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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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