The Key to Covering the 2020 Election: More Women

“My critique is not of any person or one institution. It’s a system.”

Mother Jones When We Lead Panel Event |April 11, 2019 | The New School Tishman Auditorium| New York New YorkNicole Fara Silver

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From the #MeToo movement to the fight for workplace equality to the dystopian abortion bills popping up around the country, male supremacy is plainly on the agenda in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. How should the media, particularly women in media, cover such a fraught moment? 

To help guide us toward an answer, Mother Jones’ race and justice reporter, Jamilah King, recently hosted two live events in New York City that brought together five women journalists of various ages and backgrounds. First, Jamilah spoke with Jessica Yellin, CNN’s former White House chief correspondent, at The Wing DUMBO, a women-only space in New York City, to discuss Yellin’s new novel, Savage News; the 2020 presidential election; the not-so-secret bro culture of cable news; and life after TV news. This is the first time in 20 years she won’t be covering an election for a network. 

Yellin’s professional career was ripe for a tell-all memoir. She went a different route, writing a fictionalized account of her experience in broadcast journalist. This wasn’t just a matter of discretion. “I didn’t want to name names. I didn’t want to be taking the trash out on anyone. My critique is not of any person or one institution. It’s a system.”

This week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast also contains highlights from another live event Jamilah hosted at Manhattan’s New School. The conversation features some of today’s leading women in media discussing the challenges and the hope of achieving equality in the industry: Imara Jones, a black transgender woman and host of The Last Sip on Free Speech TV; Antonia Hylton, correspondent and producer for Vice News Tonight on HBO; Kat Aaron, an organizer and producer at Pineapple Media; and Allie Maloney, senior politics editor at Teen Vogue.

Listen to Jamilah’s interviews in this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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