i put on a stack every story that even had a black person in it, even if i didn't identify the person as black i just knew the person was black, and it was 10% of my stories. literally, 10%.
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i took those two stacks into that office and i was like what is it about you and me that makes you think that me writing 10% of my stories about black people is too much? it wasn't a really good answer, because in their head, they overestimated how many stories they thought i was writing about race. and what i was always told was, there are not that many black people here, you are not writing to our audience. but you will never get that audience if you're not telling the stories. it's also not an accurate reflection of our society and our communities that we're supposed to be covering. [laughter] prof. gessen: yesterday, during the debate, some people were snapping, but no one could hear them. at the oregonian, i read some of the pieces that you did about housing discrimination and those seemed to feed directly into the big piece that you then did about the fair housing act, right? it does seem like you were building a kind of -- really,
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also with your education work. what was it like to come to a position where you are now allowed to write at length with five or six or seven years of really solid day-to-day reporting on it? that must've been nice. ms. hannah-jones: it was amazing and scary. when you're writing something every week or every two weeks, not that many people read it, it's not that big a deal. when you've spent a year on something, it had better be good. there's a lot of pressure, but it was an amazing feeling to finally go from where i always felt i could do bigger work and i wanted to do bigger work. i was always interested in doing more investigative work, but as we know, a lot of times, women and journalists of color are not seen and groomed to be on teams to do larger work. to have someone who trusted i could do that and just given the freedom to do it was the most amazing experience in the world.
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that is part of the reason i recently founded an organization to help more journalists of color become investigative reporters because i feel it is the most important work we can do in a democracy, holding it -- holding power accountable for how it treats our most vulnerable citizens. but what it allowed me to do and what i will always love about propublica is there was not a template for the type of writing i was trying to do. not in investigative reporting, anyway. they trusted me to do it and let me do my thing. if there is anything i would say to editors, lead journalist do their thing and you'll be amazed at what they are able to produce. but you do not see that enough. prof. gessen: how would you describe the sort of work you did there, when you say there
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was not enough? ms. hannah-jones: long, lots of work. prof. gessen: excellent. when you say there was not a template, what do you mean? ms. hannah-jones: my work is not traditional investigative reporting in that way. i spent a lot of time building this historical case. if you look at my more recent work, it definitely has a point of view. i am not trying to go down the middle and say i am just laying out a dispassionate viewing of the facts. i am making an argument at this point. i think that is not the usual
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way this is done. but they let me. they gave me the freedom to do that. i think one, because the reporting is sound. even though i am coming from a point of view that segregation is wrong and we should do something about it, the reporting is very sound. but also, to give that much space to things -- when i was writing about school segregation, a lot of people were dead that i was talking about. typically when you are doing investigations, you are writing about people doing things only now. propublica wanted to have an impact, so they want you to do a story where someone will lose their job or some law will get changed. i'm writing about school or housing segregation fully expecting when this publishes nothing will change ever. i still don't think it really will. but they let me do that not expecting i'm going to get some law passed or there would be this huge shift in our society because of the work. a lot of reporters spend a year on an investigation that will likely not produce any result except people may be outraged. it is a pretty amazing thing. i see myself as making a record. i am hoping that forcing us to confront things we do not want to confront, whether we are
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going to fix them or not. i am always thinking about people trapped in these communities, what they could be if we treated them as full citizens. i'm thinking about the children trapped in these classrooms who someone says her daughter could be the doctor that saved your life one day, and we are squandering these children. that is what i am thinking about even if i don't think my writing will change the situation for them. i'm not going to let us pretend they are not there. prof. gessen: one of the powerful things about your work is a lot of americans feel if we give it 300 years, this stuff will work itself out. but these kids don't have 300 years. they are in school for 10 years. you come to propublica with this background doing a lot of reporting and you have these two big stories, school segregation and housing segregation which are connected. how do you go about choosing how to tackle these giant subjects? how do you go about choosing? ms. hannah-jones: the good thing is there was one great thing that came out of my very hard
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time at "the oregonian." it was a narrative paper. that is ultimately why i went there. it believed in narrative journalism. i believed in narrative journalism because i understand you can do these fabulous investigations, and if they are dry no one will read them. if you do not connect with people on a human level, it does not matter you have found this wrongdoing. that is all been my instinct, to tell these hard stories through compelling narrative. i am always at the beginning thinking about the narrative, what is the device or structure that can drive this story that is hard to read? when i did "segregation now" on
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tuscaloosa, part of the narrating process of how i would tell the story had to do with the narrative. tuscaloosa is where george wallace stands in the schoolhouse door. it is alabama, the cradle of the confederacy, the cradle of the civil rights movement. i am thinking about that when i am choosing where i will go. i am investigating how the resegregation happened here, who are the characters, and can i tell the story in a way -- what is interesting, the black elite worked with the white elite to resegregate the schools. prof. gessen: in case people have not read the article, for the tv audience at home, tuscaloosa had a big integrated central high school that was integrated in the late 1970's and 1980's. it had a powerhouse in football and debate. and then they resegregated.
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ms. hannah-jones: right. most people don't know brown v. board happened. they did not hold hands or have a kumbaya moment. there was a lot of foot dragging and school districts had to be brought to court. real integration did not come to tuscaloosa until 1988, which is fairly common. there was a white high school and a black high school and a black middle school and a white middle school. the judge merged those. everyone went to the same high school. he created this blockbuster powerhouse high school. it was like the dream of integration, the imperfect dream of integration. the district was also experiencing a lot of white flight. as soon as they were released from the court order, they destroyed the integrated high school and created three high schools and an entire feeder system of all-black poverty schools.
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that was a fascinating story. you had this place that was forced to integrate 30 years after brown v. board and then creates this amazing high school that is kicking everybody's butt. it was beating sports teams across the country, producing all these national merit scholars. and even that was not enough to hold integration together. you could go and look at this place and what they did to create these all-black schools, but also the black elite was part of that. that was all part of the calculation in why i chose to tell the story of resegregation from tuscaloosa. before i went there, i knew i wanted to tell it through the generations of one family. i knew that. i hoped i would find the family to tell it through. i understood so much of the history would take place in the
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past. if i wanted people to care about it, i needed a human face to connect them from the past to the present. luckily, i found the perfect family pretty early on. prof. gessen: you talked to other families who were less perfect. ms. hannah-jones: yeah. the main character, the young lady at the all-black high school, she is everything, class president, state track champion, everything we tell kids they should be if they want to be successful, she was, but she was at a segregated high school failing her in terms of her education. what made the family perfect is i wanted a grandparent who had gone through segregated schools after brown to show how desegregation did not come to this country after brown and whose parent had gone to the integrated high school in that town as a result of the court order and now found the grandchild back in the
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segregated schools that looked just like the grandparents attended. that is what i was looking for and that is what i found in the family. prof. gessen: are there a lot of schools like that, that were integrated and became un-integrated? ms. hannah-jones: the south experienced a wave of desegregation because the only thing that held it back with the federal court orders. we never wanted integration in this country and that is the method we tell ourselves. we tell ourselves we wanted it, tried hard, and failed. we failed because we did not really want it. there was a brief time where the federal government was forcing it. where it forced it, many times it did work. as soon as we started releasing the court orders that were 40 or
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50 years old, the supreme court made it increasingly easy for districts to be released from their court orders. when they were released, we went back to our natural state of things, which is to immediately do things to resegregate. the peak of integration in this country was 1988 when i was in middle school. now black students are as segregated as they were in 1972. the typical experience of a black student in this country is to attend a segregated, high poverty school. the typical experience of a white student in this country is to attend a low poverty high school. prof. gessen: in reporting the tuscaloosa story, as you mentioned, the resegregation was kind of agreed to buy black -- two by black leaders in the community because they were afraid they would not be able to attract businesses if they did not have a high-quality, majority white school basically. ms. hannah-jones: right. prof. gessen: when did you find
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that out, early in the reporting or, were you surprised to find that out? was your initial reaction like this is not a good case or were you excited? what was your reaction? ms. hannah-jones: i think it is great for the narrative. it gives texture and nuance. there were all these compromises that have happened. school desegregation was very hard on black communities. it was always the black schools that were shut down, the black teachers and principals fired, black kids getting long bus rides to go into white schools. for many of the black civil rights leaders who pushed for desegregation, they felt the cost had been too high for black children and they were chasing white children across the city and white children kept fleeing
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them. in tuscaloosa it went from majority white to majority black districts. the fear was if he did not set aside a pocket of mostly white schools, the entire district would turn black and you could not have any integration because you would have no white kids left in the district. but also every time he tried to pass a tax in a majority white town because the city of tuscaloosa was majority white, if you have a majority white town and entirely black school system and try to pass a tax for schools, white parents will not vote for that because their kids are not in the schools. businesses will not support it because their employees they care about do not have kids in the schools. there was this calculation that communities were having to make that we will tolerate some level of segregation for our poorest most vulnerable black kids in order to keep white kids in the district.
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i think that was an important story to tell because that is happening in communities across the country. you see it in new york city. middle-class black kids are typically not going -- they are in schools with white kids. it is the poorest most vulnerable kids being segregated. i thought that was important because it talked about the failures of the civil rights movement. the black elite at that point thought they were going to broker -- they understood a judge would release the district from a court order. as soon as it did, the district could do what they wanted to anyway. they figured if they try to negotiate terms, they could get something out of it for the black community which they thought would be economic development. unfortunately, it did not work out that way. they did not get the economic development. they made the decision and still do not get it. a lot of people in the community believed the black elite sold them out but they could never prove it. i was able to finally get on the record the black judge in the town who basically signed a deal to admit he did it. prof. gessen: one of the difficulties of the stories you are telling is the fact that white people have gotten much
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better at being -- in the presidential campaign, they have gotten worse at it. they've gotten better at not being such explicit racists so you don't often have the smoking gun of somebody saying the n-word, for example. you have adopted a kind of -- i have heard you describe it almost like the legal definition of what "segregation now" is rather than a kind of narrative definition. could you say something about that? ms. hannah-jones: what made -- during the civil rights movement, we were dealing with segregation by law. what we are mostly talking about today is called de facto segregation. i think it is a fallacy. the fact though segregation is a term adopted by the north to resist having to come under brown v. board. de facto means segregation by fact but we do not know who caused it. no one is responsible. we cannot say there is a law
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that forced it or government officials that mandated it. that is how most segregation outside of the south was categorized. but i would argue and i think my work i never say to factor or -- de facto or de jure, the segregation today is still the result of official policy, still the result of official actors. when the school officials in the city of tuscaloosa made the decision to draw the attendance zone that creates 13 years of entirely black high poverty schools, i don't know how you call that anything but intentional segregation. one of the things i talk about a lot with journalists is stop getting so caught up in what you can prove someone was thinking. look at their actions and
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whether or not they knew what the results of those actions would be. one of the things i say is when exxon mobil has a spill in the gulf, we would never say -- we don't care if the head of exxon mobil hates ducks or not. it does not matter to us how he feels about the environment, whether he likes seagulls or whatever. we only care that there were certain things you should have done and you did not do it, and this is a foreseeable result of that. but when it comes to race, the only thing that matters is whether we can prove someone hated black people. you could take every possible action, and if we cannot prove you hated black people when you are doing it, suddenly we don't feel like we can report on those actions the way we need to.
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my work is saying i don't care. i can show you made a decision that you knew would be harmful and you did it anyway, and i want to know why. that is how we need to think about reporting on race. legal discrimination has been outlawed in this country for 50 years. people know how not to do that and write things on paper. but it is not an accident that in every facet of american life, we are still seeing black americans being disadvantaged. that is not accidental or incidental. i think that is how we need to be writing about these issues. prof. gessen: i'm going to ask one more question. if people want to come to the microphones to ask their own questions, they should start. you had a piece where you described your decision to send your daughter to a high poverty segregated school. did you do that as a journalist? ms. hannah-jones: did i make the decision as a journalist? no. prof. gessen: but it was based on your experience of reporting on this topic? ms. hannah-jones: it is one
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thing to write about public schools when you do not have kids. it is very different to write about it when you have to make a decision about your own child. i guess i would reframe the question. i made the decision as a mom, as a human being who thinks what we are doing to kids is wrong and understanding by pretending it is only systemic, it allows us to get off the hook about our individual decisions. but clearly all of my years of reporting informed my decision to enroll my daughter in that school. i remember early on as a new public schools reporter in durham, hearing all of the excuses liberal parents would give about why they would not put their kids in school with poor black kids.
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i remember one of my earlier stories was about durham tried to use magnet schools to integrate certain schools in poor neighborhoods. they did a survey. a lot of school districts were hyper concerned about what white parents wanted because those were the parents they had to keep in the district. poor black parents would be there, they had nowhere else to go. they did the survey of parents and asked what they wanted in their schools. every single thing the parents said they wanted existed in the magnet schools in the inner-city that could not get white kids. i wrote a story about that. i remember thinking all of these parents think they are good people, they are good people. they say none of their decisions are about race, but they are willing to tolerate this inequality. throughout the years of my reporting meeting other journalists cataloging racial inequality, when you asked where they live or send their own children to school, they were not living what they were writing.
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i could not fathom doing that. i like to say i am not judging other people. that probably does not ring true. i probably am judging. for me, it was never a choice. it is hard to say that as a parent that i do not think my daughter deserves more than other kids, but i really don't >> isolation is smart, i do but she is brilliant. i do think it matters. i think as parents we have got into this consumer culture where we say we believe it is the great equalizer. this thing that we say that it is an important institution. you all come in here and come out with the same thing. then we turned it into this thing where we have to buy for it. every advantage for my child. i fundamentally don't believe in that. choice andt i have
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that anything that child doesn't get in the school, i can give corp. -- give her. parents are doing the best i can with no resources whatsoever. the inequality is systemic. every choice that we make is holding up that system. there is no way i could do that. i also understand and i think that is what the new york times sees and tries to grapple with. that it is a hard decision or parents. subject ask a character their child to that -- we ask a parent to subject the child to that. my daughter is a sassy little child. she is doing great. that is the thing.
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our kids would do great at any environment. i think that is why we have to be so unselfish about it. when they know that there is a new york times reporter at the school, it changes the entire dynamic of that school. it is about power, access to power. access and who doesn't have it. when you have a entire school with parents that live in housing projects, you know that the school does not care about the things that those parents need. meanwhile, at the white, wealthy school, they are going to get weekly meetings about their kids not getting the first choice for kindergarten. that is what integration is about. knows that.yone what parents know that, black parents know that.
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how people know how to protect their power. i had my power with my daughter is in that school or not. i can share that power if i am in the school with those kids. i will try to keep my answer short. [applause] >> when you said the problems that we all live with, i felt about whenou talk you are dealing with the education beach. how do you generate access to the families in these neighborhoods and communities that are closed off. which isu figure out the right person to create that narrative within your pieces? easy.: the families are
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it is getting access to the schools that is really hard. families always want to talk because they know that they are being screwed. are know that their kids not getting the education that they deserve. time withve a hard the families, it can be very hard to get into the schools. what i have also found is that a lot of times, the teachers and the principles in those schools all know that they are being set up to fail. byo, you can get access talking to people who know them. to get them to meet with you and get access into the schools that way. in terms of the narrative, this is something that i struggle with a lot. balance as trying to few things. i want to take a kid who is fairly representative, i am also always understanding you i am
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writing to. peopleto take a kid who think deserve an education. i am troubled by that, i struggle with that. i think the kid who is a c-student and came to the school , they needof issues a chance to. i need to find someone who people are outraged about. so i am working on that. have a a lot of inner turmoil about that. about not being able to write about difficult kids in the schools. because i need white people to be outraged because they will do something. typically, when i am looking for a student, i am looking for one who can articulate what is happening.
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so that when i am interviewing them, they need to let given some thought to their circumstance. a lot of us don't. when i was in school, the high school had no ap classes. about 20.classes had the school board members when confronted said we should have physics. i'm thinking, what high school kid will ask? you pick from the classes you are given. you only know, what you have seen. you don't even know if you are getting a better education. sometimes you know, sometimes you don't. a lot of times, kids in poor schools'parents also had that educations. or familyng for a kid who has some sense that they are not getting what they are supposed to get and we can talk about that. so that i am not just speaking
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for them but they are able to speak for themselves. that is what i am looking for. someone who has had a compelling narrative. articulate that narrative, someone who can evoke some kind of emotion in the reader. you do that by talking to a lot of people. usually, going with your gut and seeing who you connect with and spending a lot of time with them. i said i would answer short of but that was not short. high, my name is lori. like you, i value the historical background that used to be a greater systemic problem. i struggle a lot in my own , how do you bring that historical star trek the -- historical perspective? we are looking at problems that are very decontextualized.
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i think your work has resonated with so many people who has that. not all of us will have the opportunity to have someone like your program to scoop us up. how would you tell someone who was to report on these issues? i was a bet -- beat reporter for most of my career. you have to know the history yourself if you want to write about it. i think a lot of times journalists are not spending the time to figure out what the history of this place. , when ieven tell you heard these reporters, i asked them if they have read any of these cases. have you read the civil rights act?
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times, you will not write about it if you don't know. when baltimore was on fire, the first thing i am thinking about with theusing lawsuit city of baltimore and the county of baltimore and the federal government were also reported tension was segregating lack people in the inner-city pity -- city. it is not even necessary that you have to send 3000 words on the history. if you can put three paragraphs of that history in your story, you are giving your reader a level or context to understand what is happening. for me, the problem is not time saved, it is lack of curiosity figure out howto to tell it like it is. this is why i always say as a black reporter, people think they see me and know what my biases are. they think they know april -- a
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particular framework from which i am writing a story. we don't make the same assumption about white writers. most white reporters are coming white, publicd, schools and private schools. they were very high functioning. it can be impossible to imagine why other schools are failing in this framework. that is the biggest problem, the lack of curiosity. you need to understand the context. if you have that, you don't need a lot of space to put it in. we are all building a body of work. it is never one story. if you're covering a feed, you are covering multiple issues. >> thank you so much. you're welcome.
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>> thank you for your talk. they can for being so honest with us. tier universities in ivy league universities, there aren't a lot of black students. especially of lower class. have you done any research on why this is and do you believe that universities look into family backgrounds when they are picking applicants? >> i have lots of thoughts. in college admissions right out of college. i can tell you that college into high look schools. they know high schools. they know which ones are segregated and was once had a good reputation. you can have a 4.0 from central high school or from northridge high school in tuscaloosa. no whatns council is the difference between those grades are. , when i went to
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notre dame, there was a small black population. it was very well-off. it was a struggle to be black and working class at that point. i begin adversities don't want to put in the work to recruit. i think they don't want to put the working to help the students. when you look at the numbers on aren'tot just that they recruiting. they aren't recruiting a lot of black american students. a lot of those numbers are actually black students who are coming in are second-generation or africa. racism and inlack particular anti-black racism is a big part of why it is so hard for low income black students to get into ivy league schools.
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>> thank you for being your today. i have a question about journalism. you mentioned that you now do stories with a perspective. of course, your sound recording backs it up. i am wondering if you ever wary that being seen as an advocate for an issue will negatively affect the way that viewers read your work and how you deal with that. nikole: i don't believe in biased journalism. it doesn't exist. all is -- all reporters have perspective on what they are writing. i never pretend to be unbiased. what i do say is that my work will be accurate and fair. that is what the readership can expect from any of us. when you think of the nature of investigative reporting, to me, it is accurate reporting.
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we are saying at the government is doing this and it is hurting me. we are saying this corporation is taking advantage of these americans and we are writing this because we want to be fit. when you look at the very mention of newspapers. for theion was powerless. that is taking a position. we're not going to speak for anyone if we don't speak for the powerful. that is not the role that we play. when you know where i stand, to an extent, you can judge my work better because i am not pretending to be unbiased. you can judge what it is that i am writing, and my writing something that is fair. , what allry about journalists worry about is that i will make mistakes. i worry about being accurate. i worry about treating people fairly. i don't worry for one second
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about whether people think i am biased or not. people want to know that i am biased and i think segregating kids and resources, i am fine with that. >> thank you so much. much enjoyedery your piece on american life. how do you approach people you are working with, people who are vulnerable to others? does it change the context of the final output? liberating,und it radio. people are speaking for themselves so much more. magazine,rite with a you can give people a lot of space to speak. in these papers, was scented tea
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said this, one sentence he said that. on radio, most of the stories, people are telling it in their own words. i found it to be completely liberating. heard, i did a print version of the story first. i always heard it as a radio piece. i saw the power. in the high school gymnasium. there was no way i can estimate that -- conveyed that. interviewed all of them, i thought people wanted to tell their own stories. i think what is hard about it is that it becomes much more about the storytelling. i have lots of facts. no one is trying to hear all the
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statistics on school segregation .r all the percentages i think a lot of investigative projects had to get polished out. i can be very hard. i think getting people on radio was a great way to do that. >> do you think there is a place for white people to write about race and segregation? yes.e: segregation racist is not a black story. it's not. to the blackift lives matter people, a lot of them have said that the time for white people to stand aside and
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listen is now. typically, when you look back in time, a lot of what people have written pieces. do think it is more important for us to step aside and of the people of color to communicate their story? no, i think journalists of color who want to be writing about race should be. thinkk that what people that writing about race means writing about black or brown people. but what people go to segregated places. certainly, you guys should be anding about not just race about how black people are suffering but writing about how power is working and what that power likes.
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alwaysnalists, we are writing about, i don't know. all types of different issues. just placing someone, it is doing your job. there isn't really a feed you can cover in this country where you shouldn't be writing about race. race is on every single the -- beat. there is nothing that race does not touch in this country. you should be writing about race and matter what cover. even if we are limited by the range of our experience? nikole: everyone is limited by the range of our experience. i am working on a piece about environmental justice right now. i don't know much about it. of journalismhalf is to learn about things we don't know about.
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to get out ofd this might state that race is somehow different. i am not good about writing about race because i am black, i am good because i have studied the hell out of it. that is what makes me good. believe me, there are a lot of lack writers who i don't think are good about race. i could name some but i won't. [laughter] nikole: i have developed an expertise in this subject. i'm not just inherently a great writer. i think this is something we all want to do. you need to do good work. >> you talk in the new york times piece about the way new you talk in the new york times piece about the way new
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york city is a voluntary measure. making the argument that it benefits white families in addition to black and latino families. i am wondering if you think that , iument is ever going to is coveringyork, it up real action from taking place. i have wondered if you have seen if the arguments will hold place --hans just kicking the can or if it is just kicking the can down the road. is're saying that it advantageous to white suit is to have integrated schools as well. it is two different things, integration for black and latino students. integration for white students is not. fundamentally, you are making two different arguments. i think that the argument that i would make is that when you had , ituntry that was 80% white
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is one thing to stop 20% of your population from getting population -- education and being citizens who can play a role in our society. it is another thing to have that the percent of the population who is undereducated and unable to pay social security. that as our country fundamentally changes, we can look at any country that has already gone minority whites. notow that at -- it does necessarily change power, when you have a country with have your public students being black or latino, it is going to harm you. there is going to be a harm to white students. i don't think we realize that yet. i am not an optimistic person.
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don't have a lot of optimism about race. i think if you study history, you don't have a lot of reason to have optimism. i think that what i do know is that we cannot continue to go the way that we are. you cannot have have of your population uneducated and unable andake these important jobs do this important work. we did not have that before. maybe, but probably not. >> a. >> hey girl. other, sorry.h >> she came all the way from honduras to see me tonight. >> my question is about the iv law society. mother jones did an article about a month ago about how it
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is really hard for them to continue to encourage this passion and journalism and investigative journalism because of funding. is your organization going to work in concert with trying to get organizations to continue to push investigative journalism? especially when a piece like yours was doing so well. yes.e: i think the funding argument when it comes to diversity is a red herring. i think that clearly, newsrooms are struggling in general and investigative reporting is there a expensive. someone a salary to produce one thing a year and it is very expensive. i don't think that is why we have a diverse and problem and investigative reporting. what we are trying to push is that there are people who are qualified and we need to find a
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way to hire them. i do think the funding is the issue. what you find a lot of times is that a lot of these are a fellowship, that is how they are hiring journalists of color. i think that is a backdoor way. you should just find talent and higher them. that is what our organization is pushing for. is just whiterall , more white overall. we're not giving the mentorship to these people to have this training. once we train a cohort of journalism and journalists, it will be difficult to say we can find a qualified person. he i can tell you that qualified person is qualified because i have trained them. that is what we are looking for. >> that is it, thank you all for coming. accu nicole. you, nikole.
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[laughter] [applause] we have a special webpage at c-span.org to help you follow the supreme court. go to c-span.org and subtract -- select supreme court. once on our supreme court page, you'll see four of the most recent arguments. you can click on the view all linked. in addition, you can find recent appearances by many of the supreme court justices are watched justices in their own words. including one on one interviews with justices kagan, thomas and ginsburg. of all current justices will be on there with links to see their appearances on c-span. it is available on-demand. all of the supreme court at c-span.org.
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>> this tree is a 19 foot tall wholesome fair, it is from a farm in wisconsin. this is owned by dave and mary. they accompanied first lady michelle obama. ♪ ♪
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michelle obama: high, how are you? replacement kits. this is what happens when you get teenagers.
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this is what we have now. good job guys. christmas begins, the holiday one, we areast excited about it. congratulations to our award winners here. our work here is done. are you guys ready? this is the easiest part of the holiday season. happy holidays, happy thanksgiving. we will see you around.
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>> here are some of our future program coming up on c-span. tonight, newt gingrich. he discusses opioid addiction and treatment. they have to have some willpower. they also, because of the way of opioids,or droids -- work, the brain is an organ.
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these pills people, damage this organ. >> watch on c-span and c-span.org. and listen on the free c-span radio app. >> james madison is the architect of the constitution. george washington is the general contractor. you know that the general contractor looks like this a lot more than the architect. >> tonight on q&a, they talk about george washington and his role in unifying the country. book,ill be his first george washington: nationalist. >> hamilton had already talked about this democracy stuff not working. washington was a republican. he believes in republican government. 8:00 eastern time.
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leadersedia industry discuss emerging new media trends and technology. traditionalct of journalism, this is about an hour and 30 minutes. >> welcome everybody. someone whoasure as has been a refugee from the world of journalism for 12 years to have a panel to find out what has been going on in the past 12 years. first i want to thank bob. electric series. thank you bob and soul of that. we are doing it in conjunction with colorado mountain college. that is why we have this product. would you guys stand up?
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college, thereis are 11 campuses in a 12,000 square mile area. i will give you one important fact. it is an open access college. ,verybody in this entire region if you graduate from high school, you get a letter from president hauser and it says you are in. then they have a president fund that says we will give you $1000 for your expenses. it makes it the most affordable college in america. thank you for what you're doing. walter: our wonderful media panel, i will let you tell them what you each do. this is marty.
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he is a great editor, we have seen them in the movies, on the boston globe and that he once -- runs the washington post. they: i am the old guy from old media on the new media panel. a new mediame company very fast. i have worked at the washington post for 3.5 years before that, i was the editor of the boston globe, the miami herald, i have also worked at the l.a. times and the new york times. i am highly transient. >> i am julia turner. ofm the editor and chief slate. i have been at slate for 13 years. i came up through the culture side, culture editor for a wild. a online magazine of opinion and commentary, we
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turned 20 this year. i am also an old guy on the new the gray lady of the internet, that puts in an interesting position. i am the founder of right news. virtualpecializing in reality. we joined forces with the huffington post for a new chapter in our career. overseeme is olivia, i the google news lad. that is the intersection of media and journalism. prior to that, i was youtube's news manager. i oversaw a lot of efforts. >> i am sterling. i am the head of vice media. i was a born and bred vice employee.
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ouroked after a lot of global, digital strategy distribution partnerships and how we grow. spotlight, -- schreiber is a lot better. i am not angry that a lot of people think of him when they hear my name. is for our generation. it reminds us of what journalism is all about. tell us your experience with that. n: this was not a movie i spent two to make. it doesn't have superheroes, special effects, the budget is be the type that would
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type of a movie that you would go to see. there are no sexy than the movie. was something i lost some of her stay. at my first meeting on a boston globe. one of my stories was published in 2002. we had about a year and a half worth of coverage about the cover up of sexual abuse within the archives. well beyond that to cover up throughout the country and actually throughout the world. i think that it highlights the central purpose of journalism. we have a lot of things that we are supposed to accomplish in journalism. i think central to our mission is holding powerful individuals and institutions accountable. that is what we endeavor to do in our investigation. abuse by serial sexual
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not just one priest but many priests. about 400ed out to be raised over 20 years. they were engaged in a cover-up. to the purpose of journalism, to try to expose that wrongdoing. that is what we endeavor to do, that is what we did. >> you have a lot of survivors about those. group in the movie referred to as the survivors network. it has been a very small and ragtag group before the movie. since the movie, since our investigation of the globe, they have acquired a lot of new members. i was invited a couple of months ago to address with a keynote speech their annual convention. 300 abuse survivors at
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the convention. it was a remarkable thing. gratifying because i ended up getting stops, people wanted to thank me. saying thatple were after the movie came out, prior to the movie, they had never spoke about their abuse. they had not told their friends, not their families. they hadn't done anything that kept it all secret. because of the movie, they felt it was critical that they begin to talk about it and that it was the first time they had attended thatonvention of organization. they wanted to be active in ensuring that that kind of abuse did not continue within the church or any other institution. >> my last question for you before we move on, that must've cost a lot of money. investigation like that. it wasn't the type of story that aggregate eyeballs. done with the
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resources that you had. talk about the resources that you have now. it invested and incredibly long one. >> i think the investigation highlights what it takes to do. the lessons one of that they got from the movie is that it takes a lot of time and effort. it is not glamorous in any way. your documents are knocking on people's doors and having people suck the doors in your face. it is very hard work. particularly when it involves an institution of this kind of give thisat wants to information secret. i would say that over the course of the first year, a cost the boston globe a million dollars to do that work. given the legal work that was unsealed.
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it had become confidential by the church. we had to do an investigation of street-level reporting as well. there was a lot of reporters will be on the spotlight team and it was featured in the movie. it was probably a million dollars in the first year. it requires a lot of work. it is core to our mission. we have to continue that work through the washington post. the washington post has already done that kind of work. guy.nately, we do have the he has also brought in intellectual capital. i think both of those is very important to us. he has spoken very passionately about how he sees journalism shedding light in dark places. democracy dies in darkness and the role of analysts and the role of the washington post is
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to make sure that we ring those who are doing wrongdoing to life. the need to hold institutions accountable. has said that we should feel free to cover him and his institution they way that we would cover any other business executive and any other business. >> enlightened billionaire this wondrous business model that may work but it can work for everybody. when slate was founded by , it wavered from being something where you charge , you try to get consumer revenue, there was a pay wall, then you went off of that, that you have a membership model to some extent. other thansee, advertising, ways of doing good journalism? i think we have done a lot of
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thinking about this. you are right, we were founded by michael kinsley under the offices of my christophe. we had our own billionaire helping us out at the beginning. one thing we have been thinking about a lot over the last beers is the relationship we have with our audience. people come to slate because they want like to interpret the world for them in a very smart, quick, funny and colloquial conversational way. that voice that comes through from our friends and our writing creates what we think. that is been our role from the beginning. we have more competition from news shop, the papers themselves are doing more analysis alongside the reporting that they do. we have a strong court group of people that count on us for that. 2.5 years ago, a membership program.
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the successful pay wall center walls tend to be a markete who need with information. you can plan your financial portfolio. you want access to the micro trades in the sports trades so that you can control your fantasy team. for us, because what we are offering is ancillary and fundamentally a second three, we have this model where we provide people with extras. at her engagement. -- better engagement. that we do.asts we have an extra 30% worth of content on the podcast that we publish. they get early access to some of our enterprise reporting. special commenting
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space where they can chat with other commenters. they get discount off of live events. they get the slate academy that we do. essentially an online course where we take -- a really deep dive. that content is only available to our members. the first one, we did it on the history of slavery. also, our understanding of the history of slavery. if you are taught it is cool, if you were not taught in school. interesting.ry our members could use that to understand racial dynamics in america. theree lost it, we knew were a lot of diehard fans that was hannah for the first month or so. we were not sure what the longer-term quotes for trajectory would be. we were very helpful about that. are a lot that there
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of other reporters including yourself. everyone of them had a voice that has become the internet voice. an event, a little case, everyone does it analytically and trustworthy. is it getting out of control where snarkiness and meanness have a place with slate? voice is less distinctive than it used to be. a lot of people have adapted the second person addressed. the casual use of slang as a way of connecting with readers. i think that makes it every more important for us to retain the immediacy of the language that
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people actually use. itmetaphor for slate is that is like in the mail from your very smart friend. it is your smart friend's favorite website. it is your smart friend interpreting the world for you. what we are setting out to do is trying to change minds, you can only do that if you are using rigor in your analysis. intellectual honesty. cases, weat in some took back the colloquial nature of our language. >> bryn, i went on a riot. i saw immersive video, 360 video, is that the way of the future and explain how you produce that.
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bryn: think you for having me, it is a great honor to be on this panel. we have been exploring virtual reality and 360 video for a very long time. for those of you, you fill it with a camera that has multiple cameras all over it. you stitched together and then you feel like you are standing in the middle of these stories. if you are on your phone, you can move it all around. canet's make clear that you go to your website and not wear goggles. i thought i was diving off of a cliff. ride. huffington post.com. recently launched 360 and
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virtual reality capabilities in all 15 of the abilities. we have a hardship with google. if itou ask about it as is the way of the future, we could debate that for a wild. what is not debatable is the way that you can consume video on your phone or on your computer and that changed over the last six month because you can now move all around and look on your phone. for us, that is a significant moment. video is running the internet. this debate a serious investigation for what that means. all of that, there is an opportunity to create new language, new storytelling technique. certainly, our journalists that are running all over the world, shooting in this new technology, are very proud that they can be part of a historic moment. >> when you imagine your user, do you imagine that person
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sitting at a desk on a computer or using a mobile device or smartphone? ryn: i think it is on the mobile phone that we are reaching most people. on youtube 360 or facebook 360. soon, more headsets will be available as sony launches a headset, many others will as well. i think we will see more adoption. companies like oculus that was recently acquired by facebook. they have been very surprised by how much video is being consumed. i think people thought that this would be for video games but people are saying that 60% of content is linear video or 360 video. i think that we see it as a step . this is 360 video and stepping toward immersive content. right now, you just kind of look around you.
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pretty soon, you will be of as walk around and environment. for instance, i am wearing my headset and an empty room. eventually interact with the environment. another step forward will be augmented reality. will have major implications or complete implications on almost everything that we do. augmented reality is overlays. some of you have seen pokemon go. it is a consumer version. >> it is not a pretty sight to see all of our students wondering campuses with pokemon go. >> pokemon go is a very crude version. pokemon on the environment in front of you. what is troubling with augmented reality is they do changes in your cell phone, television, if it goes in the trends that people are predicting, some say
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that the last television you bought will be the last television you ever by. you can put all of those trees on your windshields and walls. i think that technology is moving very quickly and 360 video is the first step into that. the journals in and trade could never figure out whether google was our best dangerous onemost we face. wasle news labs that launched by you and your colleagues, how do you address that question and how do you see yourselves helping journalists? google newsletter is about a year and a half old. google news with some of you are familiar with is a product that is part of google search. that aggregates news sources, articles from over 70,000 news sources from around the world.
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and clusters those around major news stories. google news is probably a product that many are familiar with. the newsletter was created as a way to engage directly with journalists and newsrooms on the latest technology. what britain was talking about ark, data, newe storytelling technologies, with the newsletter is trying to do is to say that we at google have a lot of expertise in merging technologies. we have a birds eye view of all of these different areas, art.er it is ai, the artificial intelligence. all of these emerging changingies that are industries. what we are interested in doing at the newsletter is thinking about how those technologies can be applied to news and journalism. a lot of people work with publishers from a business side and product side.
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we are trying to help journalists to understand the latest technology and how it can be applied to the journalism they are doing every day. walter: give us an example of a product that will transform journalism. 360 is an area that we have invested a lot. we partnered with six different news organizations to try to give them access to the latest the our camera that google is producing. it is called a jump can. is 17 go pro cameras connected to a single break with this social software that takes all of the output from those cameras, this is it together and create a virtual reality experience. these are experimental. these cameras have never been
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used. ryan is one of the first organizations to have that. that is one of the examples of we at google not knowing what is possible. need journalists to actually show us this. >> we have two of those cameras now and we use them all over the world. one of them, it is a little tangential, i don't know if you have used the new google at, it has transformed the way that we travel. we had conversations with taxi drivers that are full conversations, no longer looking through a guidebook. products and interesting data about what people i-64 is available through google. we can say that around the election, what questions do
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people have about hillary clinton's policies. what are people in florida searching for in relation to immigration. provide this information through google trends. make that data available to journalists who can incorporate it into their stories. >> one of the reasons that i it is the bestat of old media and new media. it is a very edgy -- it still tells stories. it is well reported. how do you figure out that mission and the partners that you are trying to hold together for that? vice is a media company that has come of age in the last decade. we have seen a real explosion in
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the growth of what we call numidia companies. -- new media companies. a lot of those companies are technology press. in a lot of ways, content and of being a way to figure out the business model. vice haso not what ever been or ever will be. storyas always been first. our lovely partners at youtube that we love and love forever, we were looking for how to see best practices. speak directly to the camera, make it short, funny, was out -- but as something every day. when we went to youtube, we tried a little bit of that. it did not resonate. puttingas we started out the library of documentaries
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we have made, about six or seven years prior, everything exploded. it really took off and we became one of the fastest-growing channels on youtube. growing youe fast are old-fashioned. i remember looking at your refugee story and thinking that is something that don hewitt would've done on 60 minutes had he been 100 years younger. sterling: i think this beast to the power of media this tradition and the environment we have. it allowed us to do a few things. create reallyto incredible, high quality content. it was on a cost basis that legacy organizations would not be able to. itallowed us to distribute all around the world. the fact is that vice really does have a global audience.
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thationally, just the fact vice is a company that has been so driven and self-directed. it has been really incredible and rewarding in a sense that you heard this patently disproven notion that young people did not care about news. i think that has been thoroughly debunked at this point. we are really happy that we have been able to be a part of making that argument. : i may have authored those best practices. guys came at you it in a similar principle. the key for quality that made vice successful but also bloggers that were sitting in bedrooms, speaking to their cameras and telling joe successful was the author anticipate -- authenticity. what you guys have done with personalities like
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shane smith who would come on camera and talk to the audience to create a sense of connection. >> how is all of this changing what you do, marty? >> it is changing profoundly. we are in a different information era. the way this essentially led to a new medium in the same way that radio was different from newspapers, when radio came into existence. when television came into existence, it was different from radio and newspapers. a different way of communicating with your audience. the web came along and what it newspapers do? they put newspaper stories on the web. that did not work very well. so then we said let's put them up faster. that didn't work so well either. the reality is we have a new media here, and people are connecting with us in a different way. we are developing i think a
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different way of telling stories. one that is more authentic, with the voice of the writer or videographer more evident. and where he was all of the tools that are available to us now. interactive graphics is another. annotations of original documents. there are a whole social media that we can display. a whole range of things. we use those as part of our storytelling these days. we are doing that in every way, every day. and we have shown a lot of growth as a result of that. we have shown year-to-year growth rates of up to 70%. for u.s. traffic, we have essentially the same amount of traffic, the same number of visitors every month to our work as the new york times does.
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>> however, i will walk into your wonderful news headquarters -- really an amazing newsroom, merging digital as well as a print newsroom -- but as you walk into that great lobby, there is a metric board that shows how many clicks each story is getting. is there a danger to that? >> we do have a giant metrics board. it tells us how we are performing, and it tells us what the most read stories are. it tells us how many people are going from one story to the next. there are more metrics that i keep track of. it is just part of the business these days. >> but they have started to feel clickbaity. >> we have never had a headline like that, i assure you. you will be searching forever.
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how i define clickbait is that you have a headline that is designed to lure somebody and then there is no substance behind that headline. we do have headlines that are written to get people to read the story. that is the definition of a good headline -- it is faithful to what a story is about, but it is written in a way that gets someone's attention. we do not make apologies for that. we have tools now that allow us to provide multiple presentations on the website and serve multiple presentations to different users. then we see which one is working the best. we do not have humans determine which is working the best. a machine looks at which is capturing the most attention from our users, and very quickly, that is the approach that takes over. we do deploy technology on our behalf. we have asked newsrooms in this country what is happening in
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this digital environment. they're working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. they have to have news out instantaneously when it breaks. we are asking people to do video, participate in social media. they have to do a whole range of things that were never asked of them before. people are working incredibly hard. i think they working about as hard as they can. now we have to work smarter. working smarter means using technology on our behalf. we do have a very sophisticated engineering department at the post. they have developed a whole set of tools that we can use to amplify our work, and to get more people to read it. what do we want? we want people to read our work. >> the person doesn't best in america to use digital tools is
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jeff bezos at amazon. what has he brought to the party, what advice has he given you? >> the first advice that he gave us was don't be boring. we tried to take that to heart. >> that is a very profound piece of advice. if you read the washington post today, you can see what that means. >> we try not to be boring. one of the things that is problematic now, or has been on the web -- let's say the washington post spends six months doing a story, and we invest a lot of money in it, we posted on the web. within 5 to 15 minutes, a lot of websites have grabbed that story, they have taken the information that we have, they have disseminated it all of the web, and in many instances they would get more traffic than we
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got without spending a dime to do any of the reporting. it is a real problem for news organizations like ours that have invested a lot of money in original reporting. what they're doing is called aggregating. we now do more aggregating than we did before. we then layer on our original reporting on top of that. that is the only way that we can get to the stories quick enough. if we had to report in every detail every story that was out there, we would be publishing the stories of week from now, when everybody has already read it elsewhere. they infect are doing -- in fact are doing aggregating as well. everybody is. you have to be careful with that. you have to be sure these are reliable sources of information. the more sensitive the subject, the more reliable that you yourself do that reporting and check every last detail.
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we have moved more in that direction. he is also -- the areas of investment for him have been our newsroom and resources. we have grown by about 150 people in our newsroom since he acquired us. he has invested in our technology. they have to absolutely be at the forefront of technology. at the very much in control of our technology because people are changing so fast if you want to do some thing different community to be able to do it yourself. >> based on something marty just said a moment ago -- if you invest a whole lot into reporting, other people will make them bucks off of it by aggregating. the business model was still based on the aggregation. that is the main model for journalism. henry luce who founded the publication i was work for said that a publication that depends
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only on advertising revenue and not on consumer revenue is not only morally abhorrent, it is also economically self-defeating. i never knew since he was a protestant son which was worse. is it abhorrent and economically self-defeating to continue to depend almost solely on advertising revenue? >> i think i fall more on the economically self-defeating camps than the morally abhorrent camp. i think we know how to do responsibly. the bigger challenge is the economically self-defeating part. the pressure put on journalism by platforms like facebook, even
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our friends at google, mean that the revenues that we get for advertising online are going down. it is not just a shift from steadier past print revenue to digital revenue. the amount of revenue you can bring in from individual online is getting less and less. the thing i find heartening about the current moment is that a lot of shots are starting to think less about the mass aggregation of eyeballs as the primary model for what a digital outlet should do, in part because of the last few years with facebook and access to the kind of data that marty is talking about, it became fairly easy to publish a set of aggregated stuff, plays a lot of bets on the roulette table, grow your overall unique, tell your advertises you have so many visitors coming in every month, sell this concept of 60 million people. with everybody pushing the same lovers online to achieve that same audience size, you end up having a lot of journalism that
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is not very valuable, audiences that are not in fact real, and i think that is part of what is causing the depression in revenue that people get. a lot of people are starting to think really differently about that. sterling was talking about vice resisting the model to determine what it is that they do that is distinctive, what their audience values, and to build that core of users around the world. vice is my investigative choice. with the same rigor that journalists have strived to practice over years. for us at slate, the way i think about it is how we can tell a story different than what people can see somewhere else. how can we be distinctive, how can we be the place of our audience feel think they have to come to read to feel like they
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understand what is happening in the world today? >> i would add to that, or back up what marty was talking about. the moment we are in is this incredibly significant moment that is not just put a newspaper on a phone or on a computer. everyone of us in our pockets has a phone that has access to all of the world cost information. all of the newspapers and the entire world, we could read right now. and it has a camera on it that is mostly a four k camera. not only gain access all the world's information, making distribution democratized, but you can also upload your own story and publish it on your on social media or medium or any of these other platforms. that means you have the opportunity for storytelling to also be democratized. i think the opportunity and also the challenge is that when you are just seeing content on your
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phone, when you're just reading a news article on your phone, you don't know the difference between if you are just a young person accessing news for the first time -- there is no way to tell the difference between an article from a blog or the washington post. i think once you dig in and see the quality of journalism, of course you can tell. if you just get it off facebook or some between something and you look at it, used to be able to tell by holding a physical newspaper and saying that it was high quality, pictures were beautiful, it was thick. if you're looking at it on your phone, you don't really have that way to tell. there is opportunity for smaller publishers. you think about with newspapers -- if you're the local newspaper in aspen, you could not compete against the new york times. the new york times could get more newspapers into the local convenience store and ask them, but the aspen paper could never find the papers to bodegas in new york.
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you have a chance to equalize that distribution online if you're smart about social media, if you get in floods of people to push those things. what it means is it is more important than ever that we support great journalism, that the platforms are supporting that great journalism. there is an opportunity for new voices who never had an opportunity to be heard or to be read can now get out there and i think that is an extraordinary thing, especially when you look at the billions of people who are going to be getting online in the next 10 years. >> olivia, let me twist the question a little bit. journalism has never been more distrusted and more disliked in general. people just think journalists are in it for their own agendas, they're doing bad things. it seems to me one cause of that is we are not producing journalism that requires people
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to pay for it. in other words, if we were disciplined by having to have customers willing to buy our product, we would then have to produce a product that was more trustworthy. is there anyway way to get consumer revenue in this day and age and produce the type of journalism that people will pay for? or is that me being 20th century? >> i don't know if i'm the best person to speak to that. i think google's services are free to consumers. our model is very much people come to google for information -- >> let me push on you. google newsletter could if it wanted say that there is a coin purse on every google article and we will let people pay. they not the to google's interest, but if you decided to embed a block chain model or any sort of coin model you wanted, a
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way to pay for poems are music that they are accessing, you could change journalism more than anybody else. >> i think this idea of micro-payments is interesting, building in that expectation. we were chatting about how apple did that with music and itunes changed the expectation, or even the idea that something has value and that you pay for it. that was more or less successfully done in music, because it was a frictionless experience to just be able to logon to your itunes. $.99 is the big deal. i think that model is big experiment and with. >> you're going to let apple beat you to the punch? >> i can't say to the fact -- there has definitely been companies that are trying.
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there is one out of europe that has had success with micro-payments. not quite $.10, but the $.99. google is starting to experiment with a subscription model on youtube, with youtube read, which is a monthly subscription. it is a little different from what you're talking about. you pay for this, it is in either experience. part of it goes to the content creators that are uploading the content to youtube. so far the results are good. we kind of want to this wild west model with the internet was blowing up and all the content was free. now we're sort of moving back into a where is there a balance >>? i think we agree that not
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everything should be behind a pay wall. there is stuff that takes a lot of work. marty pointed out it takes time and investment that really deserves to sort of be financially supported. >> i think it is a question of what is being sold fundamentally. i think that in a world where subscribers or people are actually paying to the content providers and they are saying there is some exchange of value, and then there is a more direct accountability. as opposed to an advertising model come it is not the content that is being sold, it is actually the audience that is being sold to the advertiser. vice does not have any direct to consumer product, but if you think about it, what device has been able to do very successfully is license its content to multiple different platforms around the world. the growth in mobile devices,
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the growth in video consumption, the growth in all the different areas in which the media landscape is evolving, once they build the platforms, the question is what will they build the platforms with? >> if you are licensing your content like that, do you see vice as being a brand, or will that distribution channels be the brand? sterling: there are several video producers, who are in search of scale, almost four its -- for its own sake, or developing more advertising to sell, almost give their content away for free. the cede a lot of the control of their brand, the way that their brand is prim -- positioned or promoted. vice has never scaled for its own sake. we have been thoughtful about our distribution. before we do any deal with the
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distributor, those deals are considered in a way that we are thoughtful about, our brand, maintenance of it, and the development of it. marty: it is not true that people will not pay. there are many people paying for journalism on the web. the wall street journal has long had a pay model. the new york times followed with a pay model. people said, early on, the pundits said it was a crazy idea. it turned out not to be. they have about 1.4 million subscribers. for certain services on espn -- walter: 10 articles per month? marty: ours was 5. we are a latecomer to the pay model and we have catching up to do but we are showing good late growth. we are happy with the progress we have made. we are not at the new york times
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level. i will not tell you the level we are at, we are not permitted to say so, but i think we're making good progress. one of the things that jeff did after he acquired us was to completely change the strategy for the washington post. we had become a news organization described as being for and about washington. with the recognition that we are and washington, we will cover government and politics and things like that. jeff said he did not think that was a model that would work, that we had an opportunity and an imperative to become a national and international news organization. we happen to have a brand that was known around the country, the people may not -- the knew of the washington post because of watergate, but they may not have experienced the washington post. around the world, people knew about it. when people around the world talk about it, they often say washing to. we had a great name to leverage.
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walter: let me push back on your subscription model, which is great. i subscribe to the three that you mentioned. the new york times, the wall street journal. kathy subscribes to the washington post and the use person action. i think that is legal. marty: it is legal. you may. walter: there are many times, maybe there is a good article in the houston chronicle. i don't want to subscribe -- or the f.t. does this to me. why not go to a model that we used to have? marty: there are models that are developing. this is not settled business. there are new models emerging. you might be able to acquire a subscription to a bundle. it could be a large bundle. it could give you access to hundreds of news organizations and you would pay a fee and the news organizations would be compensated based on whatever metrics apply.
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it could be the number of people reading, the amount of time that they spend. it could be other metrics for engagement. they would be compensated based on that. those things are in the works. people are contemplating that kind of approach. we don't know what the business model for media is going to be. we are all experimenting with new things and new ways. we are trying a lot of things. nobody can say today -- i don't think there is anyone who can say, "this is what the future of media will be. this is the model that is going to exist." there are going to be a wide variety of models depending on the kind of media institution you are. at any point, or someone comes up with a clearly sustainable economic model, the rest of us will copy that right away, and that has not happened yet.
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walter: let me open it up. many questions. i should have started earlier. you and then you. we will go in that order. >> i have a question for sterling. how do you respond to some of the critics? i called and the old boy networks, the cnn's, the cnbc's, who are critical or skeptical of the new age of media? is it because they are threatened or worried about revenue? they are critical but the new age of media. sterling: i think that is not necessarily evenly applied across everybody that may work for one of those companies. there may be those within those companies who have something to say.
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there is a universe where, from a revenue standpoint, dollars are finite. if you think about the fact that $.85 of every new dollar going into digital is going into google or facebook. every independent media company is chasing that remaining $.15. attention is finite. as attention is shifting from tv to digital, desktop to mobile, and from publishers to platforms. it is an intense environment and there are a lot of opinions. our job is to make sure that we keep our head down and focus on what we do best. julia: can i say that the amount of scorn for journalism is way down than it was a few years ago. people are recognizing the brand-new shops, shops that have
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been around for decades, everybody is trying stuff. you see a quill work that you want to copy at all caps of shops everyday. you can see a failed experiment but you admire the idea behind it. you see bad ideas, and say something isn't going right. the sense that all of us feel the responsibility to experiment with how to do journalism on the web and make it economically sustainable because more likely to admire and root for each other than to sneer at newcomers. marty: cnn, as you mentioned -- i have no interest in cnn one way or another -- cnn is a powerhouse on the internet. they are a huge factor. they have a good site, a huge a lot of traffic. they just built up a large political unit. they are doing very good work.
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i don't think that they disdain the internet. they are a major participator in the internet these days. walter: i will work my way back. we will try to get people in. >> this question may start with a piece of data that is dated, but i was told that the print media used to have to write to a seventh or eighth grader to be communicative. in other words, the audience's level of competition required a -- comprehension required a certain allocation of what it was that you could say, that could be interpreted. that may not be true anymore. marty: i have been in this business for 40 years. i have never been told to do that. it is evident from the stories that is not the case. there are many words i have to look up from time to time. i wish i did not have to. [laughter] that is really not the case. i certainly think we should
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write in a way that people understand, that large numbers of people understand, and not write as if we are writing a paper for a postgraduate thesis. nobody -- i am not aware of any requirement to write at a seventh or eighth grade level. >> that wasn't the question. was trying to establish a precedent. the print media, it seems to me in the way of communicating, is quite different than the new dimensions we are seeing on this stage. i'm wondering, if you think about the person receiving the information, whether it be a child, adolescent, or adult, are we going to be communicating in such a different way, in the relationship between the way they are taught, learn, or think, that this will change everything in relationship to more traditional print media? marty: yes. as i suggested, this is a different medium.
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it requires a different idiom and a different way of communicating. people are absorbing information in a completely different way than people of my generation and your generation. that is certainly true. it is more visual, which is why all of these folks have been able to create a growing business. it uses these tools, interactive graphics, documents, social media, and these other things which are not characteristic of the print media. organizations like ours which have a legacy print business, when we are on the web, we have to be like the web. we cannot just be rent. -- we cannot just be print. >> i am wondering, with respect to the graduate schools of journalism, how much of the new media is being generated there, these of the those -- vis a vis, those of you who are actually practicing it?
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how much do you work back and forth with those schools to further refine the media that they might be generating and you might be generating? olivia: at google, my team, the new slab, has a big folk -- the news lab, we have a big focus on helping to develop curriculum around the latest technologies. journalism students are the future of the industry and are often times at the cutting edge of the new tools. we mentioned snapchat. some of these newer platforms that even i am not fluent in, a lot of times journalism students are the ones to finding what t -- defining what these future trends will be.
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for us, we definitely work a lot with journalism schools. walter: i will add one plug. when this is over, i want you to go see kerry, sitting there, because that colorado college is doing a whole school of new media. it is not supposed to just be journalistic elite, but whether it is marketing, advertising, for anything else, it is something that community colleges should be doing. >> given the scale, or the global nature of news, and the importance of global issues, how do you reveal -- view the role of the foreign correspondent in the foreign desk. in my view, may have been brutally cut back. how do you view the responsibility of getting people what they need to know versus what they want to know? walter: i will let sterling take that one because vice has more foreign correspondents.
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-- viceay that fights has grown is we have established local offices who are completely self-sufficient. they are so endemic to their own communities that often, only recently have we scaled global awareness of the company. up until that point, a lot of people thought that vice was originally from each country. that came from smart hiring, from finding great people and 11 them to develop the -- and allowing them to develop the business without giving them a mcdonald's franchise book and saying, follow these rules. walter: do you want to talk about ariana's plan for world domination? [laughter] bryn: i think that what she did so well was to create a blogging network whereby people can publish their own stories. we are working on now, this is a
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larger discussion within journalism, what we have in working on is empowering journalists, activists, film makers all over the world with cell phones to shoot video on, and now 360 cameras. the tools that people have access to now is making it capable, whereby people can capture incredible footage that would have taken a camera crew and wolf blitzer to show up and tell that story in the past. marty: as far as the post is concerned, we have just added to our foreign staff. we added three additional people including two who are correspondence overseas. one is based in brussels, and the other is going to be based in istanbul, if he is accredited. they are there to cover conflicts and things like that. we have 20 four and
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correspondence overseas and we are very committed to it and we think it is critical that we be eyewitnesses to the events around the world which have an enormous impact on us. in addition to that we have created the washington post talent network which is a network of freelancers. many of them are journalists who have retired, some are journalists who were fired, but only for downsizing reasons, people who are underemployed. things like that. that is around the country and around the world. also doing video. we have over 200,000 people in that network now. they have all been vetted by our editors. they are available and are often deployed to do work for us. we have a network of people overseas. when there was the terror attack in nice, we had somebody who was an hour from nice to get there right away, a very good journalist to get there right away and start reporting that.
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our correspondent in paris was able to get their later. walter: yes, here and then -- >> thank you. my question is a national security question. don't be surprised. all of you know what people are looking for, where they are coming from and what they are asking. most inquiries are just benign inquiries, but we occasionally have people looking for bad information. how do you deal with the government agencies, the three letter agencies, who want to know where people are, what they are coming for, and what they are looking for? marty: i have never experienced that. there are not that many people who ask us for sensitive information, and secondly, i have not had a three letter agency or an agency with more
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letters ask us to provide that information. walter: has anybody ever felt the need? google does? olivia: not trying to dodge it. i cannot speak to that. it is not my area. somebody at google could answer that question but it is not me. sterling: i just retired from the government and i was in an environment where a lot of people were looking for information from our websites and the three letter agencies wanted to know that information and we would tell them, unless it was a critical issue like someone searching for mustard gas information, or the national stockpiles, we said you have to subpoena us. walter: standing in the back there. >> this question is for everybody but "the washington post," because they are easiest. i am impressed with the two lectures we have had, you guys
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here and one on podcasts for. here is a bunch of new people in the world with new ways to communicate. it is easy to value "the washington post." you look at how many people they have at the end of the year and who they consider readers. it is easy. at the end of the year, slate has succumbed to the end of the year and say to themselves, what have we -- and -- has two come to the end of the year and say to themselves, what have we accomplished? how do we make judgments to our success and business model? all of you must have that question, i would be interested to know how you respond. olivia: not going to speak to profitability, but i don't think that your assumptions are correct. we are trying to be a sustainable business. we are not trying to rake in -- the primary purpose of slate is
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not to make money, but it is important to me that we find a model that allows us to sustainably make enough money to do the work that we do covering the world. these new styles and models of journalism, podcasting, and the other tools --they are not just experiments in how to talk to young people, and the ages of those who consume these forms varies a lot, but there are ways to solve those problems. podcasting is a good example. we started a podcasting company last year. it is a very satisfying editorial experience.
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for the people who like it, it is an on-demand medium. the story i always say is i listen to podcasts in the shower. i put my iphone in the ziploc bag. it is a good hack. now if i take a shower without a ziploc bag or without podcasts, i am bereft. i don't listen to the whole thing, you take it to the sink and brush your teeth. the thing that a striking me is that you have this relationship with the hosts who have this informal demeanor. you get to trust them. you put the media experience into a chunk of time when there was not typically a media experience. some people are talking about mobile, but if you start walking or going somewhere, you lose the signal and have to cease the experience. but podcasting because it is just in your ears, you can multitask. that means there is a new set of attention that can be monetized and we are having good luck selling ads against our podcast.
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walter: the woman there, and then i promise to go to the back. the two of you. >> thank you. thank you for being here. it is very interesting. in this new media world, how do you have the time and finances to fact check as old-school media would. marty: nobody seems to be rushing to answer that question. interesting. why would i step in? walter: is it as well fact checked as it was? marty: i think that we have really high quality reporters. they know that before they post something, they are supposed to make sure that it is right. there are greater risks today. there is the question about it. largely because of the demand for speed. why do we put up things so quickly? if we don't, somebody else will. they will get the audience, and we want. speed is measured in milliseconds.
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we have to put out an alert immediately that something has happened. people expect that now. if they are not there, they go somewhere else for the source. they go to cnn, "the new york times," or somewhere else. walter: the silver lining is that you can correct it more quickly. marty: we can but that is not the ideal thing. a couple of websites have recently announced the death of someone. it is good not to have a scoop that you have to correct along those lines. there are greater risks. i worry about that all the time. the other risk that we have is the available resources within the newsroom, particularly for copy. in the past, you would write a story, it would go to the copy desk. in a methodical way, they would go through it and ask a lot of questions. they might call the reporter at
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home, or the reporter would be there and they would go through it. they would spend time looking up the spelling and the various facts. they would go to actual books at the time, we used to use them. now, we have to post very quickly. i think that the error rate tends to be higher, and i worry about that a lot, but for the most part, the reporters are doing a good job of checking things, but i worry about the risks we are undertaking every single day. it is a hugely competitive environment. walter: in the yellow. >> hello, this is for mr. baron. even though i am young and possibly an anomaly for my
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generation, i enjoy getting a print copy of the newspaper everyday, even on my way to school or at school. how do you find your way making the print paper with the overhead pressure of internet paper and internet news? how do you keep the tried and true business running? marty: first of all, thank you for reading the print newspaper. [applause] i hope cloning is developed to a higher state and we can take a sample and make more of you. [laughter] that is great. first of all, not just for reading the newspaper, but for being so heavily engaged with the news. we still have a large readership of the print newspaper. while that circulation is to -- declining as it is for just about every newspaper in the united states, those are very loyal readers. they are willing to pay good money for that is paper and they wanted physical newspaper.
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they will even tolerate price increases in recognition that we need their money to do that. it is very expensive to deliver a printed product to their home in the morning. we make sure that the printed newspaper has the highest quality possible. we do not give it short shrift by any means. we are called a legacy news organization, and we have this legacy of printed product. there is still a deep reservoir of affection for the printed product within the washington post. maybe too much. our risk is not that we have took a little affection, our risk is that we may have too much affection for the printed product. we make every effort to assure that the printed product is high quality. those loyal readers, we hope they continue to remain loyal readers. walter: way in the back. >> my question is related to
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media, and new media, thought to be a factor in the intense partisanship and division in society. people find media to agree with their position and it only makes them more convinced. what do you see as the responsibility, or what are you doing in terms of thinking about promoting civil conversations in society? walter: a very good question, sir. nobody is leaning forward to answer it. [laughter] yeah, go ahead. bryn: we started -- my background is as a humanitarian. i was in haiti, and i lived there for three years after the earthquake.
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i built ryot in my tent, behind the children's hospital i was volunteering at. i built it because i was frustrated at news not being actionable. when we built ryot, it was a news website so every story had an action, so if you read something you could do something about it. at the time it was controversial. people would say, is not right to tell people what they should do after reading an article. our readers were coming to ryot because they did not want to be depressed by what was happening in the world, and instead they wanted an opportunity to partake in the world. if they were able to integrate social media and cell phones, they wanted that from the news too. we have always tried to be on the right side of history and compassionate in supporting peace and understanding, respect and justice and all of those things. i don't think we have tried to
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paint both sides of the picture. we didn't want to isolate anybody. we are a little shop, so we want to make sure it is not what our beliefs are. walter: is technology vulcanizing the media in such a way that we have become more polarized? marty: for sure. it is a huge problem. we live in an era of choice. that is a great thing. represented up here are a lot of ways for people to get information. we have responsible players up here from the media field. people are gravitating toward sites and cable outlets that affirm their pre-existing point of view. that is an issue, but there is an even deeper issue.
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there are internet sites that are propagating information, so-called information, that is absolutely false. these are absolute fabrications. you have a large number of people in the country who believe that the president was not born in the united states, that he was born in kenya. a large portion of the population who believes that he is muslim, when he is christian. you have a large portion of the population that now believe there were 3000 muslims cheering the collapse of the world trade center tower, when there is no evidence that actually occurred. you have a large percentage of the population -- there is a guy who runs an internet site out of austin called infowars.com, and also has a prominent radio show, who contends that many of these mass killings we have seen, too many, were hoaxes, choreographed by the administration to
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increase support for gun control and gun confiscation. it is not a small portion of the population that believes this, it is a large portion of the population that believes these various conspiracy theories. it is corrosive to our democracy. senator daniel patrick moynihan, the late senator, used to say, you are entitled to your own opinions, but you're not entitled to your own facts. now people believe they are entitled to their own facts and they have their own set of facts. when you have a situation where we do not just argue about the analysis of the situation or the prescription for solving the problem. we disagree on the core facts. we can't even agree on what happened yesterday. how do you have a civil society? how do you have a democracy in that kind of environment? it is one we face in our industry. there is no greater challenge
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than what many people are calling a virtual reality. people can live in it that is divorced from actual reality. [applause] >> i completely agree it is the most pressing problem. there are studies that show that does not have to do with the right effects. the opposite of the version of the truth that you believe. that just doubles your unbelief. we have seen this particularly in reporting. we have seen that around science and vaccines on the web. i was just reading another one that a crazy posting my friend posted about zika and genetically modified mosquitoes.
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they crop up all over the escape does all over the place. the temptation of the media is to go into science bully mode. another stupid person said another stupid thing about vaccines. you can get a lot of traffic going, ra, ra, big science. saying oh what a stupid person. oft does not have the effect changing the minds of people who are on the borderline. the question of what the right journalistic posture is, if it is not just reporting the truth about things. walter: who has a great last question? it has to be big, broad, and wonderful. the pressure is on you now. >> how can you ensure you are not politically biased one way or another, like some? walter: i am going to let every one of the panelists talk about it.
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if you don't mind, i will broaden it slightly -- how do you make sure you are not politically biased, or is it ok to say i am coming at it from a viewpoint? >> i think the most important thing at any media institution is about transparency and disclosure. with that, we are able to establish common and confident ground from which the conversation can take place. there has been a dramatic rise of first-person reporting, storytelling of any kind. whether it be someone behind a set of keys or someone holding a song in the middle of a protest. i do believe the collective desire for information around that, and first-person
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perspective, is only increasing. as marty mentioned, that simultaneously allows for active disinformation to spread. the job of some media institutions, whether they be publicly funded or otherwise, is very broad. the important thing is for institutions to do the best they can establishing trust with their audience. >> from google's perspective, we are not a news organization. our mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, which is not to similar -- dissimilar from many news organizations. because many people around the world come to google for information, we absolutely
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cannot have any type of bias whatsoever. what you see on google search, google news, is algorithmically generated and is meant to show whatever news articles. >> can algorithms have biases? >> right, there is a human being creating those algorithms. that is something that has been a healthy topic of discussion and a valid one. every algorithm is a series of choices. there are literally hundreds of choices. it is not a simple matter by any means. it is so complex that it changes every week, so we can't even describe what goes into it. it is important when you come to google, you are able to get information across many different perspectives, different news organizations with different political
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leanings or a first person perspective, if you go on youtube. we are meant to be a portal for the world information. >> transparency for us is the most important part. people who come and read articles or watch films know we have a political bias. we are not the associated press. we are not reuters. we don't want to be. as long as we are transparent about it, people know what we are coming to get, and our partners are very open with their political beliefs. we are proud of that. >> i think there is a difference between being biased and the way you practiced journalism. and having opinions and viewpoints. this late position has always been, we strive to be fair. as fair as we possibly can. in our reporting and our analysis. but that we differently come from a perspective.
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it will be evident where our supreme court correspondent weighs in on what justices say. she writes about what she believes. it is no surprise to people when she critiques alito. we have been in the habit of publishing a list of who is voting for whom before election day on the theory you should know where we are coming from. >> i don't think we will ever escape allegations we suffer from political bias because that is the nature of the environment at the moment. particularly during a presidential campaign. we do have layers of editing where people act as eternal -- internal checks on others. if they detect a bias, we endeavor to guard against it. that is part of our code of ethics. our mission, we need to be
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honest, honorable, and fair. fairness involves being involved -- being open to what people are saying. listening to them. giving them a hearing. a fair hearing. ultimately, we do the reporting. we have an obligation to tell people in a straightforward way what it is we have found. what the evidence actually showed, and not to pussyfoot around it. not to be timid about it. to tell people exactly what the evidence shows and tell them straight. when we talk about fairness, my view is, let's be fair to the public, too. that is part of being fair to the public is telling them in a straightforward way what the results of our reporting were. what we found. i believe that is central to our mission.
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i don't think we should shy from that. i don't think we should shy from it because someone as a result may accuse us of little biased. does of political bias. walter: thank you all very much. [applause] walter: those who want to know more about colorado mountain college, you can even walk with us and come to a fundraiser. [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] six: 30, newt gingrich, van jones, and patrick kennedy discussed opioid addiction and treatment. >> they have to have some willpower. they also because of the way opioids work have to change their brains back. this is a biological thing. this is your brain as an organ.
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once these doctors giving your pills and say they took him all around take these pills. a lot of people, those pills damage their organ. >> watch on c-span and c-span.org and listen on the free c-span app. james madison is the architect of the constitution, and he might be, the george washington is the general contractor. if you're building the house, some will like what the general contractor has in mind than what the architect has mind. larson talks about president george washington's role in unifying the country and ratifying the first federal document in his new book. >> what they wanted to do was recruit washington in as part of the coup d'etat. hamilton had already talked to washington about this before.
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a trueton was republican. he believed in republican government. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. monday night on the communicator. >> i hope that any copyright rewrite will come with a requirement or some kind of a data intofor putting a central repository where people can have access to it, where it can be searched not only on an individual item by item basis, but on a sort of scale basis. it i have million songs and we will get more and more every day as we get to an on-demand service. on the issueso facing congress and the music industry over digital music services, including copyright laws, ticket price inflation, and the competition between forns and box for -- bots concert tickets. >> they do buy tickets.
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is they keep other fans out of the market. what we are finding is some fans really wants to go see a concert. they can match the buttons on the computer all day long, but you cannot beat a bot. -announcer: watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. isan: our guest on newsmaker vivek murthy, the 19th surgeon general of the united states. for those of you who have not meta-before, limited say briefly before taking this position, he had a career at harvard medical school and in public health and technology.

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