She calls herself the “Cardi B of journalism.” And for good reason. The MacArthur Genius Grant winner and New York Times investigative journalism Nikole Hannah-Jones has been credited with taking journalism to the next level.
Among other hot button issues, she’s covered racial injustice and segregation in the U.S. And her efforts have earned her a National Magazine Award for her groundbreaking story documenting segregation in New York City schools. Hannah-Jones also co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, which is a mentorship and training program aimed at elevating journalists of color. On top of this, she is working on her first book, “The Problem We All Live With.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 63: Chrissa McFarlane Jamarlin talks to Chrissa McFarlane, founder and CEO of Patientory, one of the first blockchain companies focused on healthcare records.
HuffPost “We Built This” interviewed Hannah-Jones about finding justice through reporting, the importance of diversifying newsrooms, and reporting on race while Black.
Of her organization
“What I hope for the longer-term future of journalism is that we rip the keys out of the hands of the gatekeepers and that our newsrooms finally start to actually look like the communities that we cover, and that it’s not simply lip service, that it’s not simply a sprinkle of us here and there, but that we stop waiting for newsrooms to hire us, and we start forming our own institutions and that we transform a news industry if the news industry is not willing to transform it,” she said.
She continued: “Our country is not 80 percent white anymore; our newsrooms are. And I think we’re both in New York City, a majority Black and Latino city, our newsrooms don’t look anything like the city. I think if we keep looking for the same gatekeepers to fix it, we would be talking about this, if we live that long, in another hundred years. So we’re going to have to do it ourselves.”
Much of what Hannah-Jones covers deals with racism. She says to deal with it, one must study the history of the country. “…history calms me because it explains it all. And when you understand that Black people were never meant to be part of the American dream, Black people were never intended to enjoy full citizenship in this country, and actually, as soon as slavery was over we were a problem because we were not supposed to exist in this country outside of our enslavement, then you understand that all of these institutions were set up to create exactly what they have created and that the way that we live and our experiences are the way that things were set up for people who were never intended to be citizens of the country of their birth,” she explained.