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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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