This article is sponsored by Amazon.
One thing that remains a constant in the world we live in is a simple truth: News helps the world go round. While the importance of disseminating information and passing down knowledge to others is as old as time, the contemporary media industry is the most influential aspect of modern-day society—shaping our politics, communities, families, and even our individual thoughts and experiences.
This is one of the primary reasons why New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the culture shifting ‘1619 Project’, was honored at the 2021 Urban One Honors ceremony—and why Amazon has joined with Madame Noire to recognize even more magnificent sisters “leading the change.”
Journalists like Oprah Winfrey, Wendy Williams, Gayle King, Tamron Hall, Jemele Hill, and Robin Roberts, are often tasked with representing us and speaking for us because of the core experiences that we share as Black women.
Below, read about more of the leading Black women journalists who continue to change the media industry for the better by making the news more inclusive, balanced, and more authentic to our stories.
You might know Obell as one of the co-hosts from Okay, Now Listen — a bi-weekly podcast done in partnership with Netflix and Strong Black Lead where she and Scottie Beam discuss everything and anything binging-worthy, in addition to “what’s blowing up their timelines.” Throughout the span of her career as an entertainment journalist, writer, and culture commentator, she’s worked as a producer and correspondent at BuzzfeedNews’ AM to DM and hosted the outlet’s Twitter show called Hella Opinions. Her scope in the industry and voice as a Black woman journalist have impacted many. And she is known as a trusted authority on issues where pop culture and race intersect.
Previously working for The New York Times as a political and breaking-news reporter, Alcindor currently works as a White House correspondent for PBS’ NewsHour in addition to being a political contributor to NBC News and MSNBC. Alcindor’s work has been nationally recognized by the “International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), the National Association of Black Journalists, and the White House Correspondents’ Association,” particularly as it relates to her coverage of the Trump Administration, Glamour reports.
Back in January of this year, when speaking with ELLE about a particularly memorable moment she had while covering the previous administration, she’d told the publication, “Asking the president, ‘Do you mean to embolden white nationalists, white supremacists?’ is why I became a journalist. African-Americans have had to fight and die to be in the spaces that I now get to be in.”
As the Editor at Large of The 19th — an “independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics, and policy” — Haines’ over two decades of experience producing award-winning work as a journalist has included bylines at the Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel, and The Washington Post. Before her work at The 19th, she covered race, politics, and gender for the Associated Press.
During the Fall 2019 semester, she served as a Ferris Professor at Princeton University, “teaching a class on Black women and the 2020 election.” In a piece she’d written for the Associated Press around that time, she noted, “African Americans will watch as mostly white voters in the first two contests express preferences and winnow the field — then they will almost certainly anoint the winner. This [voting] cycle, many Black voters are also making a pragmatic choice — driven as much or more by who can defeat President Donald Trump as the issues they care about — and sitting back to see which candidate white voters are comfortable with before deciding whom they will back.”
Haines also works as a contributor at MSNBC.
At CNN, Phillip’s work as a senior political commentator and anchor of the network’s Inside Politics Sunday is undeniable. Her extensive reporting throughout the 2016 and 2020 elections always kept viewers all over the world up to speed. And in January of last year, she served as one of the moderators of CNN’s Democratic Presidential Debate in Iowa. In January 2021, she anchored a Special Report for the network which detailed Vice President Kamala Harris’ “barrier-breaking career.”
In addition to all the political coverage she does, CNN noted that currently “Phillip is working on her first book, THE DREAM DEFERRED: Jesse Jackson, Black Political Power, and the Year that Changed America, which will be released in 2022 and serve as the first major contemporary book on the life and political legacy of Jackson, focusing on his groundbreaking run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988.”
As a Global Opinions editor for the Washington Post, Attiah’s work covers international affairs and social issues happening all over the world. You might recognize her from her extensive reporting on the murder of fellow reporter and Washington Post editor Jamal Khashoggi — the subject of her forthcoming book Say Your Word, Then Leave: The Assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and the Power of the Truth. With a slew of awards tagged to her name, including the George Polk Special Award, the National Association of Black Journalists 2019 Journalist of the Year award, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Freedom Writer Award, Attiah has also been recognized in Essence Magazine’s “Woke 100.”
Last October, in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests that rocked the globe the summer following George Floyd’s death, Attiah told the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs’ SIPA magazine, “There is a lot of energy to right so many wrongs that are so baked into America and Europe and ideas about Blackness and the Black world. We cannot call ourselves a democracy until Black people are given the parity, representation, and safety that our white neighbors, coworkers, and friends enjoy. This is a human rights issue, a labor rights issue, and a security and policing issue. Fundamentally, it’s about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is all we are asking for—still asking for, 400 years later.”