6:18 AM / Monday October 21, 2019

1 Apr 2010

Gwen lfill calls for greater diversity in journalism field

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
April 1, 2010 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

By Neal J. Riley


Journalism still has a race problem, prominent black journalist Gwen Ifill said last Thursday at Emerson College.


The host of PBS’s “Washington Week,” Ifill spoke in front of about 200 students and faculty at the Paramount Theatre as part of Emerson’s Communication Week, during which the four departments of Emerson’s School of Communication staged a series of events to discuss their respective fields.


Ifill, a Simmons College graduate who has reported on politics for NBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post, said her race has been an obstacle throughout her career from when she started at her first newspaper job at The Boston Herald. One day, Ifill said, she arrived at her desk at The Herald to find a note that said “n-ger go home.”


In newsrooms, racial equality remains a long ways off, Ifill said. While blacks may be appearing in front of the camera, Ifill said that those making the decisions behind the scenes are predominately white. And as many news organizations in the industry are downsizing, blacks may find it even harder to become journalists, Ifill said.


“We are the last ones in and the first ones out,” she said. “Sadly, to me, television news looks the same to me as it did when I was nine years old.”


As moderator of the last two televised vice-presidential debates, Ifill stressed that she always tried to avoid becoming part of the story and let the candidates speak for themselves. She recalled one moment in the 2008 debate when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced that she “may not answer the questions that either the moderator or [Vice President Joe Biden] want to hear.”



“I thought, I could say something like ‘what?’ – which crossed my mind, but I realized the headlines the next day would all be about me,” Ifill said.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Freedom Quest

Looking for an antidote for Ferguson-like political impotence: Compulsory voting

October 18, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email Remembering  SUN founder and publisher J. Whyatt Mondesire, his life and legacy during...


A Millennial Voice: Gretel Munday – From Essex to the Stage

October 18, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Gretel Munday By Danae Reid Gretel Munday’s fiery red hair and...

Color Of Money

Investing tips for smart and steady growth

October 18, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT From mobile deposits to apps that transfer money in the blink of...


‘Our rights come from God Almighty’: President Trump reassures Christians at Values Voter Summit

October 18, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email by Mikaela Mathews contributor  President Donald Trump appealed to Christian leaders this...

Food And Beverage

Five ways to celebrate everyday occasions

October 18, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT If you look at most people’s calendars, the days that stand out...

Go With The-Flo

The Apollo Theater has added additional casting for the encore production of staged adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me”

October 18, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Ta-Nehisi Coates By Florence Anthony On October 7, the New York...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff