Media and Our Present Moment

Yamiche Alcindor, Sewell Chan, Brooke Gladstone
In Conversation With Hector Amaya
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Episode Summary

The media is a powerful voice driving our perception of the world. But over the last decade, the political divisions across America have threatened the ability of the media to deliver unbiased news. Further putting into question the role of the media, individuals armed with their smartphones have stepped in to provide some of the most raw, unfiltered stories of our times. As part of ALOUD’s Power and Value series, we welcome three journalists from the fields of newspaper, radio, and television to examine whose voices we can trust: the Los Angeles Times Sewell Chan, NPR’s Brooke Gladstone, and PBS NewsHour correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. As we more urgently than ever rely on reporting for updates on COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, join us for a conversation with these three veteran journalists. How is the media shaping our individual experiences during these historical times?

Participant(s) Bio

Sewell Chan oversees the editorial board and the Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times. He was named to the position in April 2020. Chan previously served as a deputy managing editor, overseeing foreign and national news coverage; the front page; the Data and Graphics Department; the multiplatform copy desks; newsletters; and the editorial library. Before joining The Times in September 2018, Chan worked for 14 years at the New York Times, where he was a metro reporter, Washington correspondent, deputy Op-Ed editor, and international news editor. A native New Yorker, Chan grew up in an immigrant family and was the first in his family to finish college. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in social studies and received a master’s degree in politics from Oxford, where he studied on a British Marshall scholarship.

Brooke Gladstone is the host and managing editor of NPR’s On the Media. She was NPR’s Moscow-based news reporter, later becoming its first media reporter, senior editor of NPR’s All Things Considered, and the senior editor of Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Gladstone is the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a National Press Club Award, and an Overseas Press Club Award. Gladstone wrote The Influencing Machine, a nonfiction graphic novel illustrated by Josh Neufeld and others in 2011. Gladstone describes the book as "a treatise on the relationship between us and the news media," further described by Leon Neyfakh as "a manifesto on the role of the press in American history as told through a cartoon version of herself.

Yamiche Alcindor is an American journalist who is the PBS NewsHour White House correspondent and a political contributor to NBC News and MSNBC. In the past, she has worked as a reporter for USA Today, The New York Times, and Newsday. Alcindor writes mainly about politics and social issues.

Hector Amaya is a professor of communication and Director of USC’s Annenberg School of Communication. He has authored three books and has published dozens of articles on the issues of globalization, Latin American media, comparative media studies, immigration, and Latinx media studies. His most recent work, Trafficking: Narcoculture in Mexico and the United States (Duke University Press), analyzes the way Mexico’s criminal drug violence and new media technologies structure publicness in Mexico and the United States. His previous book, Citizenship Excess: Latinas/os, Media and the Nation (NYU Press), examines the mainstreaming after 9/11 of anti-Latino nativism in politics and in media. His first book, Screening Cuba: Film Criticism as Political Performance During the Cold War (University of Illinois Press), is a comparative study of film reception of Cuban film, cultural criticism, and citizenship in Cuba and the USA from the 1960s to 1985.