NBC News Washington correspondent and PBS Washington Week moderator Yamiche Alcindor was honored with Duquesne University’s Award for Ethics and Integrity in Journalism Thursday evening at the National Press Club in Washington.
The award is reserved annually “for a nationally respected female journalist whose career exemplifies the highest standards of integrity and ethics.”
Duquesne President Ken Gormley presented Alcindor with the honor and facilitated a one-on-one fireside chat where the two discussed her career, the importance of having a diverse newsroom—racially, seriocomically and geographically—as well as combating misinformation and more.
“For so long, we thought of diversity as we were doing people a favor, but no, these journalists that you’re bringing in, whether they’re African American, Native American, whether they’re from rural America, they are doing your newsroom a favor by giving you the perspective to cover stories very well,” said Alcindor. “I think not only about, again, racial diversity, but I had family members who were makeup artists, who were working at dry cleaners, who were bus drivers. They were giving me ideas for stories because they were essential workers’ that we didn’t think about and look who was dying. It was the bus drivers. It was the grocery store workers. So, I think you have to also have the sort of economic diversity so that not everyone’s coming from private schools, or the reverse, which is not everyone’s coming from urban places. You have to have a mixture there to have a robust newsroom.”
Alcindor also touched on how the press can help combat the normalized notion of “fake news”:
“I think we just have to do good reporting. That means going out into communities. That means actually being on the ground and not just relying on polls and pundits to tell us what’s happening,” she said. “This midterm election, I went to about 10 or 15 states, and I talked those women, time and time again specifically about abortion, but also about inflation, and other things. I remember being on Meet the Press one Sunday, and a pundit was saying that abortion is not even really an issue in this election…So to me, if I hadn’t done that boots on the ground reporting, I would be thinking, ‘Oh, okay, well, this person has been talking to people on the phone or doing polls.’ I think it’s critical that we go out into people’s living rooms and get people to tell us things and get people comfortable actually talking about what’s impacting them.”